My Friend ‘Nino’ — The Witty and Warm Antonin Scalia
Recalling my 2001 lunch discussing law, Kinsey fraud with justice Scalia.
The loss of Justice Antonin Scalia to those who counted him as a dear friend can never be compared, of course, to the painful loss of that witty, warm and gracious man to his large and loving family. I have read the many touching memoirs written by his colleagues and determined it was time to “go public” with my own, shall I say, “covert” friendship for nearly three decades with an incomparable man on whom I had come to depend for intellectual support and confirmation of my “controversial” ideas and findings.
Justice Scalia generously gave of his time and his friendship when I faced concerted assault by the entire Washington, D.C., liberal establishment, (and, as a consequence, a goodly part of the conservative establishment as well). In 1985 my two-year research grant of $800,000 from President Reagan’s Department of Justice, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention was over. American University (AU) had (figuratively) thrown me out of their AU second-floor office suite, the Xerox machine after me.
“Coincidentally,” in 1986, one vocal opponent of my research, department of Psychology Chairman Dr. Elliot McGinnies, was arrested for abusing a 9-year-old in a Maryland nudist colony. Then in 1990 AU President Dr. Richard Berendzen was caught seeking sex with children of day-care mothers. He claimed he had a “4-year-old Filipino girl as a ‘sex slave’ in a basement dog cage.” Last I heard, these academic pedophiles, McGinnies and Berendzen (after a three-week Johns Hopkins cure), were still on AU’s faculty.
Birds of a feather flock together, and sex predators hire those who will keep their secrets (see brief Google search). My child-pornography research endangered Berendzen, McGinnies and how many others – hence I was an AU millstone. For similar reasons I faced an unprecedented three congressional hearings to terminate my research (April 1984, August 1984 and May 1985).
In 1992 investigative reporter Susan B. Trento published her expose of the politically powerful Gray and Company ad agency, “THE POWER HOUSE: Robert Keith Gray and the Selling of Access and Influence in Washington.” Wrote Trento: “Reisman … made a most appealing target for ‘discrediting.’ Gray and Company charged The Media Coalition between $50,000 and $75,000 per month for the campaign. … [M]uch of the cost was borne by Playboy; Penthouse also provided funding.”
So, no, my massive grant didn’t open any university doors when I knocked; administrators had all “gone fishing.” Playboy did a series on “Reisman” for almost two decades, often graced by cartoons. This is from April 1989 (one of the few that can be shown in a family newspaper). It is heartening that I won a Playboy libel lawsuit in the Netherlands in 1994 when I said Playboy deliberately published child pornography cartoons and photos since 1954.
Little did I know then (I’ll explain shortly), but Justice Scalia knew of the national press libel of me and my research (and Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler) years before we met. Our friendship effectively began Jan. 17, 1989, when the U.S. Supreme Court heard a child pornography case, Massachusetts v. Oakes, argued by Attorney General James Shannon who quoted my research:
The nude or sexually explicit photographs that result from the sexual exploitation of children are also harmful in that they condone and promote a distorted view of sexuality, often by pairing the themes of sexuality and violence. For example, it has been documented that the three most widely-read, mainstream “soft-core” erotica/pornography magazines, Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler, depict children in both sexual and nonsexual ways, depict sexual and nonsexual crime and violence, and commonly pair these themes with images of adult female nudity and overt sexual activity. U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Exec. summ., Pro. No. 84-JN-AX-K007 (1987) (hereinafter “Executive Summary”). n17. The principal researcher also found that children were depicted as viable targets of sexual and nonsexual abuse and as desiring adult sexual interactions. The report concluded:
[I]t appears of compelling public concern that the present research documents a contextual association of three discrete stimuli: (1) adult female nudity and graphic female sexual display, (2) neutral, sexual and violent child depictions, and (3) depictions of crime and violence. The magazine genre evidences a unified culture and world view which incorporates all three stimuli: pairing arousal to an adult sexual object with child sexualization and crime and violence. Thus it is not unlikely that some vulnerable juvenile and adult receivers may fuse child depictions with arousal to sex (genital stimulus) and/or arousal to violence (aggressive stimulus).
Executive Summary at 9-10. The findings were disturbing enough that the author of the report recommended a voluntary moratorium of child depictions by mainstream erotica/pornography publications until more data on the harm to children could be obtained and evaluated.
I thanked Attorney General Shannon after the hearing for using my study. He nodded and shook his head.
“No thanks needed. We were glad to have it.”
OK, so my research was needed in media child sex abuse cases – at the Supreme Court level! Yet so-called “conservative” lawyers accepted the liberal slander and dubbed this same research “contested.” I had to fight to get into cases, and in the few cases when my studies were allowed, we won on the facts. Meanwhile, all academic doors were closed to me. In 1983, I had been tasked to train at the new FBI behavioral science unit in Quantico, Virginia, on the impact of media on the brain and child sex abuse. Now, no conservative “think tanks” would touch me. So, no income and no grad students to extend my research. Not a good situation. Really, quite discouraging.
Allowed to join the elite attendees
Shortly after the Oakes case was won, I was being interviewed at the Free Congress (FC) studio in Washington, D.C., for their weekly TV show on the law. We were taping a special on the wide scale libel of my mainstream child pornography study quoted above by AG Shannon. FC was taping the story of that research censorship as well as my expose of fraud and child-sex atrocities in Dr. Alfred Kinsey’s paradigm-shifting “sex” books, “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” (1948) and “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female” (1953). The interview also documented how Kinsey’s research gutted America’s protective sex laws for women and children using the American Law Institute’s new, 1955 Model Penal Code.
A conservative Justice Department lawyer had just refused to appear alongside me on the program charging, “Reisman’s research is contested, methodologically faulty.” Asked by the producer for evidence, he regurgitated the costly media slander. Without any evidence for his charges, I was permitted to fully present the truth. When I was leaving the studio, the producer mentioned that Justice Scalia was shortly to speak downstairs to a select, rather wealthy group of FC supporters.
“Gracious. Can I possibly join?” I asked.
“Well, yes, why not,” he shrugged.
It was a small group, about 25. Justice Scalia was funny, very charming. He ended with asking for questions. Respectfully, none of the invited supporters stirred. Ah well, I thought, here goes.
So, I raised my hand.
“Yes,” said the justice.
“Justice Scalia, sir,” I said, “since if the high arousal state to pornographic pictures hijacks the frontal cortex, thus cognition, thinking, judgment, planning; and since this would thereby subvert the mission of speech, if proven, would this justify ending the First Amendment ‘speech’ protections for pornography?”
My question came out in a flood!
The justice peered curiously at me, I thought. Then he nodded.
“Well, yes, of course. The laws would have to be re-evaluated considering such data. But, yes, of course, were that the case.”
“Well, I, if you don’t mind, I do have another question, sir.”
“Go on. Let’s hear it.”
“Well, if it were proven that the entire sexual revolution was based on deliberate fraud, libel of the sexual morals of the World War II generation and a cover-up of massive ‘scientific’ sex atrocities against children, could sex laws that were gutted, reduced, changed, based on that fraud, based on those crimes, be revisited, reversed, as well?”
The room was still.
“Yes,” answered the good, the wise, the just justice. “All laws are capable of revision, change, based on contrary evidence presented.”
“Thank you, sir,” I breathed. (I didn’t know it then but my life’s work was laid out before me.)
As the justice was leaving, I walked up to him and reached out to shake his hand.
“Thank you for answering my questions, Mr. Justice. My name is Judith Reisman.”
“Oh, I know you,” he fairly twinkled. “And, I know your work, Dr. Reisman. I’d like very much to see anything you have written on the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code.”
Shocked, I replied, “Great, I’ll send you my book and my draft of a law chapter.”
He nodded, smiled and turned to enter his waiting car.
So, in 1989, Justice Scalia and the Supremes had accepted my “contested” DoJ report in one of their first child pornography cases. A liberal attorney general had read to the Court from “The Reisman Report” and quoted from that study to Justice Thurgood Marshall during oral arguments. No kidding. Taking pictures of naked children could harm them! Under the circumstances, that was very gratifying to know.
Lunch in Scalia’s chambers
I sent Justice Scalia my book “Kinsey, Sex & Fraud” (1990) but hadn’t heard back, so I wrote and asked for a meeting about my media-effects-on-the-brain paper I had faxed to him. Dec. 27, 2001, when I arrived in Washington from California to visit my family, I was told a fax arrived from Scalia (still the days of faxes). He was delighted to get my brain paper and would I join him for lunch Friday the 28th – if it’s convenient. Convenient! More than that! I’ll bring my book, “‘Soft’ Porn Plays Hardball” (1991).
Friday I taxi to the court and go to the Marshall’s office. Maryellen, the justice’s secretary, comes to greet me and takes me to the justices’ chambers. She apologizes; the justice is in casual clothes. My goodness, that is just fine, I answer.
Justice Scalia greets me soooo warmly. He shakes my hand and says, “I’m so glad to see you. I’ve been looking forward to seeing you.”
“Will you have white wine?” he asks.
“Yes, thank you” (a waiter, as I remember, “Robert” serves the wine).
The table is already set up in his chambers, white table cloth, Supreme Court tableware. We chat. He asks where I am now. I say California – my kids made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
“So far, all my resumes and books have not yielded an offer of a position in my profession.”
He shakes his head meaningfully and chuckles; “You were a songwriter for CBS TV’s ‘Captain Kangaroo’? That was a pretty drastic change in professions! I read that in one of the papers that trashed you. ‘Former “Captain Kangaroo” songwriter gets grant to study pornography’ or something,” he grins.
“Yes, but the culture didn’t leave me too much choice,” I smile.
“My son and his wife were in the in the bay area but gave up and moved back. It was too expensive, and they couldn’t even find a church with a priest who was a priest. It’s all over,” he says. “We’re just treading water.”
“True,” I nod. “But, I think its Mother Teresa who said, ‘We’re not called upon to be successful, we are called upon to be faithful.’” He looks at me and quietly replies:
“That is a good quote.”
“Yes, I agree.”
“Robert” serves lunch. The justice hopes I like Chinese food. “Definitely!” (I can’t eat, but I nibble.)
Age of consent
Justice Scalia notes England’s Lords may lower the age of consent for sex.
“We already did that here in Washington, D.C.,” I say. He looks surprised, lifts his eyebrows.
“Age of consent was lowered to 16,” I continue. “So at recess a child can cross the street, engage in sodomy (always faster) for a few dollars, go next door to buy their favorite CDs and not miss class. Still get that education! A tad cynical I know, but it seems to apply,” I sigh, nibbling at my sweet and sour chicken (delicious as I recall).
Scalia is shocked, and this naturally leads to homosexual youth in the Boy Scouts.
“With all the history, it’ll be no time until they get homosexual leaders. It’s insane, but logic has no value,” says the justice.
“That’s why I’ve been studying brain functions; for evidence that ‘morality’ is a measure of health,” I say. “Kinsey was a Boy Scout. His ‘science’ convinced the Boy Scouts to cut masturbation out of the Boy Scout Code as a no-no. That was an opportunity for predators for sure,” I add. Kinsey would know that.
“What about Kinsey? He’s discredited, surely,” asks the justice.
“No, not at all. The Kinsey Institute has planned a new book on child sexuality.”
“That’s just who we need to do that. Smart,” he moans.
I say, “I’ve been shopping law journals and finally got my paper on ‘Crafting Bi/Homosexual Youth’ accepted in Regent’s law journal, after it was accepted and then rejected from a ‘for and against’ in the Stanford Law Journal. Remember Herbert Wechsler’s 1952 Harvard Law Review saying we need a new Model Penal Code because there is just too much crime?” I ask.
“Of course,” he says, “a very famous article. Too much crime in 1952! Now we have more crime and newer, unheard of crimes as well. Someone ought to write a follow up to Wechsler’s essay.”
“Yes, and his Code called for age 10 for consent. Remember, Manfred Guttmacher was the chief author of the Code. Age 10! This would improve the lot for women and children! As head of GAP, the Group for the Advance of Psychiatry,” Wechsler’s buddy, Manfred Guttmacher wanted consent at age 7.
“That’s obscene,” he says. “Manfred. Is he Allen Guttmacher’s brother? Is all this in your law paper?”
“He’s Allen’s twin,” I reply. And yes, all in the law paper. Happy to share!”
Good I kept a record of our tête-à-tête. I’ve tried to stay inside the bounds of our actual conversation. We talked about pornography, and I say about 70 percent of our kids are being exposed, and about private schools and religious schools having sex education that was really traumatic for children. What about the teachers? he asks; and I say this is everywhere with teachers’ permission. I tell him about the libraries having pornography on the computer screens and how that impacts the child who views it; he is nodding, agreeing, commenting. I tell him about my experiment with the peripheral vision of children flipping speedily through ladies magazines, recalling the small dog picture 30 pages past. They capture everything that arouses their interest. I say he could try that with his own grandkids, except that the ladies magazines aren’t necessarily safe anymore. He asks, what about women, seems like there are more women into pornography. I say yes; and that is a huge risk since women are the ones closest to the children; they change the diapers, and arousal is nondiscriminatory – women are becoming part of the problem.
Sitting across from him at lunch, talking and talking, I ask, “But, what shall I call you? Justice Scalia?”
“Why not call me Nino,” he answers, kind of turning in his chair.
“Well, that’s fine,” I said. “I’m Judith.”
From then on it was Nino and Judith, except that he switched to “Judy,” both of us being old enough to go back in time. In semi-formal letters and emails I would usually address him as “Justice Scalia, Sir!”
After this kind reception, I would meet with Nino in his chambers whenever I got to Washington, on average, once or twice a year – assuming he was also in town.
I recall going over my paper on pictorial pornography, answering his questions, clarifying the charts and graphs, etc. There was the time he came into the office in shorts, having left the tennis court to make his appointment with me – ever generous, ever gracious.
We exchanged books, a few of mine for a few of his. He promised to read my books. I always doubted that he read them fully, but enough so that he could opine.
When we lost him, I had been working on a paper we had talked about and that Justice Scalia was waiting to see. The paper has a history that deserves commentary for another time. It was accepted by the Thurgood Marshall School of Law Journal on Gender, Race, and Justice, titled “Nearly 60 Years After His Death, Alfred Kinsey’s Pansexual Worldview Takes Root In Marriage Decisions” (by Judith A. Reisman and Mary E. McAlister, Esq.).
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in World Net Daily. Judith Reisman on April 5th, spoke at the Set Free Global Summit in Greensboro, North Carolina, with an address entitled “Porn: A Social Contagion That Fuses Fear, Shame, and Lust.” Dr. Judith Reisman is the foremost expert on how sexuality has been twisted in our day: See her books at the WND Superstore.
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