An e-book which billed itself as a guide for paedophiles has been withdrawn from sale by prominent online retailer Amazon.com after horrified customers called for a boycott of the site.
The book, entitled The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct, had been available for the retailer’s electronic reading device since October.
The e-book claims that paedophiles are misunderstood, and offers advice about how to avoid falling foul of the law.
Though Amazon.com has now withdrawn the contentious publication, other highly controversial books can still be bought through the online retailer.
These include Dares to Speak: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Boy-Love – a book which deliberately sets out to justify paedophilia.
In 1997 Peter Tatchell, a prominent homosexual activist, wrote a letter to the Guardian newspaper in which he described Dares to Speak as “courageous” for challenging the assumption that all sex involving children is wrong.
In the letter Mr Tatchell also commented that several of his friends had had sex with adults when they were aged between nine and 13. “None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy”, he wrote.
Phillip R Greaves II, the author of The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure, outlined the premise of his book on the retailer’s website.
He said: “This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian [sic] rules for these adults to follow”.
He continued: “I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter [sic] sentences should they ever be caught.”
Amazon initially appeared to be reluctant to withdraw the book, saying in a statement: “Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable.”
“Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.”
Amazon allows authors to submit their own works and then shares the revenue with them.
And in its guidelines to authors the online retailer says that offensive material is banned, though it fails to disclose what is considered to be offensive.
Amazon is currently accepting pre-orders for the hardback version of a book entitled ‘I Am the Market: How To Smuggle Cocaine by the Ton, in Five Easy Lessons’.
In September a national newspaper columnist slammed Peter Tatchell’s claims that some child-adult sexual relationships are “positive”.
Peter Hitchens, writing in The Mail on Sunday, blasted Mr Tatchell over the sentiments he expressed in his 1997 letter.
Mr Hitchens said the letter raised the issue of “where the sexual revolution may really be headed”.
He continued: “What he said in 1997 remains deeply shocking to almost all of us. But shock fades into numb acceptance, as it has over and over again.
“Much of what is normal now would have been deeply shocking to British people 50 years ago. We got used to it. How will we know where to stop? Or will we just carry on for ever?”
Mr Tatchell now claims he was “not in any way condoning paedophilia”, and says he is “against sex between adults and children”.