By Luke Ford Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Seven B Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve 1994-1997 1997 1998 1998B 1999 2000 2001 2009From a post to RAME newsgroup:
I toured the Museum of Tolerance at 9760 W. Pico Blvd. this morning. The Holocaust stuff was ok, but the folks who ran the thing seemed obnoxiously unctious...squeaky voiced...pimply faced...frequently fat beneficiaries of affirmative action, wheezing from allergies.
Near the end we were herded into a big room for education about bigotry. We were told to go through one of two doors, one marked PREJUDICED and one marked UNPREJUDICED.
I was so ticked off that I deliberately started through the door PREJUDICED...and like sheep, everyone followed me. The tour guide then announced that the door marked UNPREJUDICED was locked, thus forcing everyone to admit they were prejudiced.
The room was the height of PC baloney. They showed a tape of some Howard Stern type radio host who joked that the more extreme the feminist, the more ugly. I started laughing. Everyone else was unctiously quiet.
Afterwards, a dear old lady with grey hair came over to tell me how OFFENDED she and her family was that I had laughed during the talk show bit. She wanted to know if I felt the same way towards women as Nazis felt towards Jews.
Lyle Roof replies: "I probably shouldn't even bother responding to so obvious a troll as this. You make the common error of equating beauty with goodness, intelligence and competence. Why else would you have focused your comments on what you percieve as the physical flaws of those you see. I suppose it is too bad that everyone can't be as handsome as you see yourself."
LUKE replies: I am just tired of Holocaust chic. I think the monies that went into the museum, which could also be called SHOAH FOR DUMMIES, could've been used more effectively, such as to send kids to Jewish Day School or to Israel...
I found the PC take obnoxious, and the equating of ethnic bigotry with genocide. I like Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh etc... I don't think that their style of radio promotes genocide.
I met a Jew who was a pornographer. I met a Jew who hated pornography. I met a Jew who exposed the real names of porn stars. I met a Jew who studied Talmud for hours every day in yeshiva and wanted to become a rabbi. I met a Jew whose father is a Christian evangelist.
I met the enemy and he is me.
My life forever changed 4/13/98, a Monday, two days after the end of Passover. I met with the rabbi at the orthodox shul I most often attended. Dropping a thick folder on his desk, with pages splaying out, he said "This is the Luke Ford file."
It is a file thick with posts and other misdeeds that members of my religious community have recorded and brought to the rabbi. In Jewish religious life I use my Hebrew name, but enough people knew my "real name" to be able to do me damage. The rabbi was most troubled by one of my recent posts to the Prager E-mail discussion list, entitled "Save Me From Cherem [excommunication]" where I asked for help concocting tricky legal reasoning to enable me to live as an esteemed member of the community and still write about my dirty little subject. The rav was not amused.
Excommunication is a subject I have known all my life. It was particularly painful in elementary school when I would not get invited to the birthday parties of friends. "Luke is always quick to share his opinions with the class," wrote my fifth grade teacher, "but he needs to learn to be more patient with the slower thinker."
My father had his ministerial credentials revoked by the Seventh Day Adventist church in 1980 for heretical views.
On 4/13, the rabbi told me that I could either leave porn behind or leave the community behind. I decided to leave the community behind.
I muttered the verse from the Ten Commandments about the "sins of the fathers shall be visited on the children for three to four generations," but the rabbi reminded me that is only true for those children who follow in their father's sinful ways.
I have decided to follow in my sinful ways, and have largely abandoned the increasingly religious life I was leading over the previous months, including several hours of Talmudic study a day.
I now attend non-orthodox synagogues, and study little during the secular week.
Later that day the woman I've been seeing called to say that I should not wait for her when she left for Europe at the end of the week. We weren't going anywhere.
Then came the porn HIV infection outbreak and that tumult.
In the Jewish calendar, appropriately, we have been in a time of semi-mourning (massacre of Rabbi Akiva's disciples 1900 years ago) which we commemorate in part by not shaving or cutting our hair. That time period ended Thursday. I have shaved and cut my hair, and am facing a long commitment to write on this industry.
The Torah portions for the past few weeks have come from Leviticus, largely dealing with how the community should handle contagion. I am open to the perspective that porn is a type of spiritual contagion, a spiritual form of leprosy or STD. From a Torah perspective, there is one law that rules the universe - it is both moral and physical. Violation of spiritual laws lead to physical destruction and death. The application to AIDS is obvious - the rectum is not meant for sex. IV drug use and male-to-male sex are spiritually and physically impure, unhealthy and anti-life.
I was raised a Protestant which focuses on the individual - individual salvation, the individual's walk with Jesus. Judaism is much more communal, and partly as a consequence of my religious switch, I am increasingly more suspicous of my previous view that what people do in the privacy of their own home is their business alone. Everything we do affects other people. Not long ago I was watching wonderful wackiness on my TV screen, when I felt a shadow. Though my door was locked, and blinds drawn, I could peak out to see a person staring through the blinds. Even though I doubted that he could see anything, I felt sick.
This afternoon I was gathering research material (videotapes) from my car. I made careful to cover them with a sweater while carrying them to my place, so no one would see. I had a source of contagion that I had to hide. I have to hide it in my apartment so that visitors do not see the stuff unless they want to. I pile it in my cudboard, where it, at times, comes crashing down when I do something untoward, or when the wind blows... The tapes come crashing down, spilling out on to my bed, crashing down like the weight of my sins on my fragile shoulders.
My sister writes to me:
Luke, i feel so terribly sad, so disappointed - i checked out your web page and you are peddling porn! you are so intelligent and you have the capacity for good but its all being wasted.
it is either right or wrong - there are no grey areas.
your rationalisations could be equally used to justify the supply of dead bodies for those with a 'need' to mate with such. or to supply live ones for the psycho who 'needs' to cut people into little pieces.
human nature is sick - to wit the exploits of ms ashton - but to feed/promote that sickness is wrong.
i love you deeply - nothing that you do will change that - but i also have an obligation to say it the way i see it.
our minds are so good at deceiving us - we think we are rational and act according to our reasoning but we dont - we believe what we want to believe - we decide what we want to do then set about justifying it - i did exactly the same thing for half of my life and probably continue to do it - the reason i threw out christianity had nothing to do with my intellectual beliefs but all to do with my desire to have money/security - so i then had to set about working out an argument as to why i rejected christianity because my desire was not compatible with it!
luke you believe in God - please talk to him about the path your life is taking - He is the only one who can reach you.
It's been a long eight days without chametz (leaven), but Passover has finally passed on, allowing me back on my computer, and into my car. This Sunday morning 4-19-98 I first stopped by the apartment of a fellow member of the newsgroup rec.arts.movies.erotica, where I purchased for $20 the documentary Kamikaze Hearts about lesbian junkies Sharon Mitchell and Tigre.
Finding Figuroa Street in downtown Los Angeles, I got within 300 yards of the convention center, and parked on the street for free beside a bunch of Mexican gangbangers.
I grabbed my bag with its recorder, note pad and batteries, and nervously made my way up the steps and into the center. This would be my first appearance at a porn convention since last year's Erotica LA fair and I hoped that no one would beat me up. Luckily, few people would recognize me in my black suit and scraggly beard.
Upon entering the main building, I heard a greeting from Arrow's Director of Communications, Marc Medoff, who had just flown the red-eye from New York. Arrow owner Raymond Pistol did not attend.
As I stood in line, I tried to answer Marc's questions about why everyone in the industry hated me.
Subj: Re: Prager-L: Prager List Snitch
Date: 98-04-29 05:22:38 EDT
From: ChrisDnld@aol.com (ChrisDnld)
<<There is a snitch on this list. Someone copies my posts and takes them to my rabbi. >>
I am only going to say that, while this would have been something that I would have encouraged another to do, and seriously considered doing myself, I do not know anything about this matter specifically. Nor was I - to my knowledge- involved in it, nor knew anyone involved in it. But neither am I suprised by it. Nor should Luke be.
It is unreasonable in the extreme to join a religious group, attend their functions, eat at their Shabbat tables with their children, sleep with their daughters, and then start 2 web sites, one dealing strictly with Lashon Hara (bad gossip, a strict no-no in Judaism. Even the less observant branches hold ethical Laws 100% binding). The other dealing with pornography, filled with 4 letter words and graphic sexual language, with numerous links to hard core porno sites, leaving graphic sexual images a mere mouse-click away from any adventurous Rabbi's son. And then expect to remain in good standing? Oy.
That is a most aggregious display of hubris.
To attack some "snitch" -rather than your own damn SELF- is just unbelievable- especially under the circumstances. I honestly expected more, even from you. A tiny drop of integrity and culpability would have served you.
A wee pinch of mea culpa. Nope.
I happened to be intrigued by your post, and tonight browsed your lovely website tonight. And I found that you have put a NEW link up. A new link connecting your gossip-site to Aish Ha Torah's (an Orthodox Temple). You put THEIR link...on YOUR page. A page dedicated to unwanted Lashon Hara.
It is likely that I WILL be the "snitch" here. Not that you care. Self destruction is your Modus Operandi. Taking others down with you is apparently just the fun part.
And to those here who were synical, telling me -time and again- that I was over doing it, you've now seen many more of my fears comes to fruition.
I thank you for all your support.
Yes, those who are less conserned with ethics, those who are are too busy arguing about driving on Shabbat to lend any aid, stigmatizing those who abuse their talents at the expense of others here, are sick and tired of it. I'm sure.
I have nothing against anyone here personally. Dennis has been repeatedly subjected to abuse of his privacy, he's been followed to Temple and reported on, had content of private conversations published, had his name used to further financial interests without consent OR due compensation, and has an unwanted web page of endless Lashon Harah about him, run by an unstable person. Any Prager fan, doing a simple Web-search, will come across this site.
It contains numerous unsubstantiated rumors and untruths. Not to mention links to porno sites.
That this is unworthy of your time is unfortunate, and example #893 of why so many secular Jews (like Steve D.) are dissallusioned by religious people- who seem more conserned with lightbulbs in their refrigerator on Shabbat than about a fellow Jew being stolen from, and abused publically with slander and gossip.
Sorry to waste your valuable time.
Luke: This is such a lousy way for Prager to handle this matter.
My site on him is a labor of love to generally further the values he believes in. I have sent him far more money than I have made off the site.
My site www.dennisprager.net is simply the name for the contents of the site. It is about Dennis Prager. I have not used it to blackmail him into buying it off me. I told him what I was going to do days and weeks before I did it. He had every opportunity to talk to me about it. Instead he hides behind his lawyers and others. Disappointing.
I only included those Prager essays on my site which were widely and freely available on the net for free. I told him of my wish to do this months ago. Now, I guess he has spoken. So, I will bring my site into conformance with fair use provisions.
Most of the threats above are blather, just like most of the first letter I received from his sharks. Calling my site dennisprager.net does not violate California Civil Code Section 3344. My excerpts from his speeches, radio shows and writings falls under the general rubric of covering the news.
I received this 5/6/98: "Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading your summaries very much. I'm in Japan and stumbled onto your site by accident a few days ago. Never heard of P before but because of your page I orderd up his book. Seems like your doing him a great service. Can't really understand why you two don't get along. Thanks again for the page. Mike in Japan."
Now this is great writing. Note the progression of intensity: From "I do not know why" to "fed up" to "tired", followed by "disgusted," "nauseated,"...etc
Sharon is a premier prose stylist.
Second. I suspect that a large number of readers are moaing, "What the hell is she talking about?" If these readers truly want to understand Sharon, or anyone else for that matter, they need to assume that what she writes is true, and then think of circumstances and perceptions wherein it would be true.
This of course applies to all communication with people. You cannot meet people in a deep way unless you assume that what they say is true, and then think of ways it could be true.
This also cuts the other way.
We are responsible for our feelings. If we do not like feeling disgusted, we need to change our thinking to change our feelings. This requires hard work.
One way to go about this change is: Instead of hating what people are saying, try empathizing with the writers. Assume what they say is true and look for ways to understand in what circumstances what they say is true, could be true.
If this is a cry from the heart, that you are in pain and annoyed and righteously indignant, then we hear you. I remember other list members making similar pronouncements.
If you wish to have credibility, however, and to be taken seriously, you now need to unsubscribe, along with the others in your camp who made similar public pronouncements.
Then, at a later date, when you wish to, or even under a different name or email address, you may want to rejoin.
I wish you and yours on this list, including Prager and his assistants and friends, nothing but the best. I share many if not most of your values. I empathize and respect where you are coming from. Truly. Deeply. From the bottom of my heart. I am sorry that you are in pain.
And on some of the issues you so eloquently elucidate above, I and a few other folks on this list, have different understandings.
> I find it surprising for a DP list how little DP speeches, writings or even > his > radio show is actually discussed here. The greatest DP input seems to come> from Luke which seems quite suspect at times due to the editorializing and > intermixing of DP and Luke into most of it.
Part of me would simply like to transcribe DP's radio shows but guess what? Thanks to the lawsuit threats from DP's attorneys at Strook, Strook etc, a company that specializes in protecting intellectual rights, I consulted a lawyer about my site. And guess what? If I simply transcribe DP's radio shows, I could be sued for copyright violation, which is what they are going after me for. So, to protect my ass from this crack team of lawyers, among the best that money can buy in this area, I have to thrown in editorializing.
It seems that my comments about the forthcoming World Pornography Conference were found to be "offensive" by the organizers. I committed a form of blasphemy! And have been thus thrown out of another "synagogue" (the Hebrew word for synagogue Beth Knesset means literally "meeting place.')
Virtually everyone is orthodox and fundamentalist in their own way, as the following email shows.
What's funny is that so many people represented by the following thinking regard themselves as supremely rational and skeptical. Yeah, except of their own preconceptions and faiths (such as in the basic goodness of human nature).
I feel free to post the following email as it was already widely circulated by the writer, Dr. James Elias of Cal State Northridge. He found my initial rame post on the conference "offensive."
New York Times journalist Nick Ravo writes on RAME:
By Luke Ford Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Seven B Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve 1994-1997 1997 1998 1998B 1999 2000 2001 2009