Jonathon van Maren

From the front lines of the culture wars

The abortion of JFK’s children was evil – but it’s also a tragic loss

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Did you know that John F. Kennedy had more than four children? That writers Christopher and Peter Hitchens had two other siblings? That Marilyn Monroe actually had a large number of children?

I’m not particularly fond of the argument that I’ve heard many pro-lifers use: “Abortion is wrong because of all the amazing people we’ve aborted. One of them could have had the cure to cancer!” Abortion is fundamentally wrong because it ends the life of a developing human being, whether that human being would turn out to be a drug addict or the president of the United States. However, it is an interesting thought experiment—not least of all because so many people considered heroes by the Left have aborted their children or had their children aborted.

For example, I think of liberal icon President John F. Kennedy. The Kennedy Family is probably the closest thing America had to a royal family, although revelations over the last several decades have rather firmly repudiated the idea of an impossibly happy Camelot, as historians reveal anecdote after sordid anecdote of relentless philandering. Anecdotes of President Kennedy’s devastation at the 1963 death of his two-day old son, Patrick, are well-documented. The Kennedys also lost a daughter in 1956—Arabella, as her parents intended to name her, was stillborn.

Revolutions famously do not discriminate in their grim reaping of human life. The Sexual Revolution is no different.

But stories abound of JFK’s affairs ending in abortions. Mimi Alford, a White House intern that JFK had a relationship with for over a year, reported that when she told the president she believed she was pregnant, he “took the news in his stride.” Shortly afterward, she was contacted by a White House staffer named Dave Powers, often assigned to protect the president’s reputation.

“An hour later,” Alford recalls, “Dave called the dorm and told me to call a woman who could put me in touch with a doctor in New Jersey. The intermediary was a necessary precaution, because abortion was illegal. That was pure Dave Powers: he handled the problem immediately, and with brute practicality. There was no talk about what I wanted, or how I felt, or what the medical risks might be.”

Another of JFK’s famous mistresses, Judith Campbell Exner, reported having an abortion in 1963 after becoming pregnant by the president. Not all Kennedys, it seems, end up in Washington, D.C. Some of them end up in trash cans behind seedy clinics, victims of their parents’ sexual ideology.

Another icon of the Left that comes to mind when I think of the human cost of abortion is the late author and columnist Christopher Hitchens. Fans of the Hitch are fierce in their devotion, with his brother Peter, a well-known conservative author, noting that his brother’s fans often burn with fanatical hatred against him, furious that a conservative Christian (who wrote his brilliant book The Rage Against God partially in response to his brother’s philosophically feeble atheist tome God Is Not Great) could bear the same last name as their hero. Both brothers are extraordinary writers and journalists, having collectively written dozens of books and published essays and columns in the most prestigious publications.

What many people don’t realize is that there were originally four Hitchens siblings, not two. As Christopher relates in his Vanity Fair essay “Fetal Distraction”:

I was in my early teens when my mother told me that a predecessor fetus and a successor fetus had been surgically removed, thus making me an older brother rather than a forgotten whoosh.

Christopher noted further that at least two children of his own had their lives ended by abortion, recalling sombrely that, “at least once I found myself in a clinic while ‘products of conception’ were efficiently vacuumed away. I can distinctly remember thinking, on the last such occasion, that under no persuasion of any kind would I ever allow myself to be present at such a moment again.”

Perhaps this was because Christopher Hitchens allowed himself no illusion, writing that, “Anyone who has ever seen a sonogram or spent even an hour with a textbook on embryology knows that emotions are not the deciding factor. In order to terminate a pregnancy, you have to still a heartbeat, switch off a developing brain, and, whatever the method, break some bones and rupture some organs.”

Although to my knowledge Peter Hitchens has never addressed the fact of his aborted siblings in print, on abortion he has much to say. “Those who wonder what they would have done had they lived at the time of some terrible injustice now know the answer,” he has said. “We do live in such a time. And we do nothing.”

When considering the lives and careers of the Hitchens brothers we know, we cannot help but wonder what the lives of the two that we do not would have been like.

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The list of politicians, writers, and cultural figures who have discarded their own children are myriad. Comedian Chelsea Handler has talked openly about having an abortion. Sharon Osbourne calls having an abortion at seventeen the mistake of her life. According to author Norman Mailer, the tragic Marilyn Monroe had twelve abortions by her late-twenties. Whoopi Goldberg of The View, Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy, Judy Garland of The Wizard of Oz all aborted children. Ava Gardner reportedly aborted two of Frank Sinatra’s children, while the smut-peddling rapper ‘Lil Kim aborted the Notorious B.I.G’s child, which they conceived during an affair. Famed singer Sinead O’Connor had an abortion while on tour in Minneapolis.

It’s especially bizarre, I think, when those on the Left turn out to enthusiastically celebrate any new revelation of a cultural figure having an abortion. The more they admire the person, it seems the happier they are at the “courage” of said person having had an abortion. A bit unintentionally insulting, don’t you think? I admire you so much! I’m so glad you terminated a child that might have had your talent or been a lot like you!

Revolutions, however, famously do not discriminate in their grim reaping of human life. The Sexual Revolution is no different, even though we’ve replaced guillotines with Planned Parenthood clinics. The crowds cheered both, and the similarity between a howling mob and a pro-choice rally is striking to say the least. Perhaps it is Peter Hitchens who has the best explanation: “I think that abortion is much beloved by revolutionaries,” he noted gravely, “because they always like the mob to get their hands in blood and commit some sort of crime of their own.”

Abortion is evil because it violently destroys a human being. But one of the reasons abortion is tragic is that it has robbed us of so many who might have given so much to humanity.

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Porn is 'empowering' and 'freeing' and 'the way the world should be,' swears Miriam Weeks. Except she forgot a few important details.

Porn is super-empowering: just ask the Duke University porn star

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

She looks young, younger than her 18 years. Sitting on a bed in a hotel room wearing baggy pajamas, glasses, and a far-away look, she looks at the camera and says bluntly, “A lot of s**t in my life has been ruined because of sex.”

It is then that you see her eyes. They look somehow old.

Hundreds of thousands of fans know her as Belle Knox, one of the most popular names in porn. The media often refers to her as the “Duke University porn star,” after a classmate revealed that she was paying her tuition by starring in porn shoots. We later discovered that the name her friends and family know her by is Miriam Weeks.

She has been touted far and wide as proof that porn can be empowering and evidence that feminists can sell their bodies as objects and still be, well, “feminist.” Here, porn supporters told us with satisfaction, is a nice girl from a Catholic home who loves to do porn just because she loves sex. Porn is, as Weeks told the cameras, “empowering” and “freeing” and “the way the world should be.”

And then, recently, Weeks did a series of interviews for an upcoming documentary. In them, she paints a much different picture than the freeing, empowering, sex-fueled fantasy world her fans and porn supporters claim she inhabits.

Is it any wonder that many fathers have a harder time connecting with their daughters, when they spend countless hours watching girls their daughters’ age being beaten up, raped, and subjected to every imaginable type of sexual degradation?

“The sex industry has a way of making you very cynical and very bitter,” a tired-looking Weeks tells an off-camera interviewer, “In a way I’ve started to become kind of a bit bitter and a bit cynical.”

Why? “It teaches you to be street smart and not to trust people…I’m so used to being on the lookout for scammers, people who are going to try pimp me out or traffic me. I think my experiences have aged me. I don’t have the mind of an eighteen-year-old. I have the emotional baggage of someone much, much older than me.”

Some of this baggage is what propelled her into the porn industry in the first place.

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In many interviews, Weeks talks obsessively about how porn gives her control over her own sexual destiny: “In porn, everything is on my terms. I can say no whenever I want to. I am in control.” Later on, we discover why this is so important to her: Weeks reveals that she had been raped. “What porn has done for me,” she says firmly, “is it has given me back my agency.”

Even amidst the perverted adulation of porn-addicted fans, however, she still bears the scars of self-loathing. In some cases, literal scars. One day looking in the mirror, she became so overcome with self-hatred that she smashed the mirror and cut herself, slicing the jagged letters “FAT” into the flesh of her thigh. Thus, the reactions of many who found out that she had done porn shoots – who called her “ugly” and “a dumb whore” and said that she “should die” - proved devastating to Miriam. It is this ugly misogyny, rooted in a hatred of women that increasingly fuels many porn viewers, and gives delusional publications like Salon the excuse they need to claim that working in porn has not hurt Miriam Weeks, but only opponents of porn who try to “shame” her.

Listening to Miriam tell her story, it boggles my mind that people can still defend the porn industry, or call it “empowering” or “the way the world should be.”

Miriam herself admits that her first scene, shot for a company she refers to as “Facial Abuse,” was “a really, really rough scene. I wasn’t prepared for how rough it was. It was weird having some random photographer watch me have my a** kicked on camera.” She talks about getting literally torn up during porn shoots. She admits that porn shoots in which she was physically beaten up until she sobbed were probably shoots she should have refused. Yet she didn’t.

The control is a myth too, of course. The porn industry has many ways of coercing the human beings they market into doing what they want. For one shoot, Miriam recalls almost tearfully, her agent wouldn’t tell her who she had to “work with.” When she arrived at the set, she realized he was fifty years old. She wanted to leave, but then she’d have to pay a 300 dollar “kill fee,” the director would have been furious, and, she says, she could never have worked for that company again. So she did it.

“I felt like crying during the entire scene and afterwards I was really, really upset,” Miriam says tearfully to the camera, looking like nothing more than the hurting 18-year-old girl she is. “I just thought of my mom, who was always there for me and always protected me…I think about my mom a lot when I do porn scenes. Just how sad she would be that her little daughter was doing this.”

And Mrs. Weeks’ little daughter does these things in part because of the demand. The demand of creepy grey-haired men twice her age or more who line up to get her photo autographed at porn conventions. Is it any wonder that many fathers have a harder time connecting with their daughters, when they spend countless hours watching girls their daughters’ age being beaten up, raped, and subjected to every imaginable type of sexual degradation?

Miriam Weeks, we see in her heart-breaking interviews, is just a hurting 18-year-old girl being used by an industry that takes girls like her, exploits their insecurities, promises them empowerment, and then subjects them to abuse and degradation until they can’t handle it any more. Then the carnivorous recruiters simply go out looking for fresh flesh to feed the baying cannibalistic mob, burning with insatiable lust and shouting their demands for new girls, new girls to degrade and discard.

A new day, a new human sacrifice at the altar of Eros.

The more fortunate girls realize they need to leave the industry. One of Miriam’s friends has told her that when she can no longer distinguish between her porn alter-ego and herself, it’s time to leave. Miriam is not quite sure what this means, she tells the interviewer, but she finds it interesting.

“People see Belle, but they don’t see Miriam,” she says sadly, “I think I’m…Miriam right now?”

And for all the world, she sounds as lost as our morally bankrupt culture.

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A topless activist with Femen attacks Belgian Archbishop Andrè-Joseph Leonard, who is known for his strong pro-life and pro-family stance.

Why are pro-abortion protesters always taking their clothes off?

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

I’ve seen a lot of bizarre responses to pro-life activism. There’s the crude picket signs, the illiterate chants, the flashes of violence, the incoherent threats that so often seem to involve used tampons, and even activists dressed up like giant genitalia.

But there is one phenomenon that never ceases to stagger me with its counterproductive stupidity and moral blindness: The increasing prevalence of “feminist” protestors, almost exclusively women, stripping down to “protest” something—usually protection for the pre-born or some other dissent from the totalitarian death cult of the Sexual Revolution.

When people ask me what the weirdest response to pro-life work is and I try to explain this phenomenon, they find it hard to believe. So do I. But yet it happens, time and time again.

The suicidal tendencies of modern-day feminism would be almost laughable if they were not so depressing.

One student stripped down and sat on a folding chair in front of our pro-life display at the University of British Columbia. A few protestors decided to protest the launch of our 2012 national tour by going topless. Then, at a presentation in London, Ontario, a bunch of pro-abortion protesters showed up at a counter-protest organized by the Canadian Auto Worker’s Union, sans clothing. And of course, at last year’s March for Life a topless Femen protestor flung herself at a remarkably composed Catholic bishop as he spoke to the crowd, shrieking “F*** your morals!”

You’d think such behaviour would attract ire rather than admiration. But this is 2014 and most of our municipal governments use our taxpayer’s cash basically to fund a day dedicated to that type of behaviour when the Pride Parade rolls around.

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Instead, these women are now generally referred to as “brave.” Even the popular, but tiresomely far-left website Upworthy recently pushed a video with a street activist protesting harassment by misogynist pigs by standing on the street in her lingerie. (Little tip: Protesting the fact that some misogynists define you by your body by voluntarily showing them what they wanted to see in the first place isn't defiance, it's acquiescence. Protesting the fact that these guys aren't treating you with dignity by acting like you have none is counter-productive. “That guy crudely suggested he wants to see me naked! Well, I’ll show him! By showing him exactly what he wants to see! Wait…”)

A bit of research into the infamous nude activist group Femen (“Our mission is protest, our weapon is bare breasts”) shows just how exploitative (inadvertent though it may sometimes be) this entire phenomenon is. In recent documentary the group’s leader, Viktor Svyatski, admitted that he had perhaps started the group to “get girls,” and that he carefully selected only the most attractive girls for his group. The documentary also revealed that Svyatski had described the Femen girls as “weak,” and was often verbally abusive with them.

Again, the suicidal tendencies of modern-day feminism would be almost laughable if they were not so depressing.

But the phenomenon of public nudity is also more than just incoherent protest—it is a way of forcing people to accept any and all manifestations of the Sexual Revolution. As I noted some time ago:  The public is now regularly subjected to crude and wildly exhibitionist “Gay Pride Parades” and “Slut Walks.” These are not considered to be optional festivals hosted by tiny minority groups. No, politicians who refuse to attend are labelled as heretics by the high priests of the New Moral Order, which is of course not an order at all, but a proud lack thereof.

Liberal activists don’t want the State to be outside the bedroom anymore, they want the State in the bedroom—loudly applauding the acts they see taking place, refraining from any judgment but one of approval, and paying for pills and bits of rubber to ensure that such acts do not go awry and result in reproduction or infection.

Your prayers are not welcome in public, but your privates are. The Emperor has no clothes, and is quite enjoying it—so long as the chilly breezes of moral truth don’t leak out of drafty cathedrals to cause discomfort.  

There may be hope on the horizon, as indicated by the wild popularity of such books as Wendy ShaIit’s A Return to Modesty, as well as increasing disinterest in topless beaches in places like France. Some “feminists” have responded to such trends with irritation, grumbling that all the hard-won ground they had fought for is being spurned by the ungrateful brats of today. But perhaps, instead, many women are realizing that allowing men to freely objectify them in public is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Perhaps people have begun to rediscover a human value that was once enormously prized, but now almost forgotten: Dignity.

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For too long we have been lied to about the sexual revolution. But now the mask is coming off, and the younger generations are recognizing that they have been sold a pack of lies.

,

This is the true face of the Sexual Revolution. I apologize in advance.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

It’s sobering and frustrating to consider that each and every time social conservatives raised the cultural alarm throughout the last five decades, pointing out that each new manifestation of the Sexual Revolution would lead to devastating consequences, they were written off with derisive laughter. They were accused of “provoking a moral panic,” or being “stuck in the past” or “too prudish.” The “slippery-slope” arguments of aging moralists were simply dogmatic hysterics to be ignored, if not mocked.

Unfortunately, the briefest of cultural overviews reveals that those who sounded the alarm were not crackpots, but prophets.

More than 25 new categories of sexually transmitted diseases (now referred to as “sexually transmitted infections” in order to make them sound less permanent)? Check.

Regular, government-funded nude and sexually explicit frolics in the streets of our biggest cities? Check (and if you don’t go, you’re a bigot).

Soaring rates of pornography addiction that has now ensnared the majority of our population and is creating an insidious new rape culture emanating from the screens of our computers and smartphones? Check.

Millions upon millions of tiny human beings suctioned, shredded, dismembered, and burned to death in the name of “freedom”—the human cost of allowing us to copulate without consequence? Check.

While there are many depressing trends that we need to fight, one trend that it is encouraging is the number of people who have realized that the Sexual Revolution sold them a pack of lies. 

And I could go on. But these sobering facts beg a very good question—how can the pro-life movement expect to impact, much less change, a culture that has gone so far?

The answer to that question, as I’ve seen in hundreds of personal conversations with high school students and university students, is that the truth eventually seeps in.  There’s a reason that the current hyper-cynical, often nihilistic “Family Guy generation” responds so well to the pro-life message when we arrive at their high schools: When we tell them they’ve been lied to, they already know that. They’re just not sure how.

This is a generation that has never known what came before the Sexual Revolution. They weren’t part of the massive cultural shifts that resulted in the mainstreaming of pornography, hook-up culture, and abortion. It was simply bequeathed to them as their dubious inheritance.

And I say “dubious” for a reason—when you talk to a girl who had an abortion at 13 and was told by her mother or school nurse that it was “no big deal,” she knows she was lied to. When you tell a guy who has been hooked on porn since he was 10 and has never had a sexual experience that was not defined by that addiction that he’s been lied to, and that porn has changed him, he knows you’re telling the truth.

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Teenagers dislike being lied to by adults, and when we confront them with reality, they realize very quickly that much of what they believed was nothing less than a failed cultural experiment.

Even mainstream media publications are slowly but surely admitting what social conservatives have said all along. Publications from The Atlantic to The New York Times to The Daily Mail are all admitting that pornography is warping the minds of the youth, creating situations in which girls are being coerced into sex acts they do not want to perform, impacting the ability of boys and girls to emotionally bond, and, bizarrely, rendering many boys and men sexually impotent.

The anti-porn movement has now driven an enormous wedge between those feminists and secularists who are honest about the damage porn has caused, and the Sexual Revolutionaries who are determined to defend every insidious and excessive manifestation of sexual “freedom.” After all, once we admit that certain behaviours are damaging and wrong, what’s stopping us from re-examining the whole bloody experiment?

The same goes for hook-up culture. Hannah Rosin of Slate, while ostensibly supportive of hook-up culture, was forced to admit in her recent book The End of Men that what many sexually-experienced university students wanted at the end of the day was just to go out on a romantic dinner date—an “experiment” that some of them had never tried.

TIME magazine released an article some time ago titled “The Hook-Up Culture Hurts Boys, Too”—tacitly admitting that the reality of hook-up culture hurting girls now just goes without saying.  And while the Sexual Revolutionaries accuse social conservatives of being “anti-sex,” it is their ideology that has profoundly undervalued, debased, and degraded this most intimate of human experiences.

In fact, when a professor named Chap Clark set out to find the story behind the statistics of sex in high schools, he was shocked by what he found: “I was surprised to realize that for most mid-adolescents the issue of sex had lost its mystique and has become almost commonplace. They have been conditioned to expect so much from sex and have been so tainted by overexposure... as one student told me, ‘sex is a game and a toy, nothing more.’”

While there are many depressing trends that we need to fight, one trend that it is encouraging is the number of people who have realized that the Sexual Revolution sold them a pack of lies. The controversial actor and comedian Gavin McInnis, for instance, realized that everything he’d been told about abortion was wrong when he saw his wife give birth. I interviewed him some time ago, and he told me that he’s not the only one:

I think that the liberal world is realizing that, as I did, that it just doesn't add up.  And I think the world is catching on. You can check the internet, but that's because the only place these liberal graduates, these liberalized graduates have to go, is the internet.  So they spill out, and lost logic is seeping in.  I was just at a conference, in Palm Beach this weekend, called Restoration, and there was a lot of old conservatives, and they were really negative, and they've given up.  And I just kept saying to them, ‘Guys, the truth is seeping in.  And the children in the information age, the really young kids, they don't believe all this.’  And I also noticed it with abortion.  Like you have punks for the first time carrying pro-life signs, and you have bands like Flat Foot 56 being ‘Be a man, don't be a quitter, just because the child's within her.’ And I think that it's changing.

In many ways, it is. When we approach the youth of our culture today, we’re not telling them what might happen as the result of the Sexual Revolution, we’re telling them what has happened—and how to avoid those consequences themselves. We now know that the free love utopia promised by hedonistic academics and drugged-up hippies was as illusory as their narcotic-induced hallucinations. All we have to do is show them the half-century report card and ask them questions—ask them if porn and hook-up culture and abortion has made them happy. Our society has confused pleasure with happiness for too long, and now that we’ve gotten a good look at the fall-out, many people are rediscovering age-old truths that our culture abandoned on the ill-fated whim of those who thought to justify their own desires.

And yet, the truth seeps in. I know I’ve quoted this poem before, but Arthur Hugh Clough says it so beautifully:

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

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Early 20th century photo depicts Samoan girls preparing for the 'ava ceremony. Wikimedia Commons

Margaret Mead and the quackery that undergirded the Sexual Revolution

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By Jonathon van Maren

If Alfred Kinsey of the Kinsey Reports was the “Father of the Sexual Revolution,” perhaps no one woman can be more accurately called the “Mother of the Sexual Revolution” than Margaret Mead.

Margaret Mead was a young anthropologist who set out to help anthropology professor Frank Boas of Columbia University prove a very specific thesis: that a person’s upbringing and environment shaped a person’s actions to a greater extent than genetic factors did. Together with another young scholar named Ruth Benedict, Mead set off to research the indigenous peoples of Samoa, spending nine months there—and the result of their time there was her 1928 book Coming of Age in Samoa.

The so-called revelations in this book left many in the academic world both thunder-struck and ecstatic. Margaret Mead described an idyllic island Eden in which people lived in an almost utopian harmony, with very little competition with one another, a distinct absence of class, and, most importantly, no draconian moral codes that restricted people’s sexual behavior. Rather, teenage Samoans had many sexual partners and were encouraged to engage in this free love South Seas hook-up culture. As Margaret Mead wrote admiringly, a young Samoan girl, “thrusts virtuosity away from her. … All of her interest is expended on clandestine sexual adventures.” Christian morality and natural law, it seemed, were nothing but a hoax.

It is mind-boggling to realize when looking at the body of “scholarly work” produced by people such as Margaret Mead and Alfred Kinsey that brought about such cataclysmic changes in traditional sexual mores that most of this work was shoddy research and wishful thinking.

The impact of this book, much like the impact of the Kinsey Reports several decades later, cannot be underestimated. According to one historian (writing in Ted Byfield’s epic history of Christianity The High Tide and the Turn), “This would prove the most highly circulated anthropological book ever written. It became required reading for all first-year anthropology courses, and played a key role in shaping sex education, criminal law, government social policies, and the popular view of acceptable sexual conduct.”

Or as John Horgan put it in the Scientific American, Mead’s book “posed a challenge to Western sexual mores, which according to Mead inflicted needless suffering on young men and women. The metatheme of Coming of Age and all Mead’s subsequent work was that the way things are is not the way they must or should be; we can choose to live in ways that make us happier and healthier. Her writings helped inspire feminism, the sexual revolution, the human potential movement and other countercultural trends during the 1960s.”

It is mind-boggling to realize when looking at the body of “scholarly work” produced by people such as Margaret Mead and Alfred Kinsey that brought about such cataclysmic changes in traditional sexual mores that most of this work was shoddy research and wishful thinking. (Just as Alfred Kinsey was revealed to be a pansexual hedonist, Margaret Mead’s daughter later revealed that her thrice-married mother had many sexual relationships with women, including her fellow anthropologist Ruth Benedict. When she left for Samoa in 1926, Mead informed her husband that, “I’ll not leave you unless I find someone I love more.”) Yet academic communities, eager for any shred of “evidence” that could disprove Christianity and ensure that God was indeed, as Nietzsche declared, dead, seized onto Mead’s work as yet more proof that Judeo-Christian values were outdated at best, and damaging at worst.

Mead’s work, much like Kinsey’s, has been definitively revealed to be a hoax. Mead set off with conclusions she needed to prove, and simply found the information she needed to substantiate those conclusions, never living with one Samoan family or learning the language in her entire nine month stay. Her information on the sexual culture of the Samoans, it turns out, came almost entirely from two young girls. Mead, working on several projects at once, found herself running out of time to interview adolescent girls. So instead, she decided to befriend two of her female Samoan companions, win their trust, and then obtain from them the information on Samoan sexual culture that she needed. She did not realize that by asking the sensitive and explicit questions she was asking, she was breaching Samoan code of etiquette—and the girls responded by playfully feeding Mead precisely the type of information she wanted to hear. Mead was triumphant, feeling sure that her friendship with these girls had led her to discover the real truth about sexual customs in Samoa. The girls thought the joke they had played on the nosy Western anthropologist was quite funny. Little did they realize that their playful joke would end up informing entire fields of academic study in North America, with decidedly unfunny consequences.

When Dr. Derek Freeman decided, years later, to follow up on Mead’s research and travel to Samoa himself, he found that virtually all of her conclusions had been wrong. Samoans held to a very strict, if not puritanical, code of sexual ethics. There was no South Seas hook-up culture. He even tracked down the two girls Mead had based her analysis of Samoan sexual practices on. As Byfield puts it: “He found these individuals, by now elderly women, and reminded them of Mead’s visit. They began to giggle in embarrassment, he reported, recounting how they had told that white lady such awful lies and stories, not expecting her to believe them. They were sorry now to have so misled her, they said.”

Many in academia, seeing the foundation of so much of their worldview threatened, have savaged and personally maligned and slandered Freeman and other Mead critics. But most of them are now forced to admit that her work on the Samoans was fatally flawed. Unfortunately, our culture has already heeded the wishful thinking of Margaret Mead to such a great extent that much of the damage she has caused cannot be undone. The Sexual Revolutionaries have claimed that with the overthrow of traditional morality, we have freed ourselves to love one another better. I find it sadly ironic that they have backed these claims with the shoddy, self-serving research of people like Alfred Kinsey and Margaret Mead, who did not believe in such quaint and outmoded traditions as fidelity. As time has proven, we have made a tragic mistake by heeding their words.

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Jonathon van Maren

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Jonathon Van Maren is a writer and pro-life speaker who has given presentations across North America on abortion and pro-life strategy.

Jonathon first got involved in the pro-life movement after viewing a graphic abortion video in 2007, which convicted him to get active. He ran Simon Fraser University Students for Life as president from 2009-2010, while speaking in both the United States and Canada on pro-life issues.

Jonathon graduated from Simon Fraser University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. He is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

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