NZ Official Censor does it again.

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Sat, 2006-02-04 07:31

I haven't had time to comment much lately, but here is an item so preposterous it even made headlines in the staid, US-based Chronicle of Higher Education. Some time ago, on old SOLO, I was told that I was unfair to New Zealand's chief censor, Bill Hastings, when I referred to him as a man so depraved that he would take on the job of censoring what other people are allowed to read. Last week, the same Chief Censor made it a criminal offense, punishable by a fine of up to $20,000 (U.S.) or three months' imprisonment, to own or distribute any of the 5,500 copies of a recent issue of the award-winning Otago University student magazine Critic Te Arohi. The Chronicle's article seems to be for subscribers only, but here is a short note about the same incident from


AdamReed's picture


OK - I understand the distinction now that you have made it. We could have avoided a lot of foam if you had done that at the time. Now we can focus on the issues outside our movement, in the world.

Again I say, Adam ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The fight was not against the jerk's right to publish non-rights-violating pedophilia-glorifying material, but his attempts over many years to make it seem libertarian—about which attempts he lied, and smeared those who drew attention to them, with Barbara's assistance and yours.

Graham Capill (Graham, note, not Roger) was an entirely separate matter, and there was no conspiratorial link such as you tried to suggest at the time. He confessed to girl-fucking and was jailed for it. Right outcome. End of story.

An apology and a request

AdamReed's picture


You are right, I should not have acted as BB's proxy - and since I already knew her to be a very poor judge of character, I should have known better. I regret having played this role, and I apologize. I admit to having been even more disgusted, when I took sides in this matter, with Roger Capill's associates then with the jerk whom they were then fighting - fighting altogether without regard for their own allegedly libertarian principles.

If there are facts about the New Zealand context that I don't know about, and which in that case justified your going along with Roger Capill's (now former) staff, and with the Chief Censor and the NZ immigration authorities, I'd like to learn what those facts are. In my experience, defending only one's own rights, and the rights of one's friends and of people one agrees with, is counterproductive to teaching rights as principles. Defending rights as principles, even in the case of some despicable jerk, might make one unpopular - but it is usually the only way to make clear that one is writing from principle rather than self-promotion. I remain open to persuasion if you believe that my position is wrong, even though I have not found your postings in this thread to be very persuasive thus far.

I said earlier in this

Peter Cresswell's picture

I said earlier in this thread: "In my view Adam has another agenda, which will perhaps become more clear as or if this 'debate' progresses."

I believe it is now becoming clear. Very clear. And as with the last time this issus was discussed, the issue is not one of censorhip.

Adam, you know very well ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... that by "friend" I meant spiritual ally. You took his side, even when the evidence was posted. At one point you claimed I was leading a witch-hunt against him. You spread his lies, fed to you by Barbara, without checking them. A bit rich now to affect to be disgusted.

Now you tell kiwi freedom activists that we deserve all future censorship because we haven't, to your knowledge, defended the publishers of a how-to article on date rape (or rather, defended their right to publish such an article). As it happens, that item may make it into the upcoming FreeRad's Horror File, but it's competing with a bunch of other stuff. Guess what? That'll be my decision, not yours. Why not start your own magazine and put it in that?

Since you're paying such close attention to my daily articles, I should tell you that Death to Islam! puts me at risk of a $7000 fine or 3 months in jail under legislation that we freedom activists have vigorously denounced ever since it was introduced, long before your favourite "least attractive practitioner" got here. I have regularly railed against it on radio (and in the FreeRad of course) and believe I am quite literally the only broadcaster to have done so.

I, Peter Cresswell & other kiwi activists don't need your lectures, on my turf, on how to be principled or how to promote freedom.

Hardly a "friend"

AdamReed's picture


My "friend?" I never even met the guy, never discussed anything with him in any forum that I know of, never exchanged e-mail either way. I am disgusted by his NAMBLA activities, his lies etc. The fact that he is, or was, Barbara Branden's friend just confirms, to me, that Barbara Branden is a realy, really poor judge of character - but we already knew that. All this you know very well - and so you should know that the claim that he is "my friend" is blatantly counterfactual.

However, I do think that when New Zealand censorship makes world news, and gets a full-length headline article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, it becomes a legitimate subject of discussion. Exactly why it is not being discussed by that country's own freedom activists is something of a puzzle - as is the effort to take this thread on a tangent about one disgusting creep I pretty much forgot about already. I recently read an interesting, and at this point highly relevant, article about the utility of thinking in principles....

Contemptible Crap!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Adam - you know diddly squat about what's gone on in NZ. The precedent for criminalising speech that promotes illegal behaviour was set long before your pedophile friend got here. To imply that I & Libertarianz helped establish that precedent or failed to oppose it is just disgraceful. You skate on very thin ice.


AdamReed's picture

Thanks Charles - I fixed the link. The point is, now that the precedent of criminalizing speech that "promotes" illegal behavior has been established in New Zealand, it will be applied more and more widely. To those who helped establish that precedent - or failed to oppose it - all I can say now is, "I told you so."

The link above apears to be

Charles Henrikson's picture

The link above apears to be broken, but this url should sufice:

This article makes the magazine sound very socialistic in the first place:

It seems that the government views the article as a guide on how to rape women.


Charles Henrikson's picture

Isn't the threat of force: coersion, a type of force; so infact they have commited an act of force?

Personal policy reminder

AdamReed's picture

I remind anyone who is about to launch (or has already launched) a personal attack, that I do not regard such attacks as deserving a response.

As Adam is fully aware, this

Peter Cresswell's picture

As Adam is fully aware, this discussion and these very questions have been asked and answered before, back on the old SOLOHQ. Anyone who is genuinely interested may find the debate(Drunk there - if indeed they are genuinely interested. I know he is fully aware of those answers since it was he who asked the questions, and made the same smears about NZ libertarians 'supporting censorship.'

You may take it from the way I wrote that paragraph that in my view Adam is not genuinely interested in the topic of New Zealand's censorship or immigration laws or in legitimate questions arising therefrom, and therefore answering those same questions again will simply be wasted effort. In my view Adam has another agenda, which will perhaps become more clear as or if this 'debate' progresses.

Jason, As I have indicated

AdamReed's picture


As I have indicated above, I'm trying to avoid tangents - this is my tenure decision year, and I just don't have the time for extended discussion of such principles as, how freedom of association applies to immigration law, or how much governments may legitimately restrict the freedom of creepy and disgusting people who "haven't initiated force... yet." However, a factual correction: the original creep was never accused - even in the United States, under the world's most far-reaching child pornography laws - of publishing actual child pornography. The Chief Censor's case was (and in the present case, is) based on the publication of an article "promoting" rape. And the precedent applies to writings "promoting" any illegal behavior. We still don't know how that precedent will affect Linz and other New Zealanders, but we shall soon find out.

Minors should be protected

sjw's picture

I'm unclear on exactly what Adam's saying, but certainly it's right to "censor" pornographic works (and censorship is the wrong word here) that depict minors and then throw the depictors in jail.

Regarding the radical Muslum: if he's preaching that people should be beheaded and such, then he should at a minimum be put under surveillance, and if he takes any step whatsoever in the direction of putting that plan into action, then he should be prosecuted.

Generally that's the distinction here that's sometimes hard to make: if the person is really just talking about it, then it's a freedom of speech issue, but if they start to put illegal actions into effect (which can include merely planning or inciting others), then that should be a jailable offense.

This brings up a wider question

Jason Quintana's picture

I know you guys are having a heated conversation but I think this brings up an important question.

Does someone have the right to advocate the initiation of force? Does a radical Muslim deserve the right to enter the U.S. if he has been involved with a group and written literature preaching that America should be bombed?

Does a member of a neo NAZI orginization deserve to be granted admission to the country if he has advocated the destruction of Jewish property?

Or... does a person who has been associated with and has written literature for a group that supports child sexual assault deserve to be admitted to New Zealand?

They haven't initiated force... yet. I personally don't have any problem whatsoever with excluding such people but I am open to a good argument on this if you can make one Adam.

- Jason

"Not getting it?" It's mutual

AdamReed's picture

So, as we agree, he was a creep. But what, exactly, was the specific "crime" for which he was punished by deportation from New Zealand? And how does the precedent of criminalizing that "crime" (which I take to be writings and publications that, while not initiating force directly, "promote" a criminal behavior) affect freedom of speech in New Zealand? How does your own reaction to the chief censor's criminalization of a magazine for "promoting" rape fit in with your "campaigning for freedom of speech?"

Adam, you're still not getting it.

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The previous controversy was NOT about the criminalisation of writings that ought not to be criminalised. It was about giving succour, as you & Barbara were, to a creep whose version of libertarianism included the right to have sex with kids.

Your claim that I will have deserved it when the Thought Police shut me down is beneath contempt. Though I say it myself, none has campaigned more relentlessly for freedom of speech in this country in recent years than I.

"Promoting" as crime

AdamReed's picture


Rape - of which child-adult sex (previous context) and date rape (present context) are specific subcategories - is indeed a repulsive crime to which we both are unquestionably opposed. The previous controversy was not about how we felt about rape, but rather about the criminalization (and, in the previous case, punishment by deportation of the author) of writings that, in the opinion of the Chief Censor, "promote" rape (or any other breach of the law.) Laws against rape are (unlike the many New Zealand laws that you oppose, and "promote" the breach of) something we both support. But when your own speech "promoting" "politically incorrect" (and often wrongly criminalized) behavior is itself criminalized under this precedent, as it is likely to be - soon - then the consequences of having let the "least attractive practitioner" tactic do its work through you will hit you in the face. And you will deserve it.

And I say again ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Adam, the issue being discussed was not the rights & wrongs of censorship but whether or not the creature in question, defended & lauded by Barbara Branden who was feeding you your lines, had a history of promoting adult-child sex. His magazine, Unbound, had been banned by the censor for doing just that. Pointing that out did not constitute an endorsement of censorship. Claiming that it did was simply an attempt to deflect attention from the creature's record. I for one shall always resist efforts to insinuate pedophilia into the libertarian agenda. Among adults, anything consensual should be legally permissible in my book, but kids should be protected by law.

Bug in posting software -

AdamReed's picture

Bug in posting software - please ignore.

Again: Rand's "Least Attractive Practitioner" principle

AdamReed's picture


"reasons best known to (myself)????" As Ayn Rand noted, when the repressors try to curtail a freedom, they first establish the relevant precedent against that freedom's "least attractive practitioner," which is what the nablaphile was. Once that precedent is established, the censor gets the power to prohibit all expression that might "encourage" someone to test the limits of the law - as the ridiculous incident at the head of this thread demonstrates. It surely IS ridiculous, but don't laugh - you may be next. This is what comes from ignoring a principle of rights when its targeted practitioner, like the namblaphile in question, is "unattractive" (actually, repulsive) enough. And, more generally, from putting "passion" ahead of principle.

Adam, once & for all!!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

No one said you were "unfair" to the film censor. You were using the impropriety of the existence of such a position as an excuse to defend a lying, smearing scum-bucket Namblaphile, for reasons best known to yourself.

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