Brooke Shields, pedophile chic and People magazine in the 1970s

Special to, March 29, 2023

Corporate WATCH

Commentary by Joe Schaeffer

In a March 26 interview with UK newspaper The Times, Brooke Shields, now 57, expressed her mortification at being sexualized as a child actress in the 1970s and early ‘80s.

Shields played a leading role as a child prostitute in the 1978 film Pretty Baby. During the movie, she was forced to engage in a sexual kiss with actor Keith Carradine, who was 27 at the time. Shields also posed nude for a Playboy publication at the age of 10.

“I don’t know why she thought it was alright. I don’t know,” Shields told The Times of her mother being perfectly fine with all this.

Numerous scandals in recent years have made it clear that the entertainment industry in those days was a jungle filled with pedophiles and pedophilia chic. While the individual grotesque behavior of a Roman Polanski or a Jimmy Savile is shocking beyond words, It is the latter term that is most intriguing today. For there appears to have been a widespread and well-organized effort in the ‘70s and spilling over into the ‘80s of normalizing this monstrous depravity.

People magazine was pushing transgenderism as far back as 1976. ‘Dr. John Money Explains the Why and How of People Who Want to Change Their Sex’.

Which brings us to People magazine.

People enjoyed a very good run as a cultural staple almost from the moment it launched its first published edition in 1974 until well into the 1990s. While folks today may best remember People’s glory days by meaningless fluff like the annual “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, the magazine was regularly on the cutting edge of promoting a hardcore Cultural Marxist agenda. Articles celebrating abortion and homosexuality commonly graced its pages as early as the mid-’70s.

What are we to make, then, of the fact that People repeatedly featured pedophilic themes, granted a sought-after national platform to pedophiles and pedophile supporters and oddly went well out of its way to run feature articles on men who would later be exposed as among the most notorious Catholic pedophile priests and abettors of abuse in American history?

Roman Polanski

“A few years ago the German-born Nastassia Kinski seemed just another teen trinket in Roman Polanski’s notorious collection of Lolitas.” Thus begins an April 13, 1981 article. There’s more:

She credits everything to Polanski. “I fell in love with him at the beginning,” says Nastassia, who met Roman at a party in Germany when she was 15. “He was really a gentleman, not at all like the things I had heard,” she continues.

The gentleman was 45 when the 1979 film was being made. Kinski turned 18 in January 1979.

“In 1976, [Polanski] met Nastassja Kinski and, according to his autobiography, slept with her. When he then learned she was only 15, he continued to sleep with her for several months, he wrote,” Hadley Freeman at The Guardian notes. All of this is nothing to People:

Their own affair wrapped about simultaneously with Tess. “It was just a romance,” Nastassia says now.

A fawning 1984 People profile on Polanski takes things further, even going so far as to bizarrely mock Americans for having a problem with his proclivity for young girls.

Dotson Rader

On March 24, 1975, People ran a feature piece on author Dotson Rader, 32 at the time, and the 64-year-old actress, Ruth Ford, who was said to be keeping him. That age difference was far from the oddest aspect of the article. Rader, the article tells us, was, “by most accepted accounts, a former male hustler”:

He is not amused, though, by people who make cracks about his first crude pornographic novel about a homosexual hustler…. “I wrote it in the first person,” he says, “and it was deeply felt. I’ve never said in print I was a hustler, but of course all books are somewhat autobiographical,” he concedes, which is not to say he takes kindly to “people who come up to me at parties and say they bought me for a night 15 years ago.”

Do the math and that suggests Rader was 17 when he was working the streets. There is more. Why in God’s name would People publish something like this?

Dotson does not oppose the traffic per se. “Walt Whitman once said,” he reminds, “that all boys should spend a year or two hustling. I think prostitution by all young people is probably healthy. It teaches you so much, brings you into the world and even gives you pocket money. Let’s face it,” he sums up, “most husbands can buy better sex than their wives can ever give them. Sex is such a cheap commodity.”

John Money

People was pushing transgenderism as far back as 1976. “Dr. John Money Explains the Why and How of People Who Want to Change Their Sex,” the headline to an article from Sept. 20 of that year reads.

“Why are people fascinated by transsexuals?” the People reporter asks. Money replies:

They force the public to think of issues that were formerly taboo. Once past the sensationalist aspect, people, after thousands of years of maximizing differences between the sexes, are now looking for similarities. Transsexuals make us do this, and that’s an extraordinary fascination.

Money is today known for conducting one of the most reprehensible acts of medical malpractice imaginable. Walt Heyer, writing at The Federalist in 2015, notes:

“Money… didn’t hide his advocacy of pedophilia. For example, The Journal of Pedophilia interviewed Money. He said it was fine, even desirable, for young boys to have sex with adult men. In private sessions at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital, this pioneer of gender reassignment encouraged his first patients, twins, to play sex games with each other at age 7, and photographed them. Only a sick pervert would do this.”

The twins were named Brian and David Reimer. The horrors inflicted on both of them by Money eventually led to both dying before the age of 40:

The boys’ parents had first contacted Money after a botched circumcision destroyed one boy’s penis. Money was able to convince the Reimers that the best penis repair would be surgically fabricating a female vagina so the boy would be a transsexual female. Money had a gender theory he wanted to prove and having twins to use as a test case was his perfect opportunity to make a name for himself in the medical community. Money monitored the twins’ progress for years and published his results about the success of the “John/Joan” reassignment in journal articles that garnered much acclaim.

The sad truth didn’t come out until much later: Money had falsified his findings. The transgender twin acted decidedly male and was depressed and suicidal by age 13. His desperate parents told him the whole story of his upbringing and the boy refused to take any more feminizing hormones and reverted to being a boy, David. But the damage had been done.

The transgender twin acted decidedly male and was depressed and suicidal by age 13.

As an adult, David went public about the folly of changing genders…. At age 38, David Reimer committed suicide. His brother had died two years earlier from a drug overdose.

Then there are the pedophile and pedophile-enabling priests. They weren’t publicly known as such when People gave them national exposure. However you want to put it, though, it sure seems like a deliberate effort was made to promote these particular men.

Father Paul Shanley

“Doesn’t God Also Shed His Grace on Gays? Asks Father Paul Shanley,” a Sept. 3, 1979 headline exclaims. Shanley would become the center square in what to this day remains the most scandalous pedophilia ring ever to befoul the US Catholic church, that in the Boston archdiocese. But back then, he was being portrayed as a hip and cool progressive street priest. People made sure to buttress that narrative:

Even without official backing to work with homosexuals, Father Shanley continues to do so on his own time and as best he can on his priestly salary of $350 a month. His efforts do not go unappreciated. “He can lunch with a gay millionaire, be on the street with poor transsexuals in the afternoon, dine with his fellow clergy and at night counsel parents of a lesbian or baptize a baby in the parish,” says gay activist Brian McNaught. “He is one of the few priests whom I can comfortably call ‘Father.’ ”

Father Bruce Ritter

It must be conceded that Ritter, founder of the Covenant House network of shelters for homeless youth, fooled most of America for years, writing a smash best-seller titled “Sometimes God Has a Kid’s Face.”

The book cleverly played on every heartstring the reader had. Rather than saving desperate kids, it turned out that Ritter’s true calling lay somewhere else.

“Arguably, Bruce Ritter was one of three or four greatest direct mail copywriters of the late twentieth century,” Denny Hatch, who gives a highly intriguing breakdown of how Ritter operated for fundraising-content site SOFII, asserts. He writes of one of Ritter’s most successful fundraising letters:

No one word or phrase jumped out. But the letter has an undercurrent of sensuality. Isn’t he really ogling these children? For example, he refers to the children as ‘beautiful’, not once, not twice, but three times and talks of hugs twice including a ‘surreptitious’ hug. Why surreptitious? If you hug a kid, you hug a kid.”

In 1989, a sex scandal involving a former male prostitute brought Ritter’s reign at Covenant House to a desultory end.

In 1978, however, he was on the rise. And People was there to document that rise in a Nov. 13 article. It ends in a rather curious manner:

“I wish I could say I do everything because I love God and my neighbor and I’m kind and gentle. But sometimes,” Ritter adds knowingly, “when your virtues fail you, you fall back on your vices to survive.”

Father James Poole

Poole was another cool cleric. “Western Alaska’s Hippest DJ Is Jim Poole, S.J., Comin’ at Ya with Rock’n’Roll ‘n’ Religion,” the headline to the Dec. 18, 1978 article not-so-subtly declares.

He was also another serial pedophile in a collar.

In 2005, KTUU-TV in Alaska reported on a deposition he gave on the charges against him:

Poole says the encounter that sent him to therapy was not with a minor. But he admits to lying when his counselors asked him if he had sexually abused any children…. As the deposition goes on, Poole admits there were other children.

Roger Mahony

Although it would appear puzzling as to why he would be of any interest in a national celebrity magazine, a January 26, 1976 piece gushes over a Fresno, California bishop named Roger Mahony:

With the long hours demanded by the job, Mahony has little time for his favorite recreation — hiking on remote slopes of the Sierras. But he remains true to his belief that a priest belongs on both sides of the cathedral door. Each morning he celebrates early mass. “Sometimes people are there, sometimes there is no one. But I am a priest and I will always be a priest. I wouldn’t dream of any other employment.”

Perhaps this explains things. Mahony was just beginning a journey that would take him to the heights of power in the American Catholic Church. He would become archbishop of Los Angeles and be created a cardinal. It will take decades for the L.A. archdiocese to fully recover from the damage Mahony did in his position, if it ever does. From a 2013 AP report:

Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners in the dark, according to church personnel files.

The confidential records filed in a lawsuit against the archdiocese disclose how the church handled abuse allegations for decades and also reveal dissent from a top Mahony aide who criticized his superiors for covering up allegations of abuse rather than protecting children….

Mahony received psychological reports on some priests that mentioned the possibility of many other victims, for example, but there is no indication that he or other church leaders investigated further.

At what point does this stop being a coincidence?

We’ll close with one last example, and it’s a doozy.

Marion Zimmer Bradley

“In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s the Mists of Avalon, the Knights Are Joust a Bit Kinky,” reads the headline to a May 16, 1983 puff piece on the risqué author.

This is what People wanted readers across the country to know about:

Her story is tinged with tales of mysticism and the struggle between dawning Christianity and dying paganism, subjects dear to Bradley’s heart. A believer in neopaganism (a faith, she says, that “rejects the Christian belief in man’s dominion over the earth”), clairvoyance, ESP and reincarnation, she helped set up the nonprofit Centre for Non-Traditional Religion several years ago in a carriage house on her property. At the Centre, “wiccans” (“white witches,” as opposed to Satanists) hold meetings, and other religious groups have studied hypnotherapy, altered consciousness and healing. Bradley does not claim that she is a witch, but merely a “passionate reader of occultism.”

The occult novelist had a dark side. A daughter claims Zimmer sexually abused her own child. UK newspaper The Guardian reported in 2014:

Moira Greyland, Bradley’s daughter, went public with her accusation on the blog of the author Deirdre Saoirse Moen earlier this month, giving Moen permission to quote from an email in which she wrote: “The first time she molested me, I was three. The last time, I was 12, and able to walk away… She was cruel and violent, as well as completely out of her mind sexually. I am not her only victim, nor were her only victims girls.”

Zimmer was married for 26 years to Walter Breen, a leading American numismatist who was also a writer. He was convicted multiple times of child sexual abuse and died in prison. Zimmer has been accused of knowing what he was doing but turning a blind eye to it.

Make of this what you will. But that sure is a lot of pedophiles for one celebrity publication, with most of them having nothing to do with Hollywood at all. Makes you wonder.

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