In Defense of Newgon
I am uncertain if Newgon ever gave an official response to this…but, since I was part of the original Newgon crew and stayed with this group until the closure of it’s discussion forum, I feel entitled to make a personal response to an episode of radio talk show “Malcolm Out Loud”.
Nothing I say here can be taken as spoken on behalf of the Newgon collective, as I hold no official position [and only a loose association] with Newgon today.
Since some of the things stated and/or implied on the “Malcolm Out Loud” show are disparaging towards Newgon and it’s participants, this clearly reflects disparagingly against myself. Because of this, I have a few things to say about it…
Below [was intended to be] linked an episode of “Malcolm Out Loud”, a radio talk show where the host decided to drag Newgon into a [then, ongoing] mess surrounding a young girl [Somer Thompson, of Orange Park, Florida] who was kidnapped and murdered, possibly raped and brutalized. I [would have] strongly [suggested] you listen to it from the beginning, until they finally move on to other topics…This way, you [would have gotten] a better understanding of just how their talk about Newgon was framed, and presented to the audience…It is extremely manipulative to say the least, and gives no fair representation to Newgon or the extraordinary people behind Newgon.
[Link to M-O-L Episode Should Have Gone Here]
Note: The old domain [whymalcolm.com] is gone, and I’ve had one hell of a hard time trying to track down this show. It may not be online, anymore.
And some reference links, regarding Somer Thompson:
Note: This case is a senseless tragedy…What happened to this girl, I condemn in the strongest degree possible…The actions of who did this [allegedly, Jarred Harrell], are the antithesis of what it even means to be a Child Lover [or a Teen Lover]…So, I have very strong reactions of genuine disgust, sadness and anger, whenever I learn of these kinds of cases. My deepest sympathies and empathy go out to Somer Thompson, to her family and to all who knew and loved her. Nobody should ever suffer such a fate
When it comes time to talk about Newgon…
1) Malcolm himself starts off by admitting, that he has never visited or read the Newgon website and forums.
…So, we have an all too typical case of someone who does not even have a working understanding of Newgon, the people there and what we were doing…nor why we were doing it.
Right from the start, we have a critical integrity problem with Malcolm and his crew.
…Malcolm appears to believe he can go on saying whatever he pleases about us, while admiting and displaying that he dose not at all understand us…and he thinks this is “okay”, for meeting standards of journalistic integrity?
2) Malcolm takes issue with one of the stated goals of Newgon, that being to highlight the positive aspects of intergenerational love relationships…and he acts outraged, dismissing even the possiblity that anything good could exist within such relationships, or come out of them.
If Malcolm and crew refuse to acknowledge cases of good experience occuring, and that this is not uncommon in the realm of human sexuality…what is one to say, to a closed and blind mind?…
…That because they lack the vision to see it, then “obviously, it must not exist”?
This is what education and open dialogue are for…to educate minds and vanquish ignorance.
3) Malcolm takes a brief statement and response, likely from the Newgon forums, and then makes a value judgement about Newgon based upon it…He gives no context of the larger discussion, nor anything else on the website as representation of typical dialogue…or diversity of viewpoints, and core values expressed.
This is cherry picking…or quote mining…and presenting it in a manner, which the host knows will shock his audience [who likely are unfamiliar, with straight forward discussion of this style and subject matter].
There is no mention of our discussions concerning child protection, or child rights…nor the fact, that there was at least one member of Newgon, who specialized in exactly that campaign…Nor that Newgon supported genuine child protection, and child rights.
4) Malcolm takes issue with a forum member telling her own true to life story, about her own sexual relationship with an older man when she was a young lady.
This is one and the same, as the quote mining mentioned above…Really, Malcolm offered scantly little off of Newgon, to represent Newgon on his show.
I cannot summarize the actual forum exchange, because the Newgon forum is down…But I can say that this sounds like the personal life story, of a well known female member in Newgon. As a young lady of twelve or so, she had an extended sexual relationship with a grown man…a relationship she wanted, accepted, protected and speaks fondly of in the aftermath.
I respect her very much, for sharing this very private part of her own life…She has a right to the integrity of her own cognition, regarding how she experienced that relationship…and she has a right to share her own experience with, when and where she deems most fit.
Just because Malcolm and crew don’t like it…that speaks absolutely nothing, to the quality and nature of the relationship in question…One of the two people involved [and the younger one, at that] is testifying, that it was good.
Malcolm and crew are playing the part of outsiders, who aggressively want to silence these kinds of voices, from people who had those kinds of experiences.
5) Malcolm further takes issue, with a response acknowledging real life quality differences, between violent sex [or rape] and gentle sexual encounters…as well as that response acknowleding, the potential for young people to enjoy gentle sexual encounters.
Malcolm is denying, what is basic common sense about human sexuality.
…If you treat someone violently and demeaning, then they will likely be traumatized by it…If you treat them how they wish to be treated, then they will enjoy the experience and likely want to repeat it.
Perhaps…Malcolm believes that children are asexual, and share none of the natural sexual inclinations of adults?
This mindset is born from the fictisious, non-existent “natural line” in sexual superstition…which dictates people below some arbitrary age, are naturally divorced from sexual interests and a sex drive.
No competent human sex expert, is ever going to suggest that such a “natural line” even exists…because it flat out does not. It is fair to say, that there are differing degrees of sexual interest, and typical phases…It is not fair to say, sexual interest and drive simply don’t exist at certain phases. In addition, everybody is unique…Not everybody follows the same pattern.
Simply put…if you are human and in good health, then you are connected with your human sexuality by virtue of normal nature. There is no point at which a “switch is flipped”, and you become a sexual being…It is all a collection of sexual phases…Some people have very strong sexual phases, even durring their pre-puberty years…Adolesent years are quite well known, for their extreme sexual drive intensity.
How it is people “justify” ignoring these facts of life, is beyond me…except to say, it is political and often based out of hateful intolerance.
6) One other person in the studio calls Newgon “sick”…Another one suggests that Newgons “child testimonials” section might legally qualify as “child pornography”, and that they might be able to get Newgon taken down on such grounds…He even implies that he is doing [or is going to do] some research on this, and see if such is possible.
Newgon has a section with a collection of testimonies, made by people who had sexual relationships and encounters as children and/or teens…One of my own essays is even featured there.
It is people sharing their real life stories, about their own sexual childhood and youth…These stories are either positive, or neutral…and they emphasize, that such things are entirely possible.
I don’t recall if I have read all of them…but I do not recall any of them being pornographic, by any sane definition…They are just forward accounts, of what we experienced…They were not written or presented in any way, to serve as masturbation material…or to cause sexual arousal.
…And if all of this is “sick”…then being human must be “sick”…because what Newgon represented for so many of us, was the simple opportunity to express our own human lives…our human experiences…our human existence.
…What we are naturally, is merely one flavor of what it means to be human.
7) The in studio consensus, is that Newgon should not be allowed to exist.
…Very typical…Newgon is never given any chance, to be seen for what it is…nor what it was. The predictable judgement is handed down.
It’s yellow journalism…and this is common fair, for how we are treated in the media…It’s also why so many of us loathe people who work in the media.
8) No attempt was made to contact Newgon for a statement, or have someone connected with Newgon on the show…It was entirely the rantings and preconcieved notions, of the show’s own cast members.
It would be appropriate, to repeat my last response above.
Malcolm did not even try to investigate this…He just meanders through it, after discussing some fictional group named “Our Special Love”, made up by writers for one of the Law & Order television shows.
…A lot of us have been left, woefully underwhelmed by Malcolm and crews’ degree of professionality. What they did, is not uncommonly refered too as “a hatchet job”…The presentation was designed, to bluntly inflict damage and refuse all objective, balanced acknowledgements to the target.
This episode of “Malcolm Out Loud” is a fine example of the root social problems, which have made resources and groups like Newgon so important.
In the absence of our presence in public discourse…people merely say whatever it is they please about us, and pretend as though our silence is “admission to guilt”.
To my mind…Newgon started and continues to exist, because a number of individuals decided they’d had enough…and they were taking control of their own identities. In addition, we could not set by silently and watch the mess of hysteria unfold, without objecting to it and pointing out, how it hurts society and untold numbers of individuals…men, women and children.
Newgon was staffed by people who not only understand these issues deeply [we live them], but by people who honestly wanted to fight for a better, safer world for everybody to live in…This is why, we were so passionate and brought a lot to the table.
Trying to link Newgon in any way, with child abduction, child rape, child murder, child abuse or any form of violence against children [or anybody at all], is just despicable…and indefensible.