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For Centuries, Blackmail Was a Tool Used to Intimidate Gay Men


There are a lot of exaggerations in the 2018 film The Favourite, but one part that’s true to life is that Sarah Churchill really did threaten to blackmail Queen Anne with letters suggesting the two were more than just friends. It’s a rare example of an 18th-century woman blackmailing another over a supposed same-sex relationship during an era when that was mostly a man’s game.

Long before tabloids threatened to release intimate photos of billionaires, British men began sexually blackmailing each other with accusations of sodomy. The accusation didn’t just threaten social stigma; the punishment for attempted sodomy was years in prison, and the punishment for proven sodomy was death.

Despite the consequences, there were quite a few men sleeping with men in early 18th-century London. Some solicited sex on the street from male soldiers working as prostitutes. It was around this time that soldiers began to blackmail wealthy clients, but also men they simply thought would pay rather than have to face a charge of sodomy, however unfounded. Sometimes, a soldier would accost a random person on the street and say if that he didn’t pay him, the soldier would swear to the magistrate that he was a sodomite, says Randolph Trumbach, a history professor at Baruch College—City University of New York.

“A man in these years therefore stood about as good a chance of being blackmailed for sodomy as of being charged with actually committing the act,” Trumbach writes in “Blackmail for Sodomy in Eighteenth-Century London,” after reviewing court indictments from the years 1752 to 1759.

Sexual blackmail over sodomy wasn’t a trend in Britain’s American colonies, which would soon separate into the United States. The U.S. puritanical culture was more concerned with adultery and interracial sex between men and women, and Americans blackmailed each other over these acts instead. In the 1790s, for example, James Reynolds blackmailed Alexander Hamilton for having an affair with Reynolds’ wife. Hamilton did pay Reynolds, but he later published the details of his affair in order to get Reynolds off his back (this strategy backfired).

Soldiers in 18th century London might blackmail someone only one time, but they could also keep going back to that person, demanding more and more money. Some men continued to pay, but some rebelled by dragging their blackmailer before the magistrate to get him in trouble. These stories ended up in the newspapers, and after a while, magistrates began to treat sexual blackmail as a form of robbery.

READ MORE: The Tragic Love Stories Behind the Supreme Court's Landmark Same-Sex Marriage Rulings

Laws against sodomy dated to the 16th century in Britain, so why did soldiers suddenly start exploiting them for money in the 18th? According to scholar Angus McLaren, it had to do with a shift in gender expectations.

“[A] new, middle-class model of domestic heterosexuality emerged, and Englishmen became increasingly concerned with maintaining a reputation of being attracted only to women,” he writes in Sexual Blackmail: A Modern History. “Historians have attributed this new sensitivity to the decline of an older sexual culture in which same-sex passions had not been as negatively viewed.”

In other words, the British were starting to understand men who had sex with men as a separate class of men, different from those who had sex with women. Though the word “homosexual” would not be coined until the late 19th century, men who slept with men in the early 17th century began to develop their own subculture, and certain parks became designated places where they could meet for sex.

As laws, social mores and technology changed, so too did the sexual behaviors people blackmailed each other for. Still, blackmailing men for having sex with other men didn’t go away in either the United States or the United Kingdom.

It became prevalent again in the 1950s and ‘60s, when a new gay identity and subculture was emerging for men. Sex between men was still illegal and carried a significant social stigma; during the Lavender Scare, the United States government purged some 10,000 employees suspected of being gay. Police in both Britain and the United States blackmailed gay men during this period. According to one London cop, police in the 1950s “looked on homosexuals as a source of extra income.”


A Brief History of LGBT+ India


In September of last year crowds of Indians cried out in celebration as Justice Indu Malhotra of the Indian Supreme Court told a packed courtroom that “history owes an apology to the members of (the LGBT+) community and their families … for the ignominy and ostracism that they have suffered through the centuries. The members of this community were compelled to live a life full of fear of reprisal and persecution.”

And with that, Section 377 of the penal code was struck down and for the first time in centuries the LGBT+ people of India saw a future without persecution.

Section 377 of the penal code has existed on the subcontinent since its drafting by Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1862. Macaulay was the head of the Law Commission and was installing anti-sodomy laws that criminalised any form of sexual activity “against the order of nature,” as the British were doing in all of their claimed colonies.

The British Raj (British Empire in India) justified their existence as a “civilising” force, imposing their Victorian-era morality on Indians.

At the time there were a vast array of cultures and attitudes throughout India, all with differing views on homosexuality.

“Suggesting there was a monolithic and singular attitude to anything was misleading. In contrast, there was a rich diversity in the ways in which sexuality was understood,” writes Ibtisam Ahmed, a Doctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham.

“Even in socially conservative areas, same-sex intimacy was simply a part of life.”

Ancient India is full of stories of LGBT+ people. Awadh (present day Lucknow) had a ruler who would live as different genders and take on different sexual partners. Late 19thcentury Bengali novels detailed lesbian relationships. Sufi Muslim books described romances between two men. Even the Kama Sutra had advice for consensual homosexual intercourse.

The Koovagam Festival traces its origins back to the third century BCE with the ancient myth ofKrishna who took the form of a woman to marry Aravan before the battle of Mahabharata. Their marriage is still celebrated today, with the Koovagam Festival becoming one the largest annual gatherings of trans people in India, or Hijra as they’re called.

Even further back, researchers estimate it was around 3102 BCE that homosexuality became recognised as “ tritiya - prakriti” a separate and third gender.

Puri and Tanjore temples constructed between the 6thand 14thcenturies have graphic images of same-sex intercourse on its walls. Causing mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik to write: “One invariably finds erotic images including those that modern law deems unnatural and society considers obscene.”

Ahmed argues it was this diversity of attitudes that meant there was no united resistance to the anti-sodomy laws the British began imposing: “The lack of a united narrative about homosexuality across India meant that there was no singular dissenting voice against the forced implementation of Section 377 in 1860.”

The laws were not originally intended to explicitly target homosexuals, just any sexual acts that were not for procreation. As time went on, however, they were used more and more as a tool to oppress LGBT+ Indians.

After the partition of India in 1947, the penal code was retained in both the newly formed Pakistan and India. The same when Bangladesh gained its independence in 1971.

During the 157 years of Section 377 the LGBT+ community of India suffered terrible atrocities. There are countless accounts of blackmail, police brutality and gang rape, the raiding of HIV/AIDS centres on the grounds they were promoting illegal acts, abductions and murders of gay men, and lesbian women beaten to death.

In 2003 the Indian government refused to decriminalise homosexuality, claiming it would “open the floodgates of delinquent behaviour.” While in 2013 the Supreme Court turned down a challenge to Section 377, arguing LGBT+ people were only a “minuscule minority” seeking “so-called rights”.

Just a few months before Section 377 was overturned a lesbian couple leaped to their deaths, leaving only a note that reportedly read: “We have left this world to live with each other. The world did not allow us to stay together.”

The overruling of Section 377 marked a day of long-awaited celebrational and sombre remembrance for LGBT+ Indians.

“Out of context, the words used in today’s judgment, like privacy, dignity and equality, can seem anodyne. In fact, they lie at the core of what it means for our communities to survive,” wrote Mayur Suresh, a former Dehli lawer and lecturer at Soas, University of London.

“Today’s judgment makes it possible that people may no longer see fear in the future, but hope.”


Perverse Masonic Initiations Pervade Society

Initiation rituals like hazing are Masonic and satanic in origin and compromise, intimidate and blackmail the victim. They also establish a tacit Masonic pecking order.

by David Richards
(henrymakow.com)


As the Illuminati tighten their grip on humanity, we increasingly resemble them.

We are becoming more inhumane by the generation. A telling example is the dramatic increase in sexual bullying in UK schools over the last 5 years.
Another part of this trend is the increase in volume and severity of hazing.

Hazing is a term used to describe various activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used to initiate a person into a group. Initiation rituals like this are Masonic and satanic in origin and compromise, intimidate and blackmail the victim. They also establish a tacit Masonic pecking order.

The Illuminati use sadistic hazing rituals to ensure that new recruits conform. The rituals are often homosexual, to increase bonding between the initiates and further alienate the recruit from moral mainstream society, against which he will be required to wage war.

The revelations of Kay Griggs provide insight into how hazing operates inside the Illuminati. Kay was married to a US marine colonel who was an Illuminati insider. He was a trained assassin and worked in mind control among other things. He liaised with public names such as Donald Rumsfeld, George H. Bush, Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger.

He called the people he was involved with 'members of The Firm or The Brotherhood.'

"He mentioned how many . are members of the "Cap and Gown" Princeton group or the "Skull and Bones" Yale crowd and how they performed sexually perverted induction ceremonies with anal and oral sex performed inside coffins."

"I learned about how he was sexually molested by homosexual teachers at the elite Hun School, where a lot of the others in this small elite group also attended, including the members the Saudi Royal family. He told me how sex is used to control, intimidate and groom boys into this type of military service from a young age.'

(l. Abu Graib, is the torturer the one being initiated?)

Hazing is a milder form of these initiation rituals. It has spread into mainstream society through Masonic sub-groups hidden in various institutions. They function as Masonic recruiting pools.

One is the 'Order of the Arrow' secret society that exists within the Boy Scouts. John Salza is a former 32 degree Freemason and the author of the book "Freemasonry Unmasked." He has written an essay about the OA entitled "Freemasonry has Infiltrated the Boy Scouts."

Two 32-degree Freemasons founded the OA in 1915. Its rituals are Masonic. Both have three degrees both are organized into lodges, both rituals seek esoteric spiritual knowledge and illumination.

Salza writes: "These rituals--which include a blood covenant are being conferred upon innocent boy scouts. and are harming their souls."

Anecdotal info: we have heard of an organization of chief executives of companies in a Canadian city where each member had to disclose a sexual indiscretion in order to be accepted.

FRATERNITIES/SORORITIES

Greek-letter sorority groups which have defined a great deal of student life, are Masonic in origin.

Phi Beta Kappa, the first Greek-letter University society, was founded by two Freemasons in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Phi Beta Kappa patterned its initiations, oaths and method of proliferation after Freemasonry.

Both require new initiates to take voluntary oaths of fidelity. In the Phi Beta Kappa ritual, the founders named friendship, morality and literature as essential characteristics. These are closely related to the three supposed tenets of Freemasonry: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.

Secret societies such as the 'Order of the Arrow' and Phi Beta Kappa function as a Masonic kindergarten, a place for young people to dress up and practice the rituals and roles they will act out in the future.

Hazing incidents at fraternities are usually kept under wraps. Cases surface in the media when someone dies or when an individual with enough backbone to expose the abuse speaks out.

An example is the recent death of 19 year-old George Desdunes, who was hazed to death by Sigma Alpha Eplison initiates at Cornell University.

One night, he was miles away from the SAE lodgings and called his brothers for a ride home.

Instead, the group of pledges kidnapped him, tied him up and quizzed him about the fraternity. Every time he didn't give them the correct answer, he was forced to drink.

He was found unconscious on a couch at the university frat house the following day and later died of alcohol poisoning.

Hazing is an integral part of sports culture. ESPN has reported that 80 percent of college athletes are hazed, and the vast majority of hazing incidents -- on the high school, college and pro levels -- go unreported.

A sporting hazing scandal is currently causing much uproar in Canada. Details emerged of hazing activities taking place in the Neepawa Natives Manitoba Junior Hockey League team.

Not all the details have been made public, but a Mother of one 15-year-old victim said her son was forced to walk around the team locker room with a set of water bottles tied to his testicles.

Sadistic hazing incidents are also rapidly rising in female sorority groups.

Rhea Almeida, founder of the Institute for Family Studies in New Jersey, said one reason that violence and male-oriented hazing activities are becoming more commonplace among females is because "in opposing femininity, girls feel popular and strong.

"Today, women are experiencing different gender roles and therefore are using more aggression and violence than they did a decade ago."

Alexandra Robbins, author of the book "Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities," said, "I saw a definite trend toward physical methods."

Robbins spent a year undercover following four sorority girls and was shocked by physical hazing the girls suffered.

"One example was a girl named Arika whose pledge class had to answer trivia questions and drink straight vodka when they got a question wrong. They were also presented with a sharpie, a knife, a hammer and a dildo and the sisters said if they got enough wrong they would be violated with one of those four."

She also witnessed emotional hazing, one of the worst examples being "boob ranking".

"The sisters would bring pledges into a cold room and tell them to strip off their shirts and bras and line-up in order of breast size.

"Another woman I spoke with was forced to stand on a bench in front of a fraternity and everybody got to yell out parts of her body that need work. This happened in the '90s and almost a decade later she still had emotional scars."

Just as the Japanese people are being poisoned radiation that seeps from the Fukushima nuclear plant, our lives are contaminated by the emissions of the covert satanic groups that infest our society.

The increase of hazing in the general public, most of whom are completely unaware of its Masonic source, is just one example of how they have disturbed us.

The good news is that hazing disgusts normal people. The junior hockey hazing scandal has provoked total outrage from the public. The league governing body have suspended the perpetrators and fined the team $5000.

This should serve to remind us that we can fight covert satanic activities by shining a light on them and reacting forcefully.


Moving Through New York’s Early 20th-Century Gay Spaces

When Willy W. arrived in New York City in the 1940s, he did what many newcomers did: he took a room at the 63rd Street YMCA. As was true for many other young men, the friends he made at the Y remained important to him for years and helped him find his way through the city. Most of those friends were gay, and the gay world was a significant part of what they showed him. He soon moved on, though, to the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn, which offered more substantial accommodations. The St. George, it seemed to him, was “almost entirely gay,” and the friends he met there introduced him to yet other parts of the gay world.

After living briefly in a rooming house on 50th Street near Second Avenue, he finally took a small apartment of his own, a railroad flat on East 49th Street near First Avenue, where he stayed for years. He moved there at the invitation of a friend he had met at Red’s, a popular bar on Third Avenue at 50th street that had attracted gay men since its days as a speakeasy in the 1920s. The friend had an apartment in the building and wanted Willy to take the apartment next to his. An elderly couple had occupied it for years, and, since the walls were rather thin, the friend had never stopped worrying that they heard him late at night with gay friends and had grown suspicious of the company he kept. When they moved out he wanted to make sure that someone more understanding would take their place. Willy was happy to do so, and as other apartments opened up in the building he invited other friends to move in. Several friends did, and some of the newcomers encouraged their own friends to join them.

The building’s narrow railroad flats, if not luxurious, were adequate and cheap the location, near the gay bar circuit on Third Avenue in the East 50s, was convenient and most important, the other inhabitants were friendly and supportive. Within a few years, Willy remembered, “we took over.” Gay men occupied 14 of the 16 apartments in the building. This was not the only predominantly gay apartment building Willy remembered. In the 1950s a major apartment house at Number 405 in a street in the East 50s was so heavily gay that gay men nicknamed it the “Four out of Five.”

Willy not only lived in a gay house, but in a growing gay neighborhood enclave, whose streets provided him with regular contact with other gay men. Although Willy’s success in creating an almost completely gay apartment building was unusual, his determination to find housing that maximized his autonomy and his access to the gay world was not. In his movement from one dwelling to the next, Willy traced a path followed by many gay men in the first half of the century as they built a gay world in the city’s hotels, rooming houses, and apartment buildings, and in its cafeterias, restaurants, and speakeasies. Gay men took full advantage of the city’s resources to create zones of gay camaraderie and security.

Although living with one’s family, even in a crowded tenement, did not prevent a man from participating in the gay world that was taking shape in the city’s streets, many gay men, like Willy, sought to secure housing that would maximize their freedom from supervision. For many, this meant joining the large number of unmarried workers living in the furnished-room houses (also called lodging or rooming houses) clustered in certain neighborhoods of the city. No census data exist that could firmly establish the residential patterns of gay men, but two studies of gay men incarcerated in the New York City Jail, conducted in 1938 and 1940, are suggestive. Sixty-one percent of the men investigated in 1940 lived in rooming houses, three-quarters of them alone and another quarter with a lover or other roommates only a third lived in tenement houses with their own families or boarded with others.

Some landladies doubtless tolerated known homosexual lodgers for the same economic reasons they tolerated lodgers who engaged in heterosexual affairs, and others simply did not care.

Court records from the first three decades of the century provide relatively few accounts of men apprehended for sexual encounters in rooming houses (itself indirect evidence of the relative security of such encounters), but they do abound in anecdotal evidence of men who lived together in rooming houses or took other men to their rooms, and whose relationships or rendezvous came to the attention of the police only because of a mishap. Such information most frequently came to the attention of the police when a man who had been brought home assaulted or tried to blackmail his host, when parents discovered that a man had invited their son home, when the police followed men to a furnished room from some other, more public locale, or when one of the tenants sharing a room with his lover was arrested on another charge.

Usually situated in rowhouses previously occupied by single families, rooming houses provided tenants with a small room, a bed, minimal furniture, and no kitchen facilities residents were expected to take their meals elsewhere. Such housing had qualities that made it particularly useful to gay men as well as to transient workers of various sorts. The rooms were cheap, they were minimally supervised, and the fact that they were usually furnished and were rented by the week made them easy to leave if a lodger got a job elsewhere—or needed to disappear because of legal troubles.

Rooming houses also offered tenants a remarkable amount of privacy. Not only could they easily move out if trouble developed, the tenants at most houses compensated for the lack of physical privacy by maintaining a degree of respectful social distance. (Inclined to dislike anything they saw in the rooming houses, housing reformers, somewhat contradictorily, were as distressed by the lack of interest roomers took in one another’s affairs as by the lack of privacy the houses afforded.) One study conducted in Boston in 1906 reported that in addition to taking their meals outside their cramped quarters, most roomers also developed their primary social ties elsewhere, at cheap neighborhood restaurants, at their workplaces, and in saloons. Moreover, the absence of a parlor (which usually had been converted into a bedroom) in most rooming houses, the respect many landladies had for their tenants privacy, and, perhaps most important, the competition among rooming houses for lodgers led many landladies to tolerate men and women visiting each other’s rooms and bringing in guests of the other sex. Numerous landladies in the 1920s, when queried by male investigators posing as potential tenants, said straightforwardly that they could have women in their rooms: “Why certainly, this is your home” was the reassuring reply of one.

Some landladies doubtless tolerated known homosexual lodgers for the same economic reasons they tolerated lodgers who engaged in heterosexual affairs, and others simply did not care about their tenants’ homosexual affairs. But most expected their tenants at least to maintain a decorous fiction about their social lives. The boundaries of acceptable behavior were, as a result, often unclear, and in many houses men felt constrained to try to conceal the gay aspects of their lives.

Moral reformers expressed concern that the casual intermingling of strangers in furnished-room houses could “assume a dangerous aspect.”

The story of one black gay man who lived in the basement of a rooming house on West 50th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, in 1919 suggests the latitude—and limitations—of rooming-house life. The tenant felt free to invite men whom he met on the street into his room. One summer evening, for instance, he invited an undercover investigator he had met while sitting on the basement stairs. But, as he later explained to his guest, while three “young fellows” had been visiting him in his room on a regular basis, he had finally decided to stop seeing the youths because they made too much noise, and he did not want the landlady “to get wise.” Not only might he lose his room, he feared, but also his job as the house’s chambermaid. The consequences of discovery could be even more severe. In 1900 a suspicious boardinghouse keeper on East 13th Street barged into a room taken only a few days earlier by two waiters, a 20-year-old German and a 17-year-old American. She caught them having sex, had them arrested, and eventually had the German sent to prison for a year.

In general, though, the same lack of supervision in the rooming houses that so concerned moral reformers made the houses particularly attractive to gay men, who were able to use their landladies’ and fellow tenants’ presumption that they were straight in order to disguise their liaisons with men. A male lodger attracted less attention when a man, rather than a woman, visited his room, and a male couple could usually take a room together without generating suspicion. Moreover, the privacy and flexibility such accommodations provided often helped men develop gay social networks. Young men new to New York or the gay life often met other gay men in their rooming houses, and these men sometimes served as their guides as they explored gay society. The ease with which men could move from one rooming house to another also allowed them to pursue and strengthen new social ties by moving in with new friends (or lovers) or moving closer to restaurants or bars where their friends gathered.

Moral reformers expressed concern that the casual intermingling of strangers in furnished-room houses could “assume a dangerous aspect,” especially when it introduced young men and women to people of ill repute. In response to this threat, some sought to offer more secure environments to young migrants to the city. Various groups established special hotels at the turn of the century in order to provide men with moral alternatives to the city’s flophouses, transient hotels, and rooming houses.

Ironically, though, such hotels often became major centers for the gay world and served to introduce men to gay life. In an all-male living situation, in which numerous men already shared rooms, it was virtually impossible for management to detect gay couples. The Seamen’s Church Institute, for instance, had been established as a residential and social facility by a consortium of churches in order to protect seamen from the moral dangers the churchmen believed threatened them in the lodging houses of the waterfront areas. But, as we have already seen, gay seamen and other gay men interested in seamen could usually be found in the Institute’s lobby. Men involved in relationships also had no difficulty taking rooms together: one seamen told an investigator in 1931 that he had lived with a youth at the Institute “for quite some time,” and he had apparently encountered no censure there.

Similarly, the two massive Mills Houses, built by the philanthropist Darius O. Mills, were intended to offer unmarried workingmen moral accommodation in thousands of small but sanitary rooms. (The first one was built in 1896 directly across Bleecker Street from the building that had housed the notorious fairy resort, the Slide, just a few years earlier, as if to symbolize the reestablishment of moral order on the block the second was built on Rivington Street in 1897.) Its attractiveness as a residence for working-class gay men is suggested by the frequency with which its residents appeared in the magistrate’s courts. In March 1920, for instance, at least three residents of the two Mills Houses were arrested on homosexual charges (not on the premises): a 43-year-old Irish laborer, a 42-year-old Italian barber, and a 38-year-old French cook.

The residential hotels built by the Young Men’s Christian Association provide the most striking example of housing designed to reform men’s behavior that gay men managed to appropriate for their own purposes. The YMCA movement had begun in the 1840s and 1850s with the intention of supplying young, unmarried migrants to the city with an urban counterpart to the rural family they had left behind. Its founders had expressed special concern about the moral dangers facing such men in the isolation of rooming-house life. The Y organized libraries, reading groups, and gymnasiums for such men, and in some cities established residential facilities, despite some organizers’ fears that they might become as depraved and degrading as the lodging houses. The New York YMCA began building dormitories in 1896, and by the 1920s the seven YMCA residential hotels in New York housed more than 1000 young men, whose profiles resembled those of most rooming-house residents: primarily in their twenties and thirties, nearly half of them were clerks, office workers, and salesmen, while smaller numbers were “professional men,” artisans, mechanics, skilled workers, and, especially in the Harlem branch, hotel, restaurant, and domestic-service employees.

The fears of the early YMCA organizers were realized. By World War I, the YMCAs in New York and elsewhere had developed a reputation among gay men as centers of sex and social life. Sailors at Newport, Rhode Island, reported that “everyone” knew the Y was “the headquarters” for gay men, and the sailor’s line in Irving Berlin’s World War I show, Yip, Yip, Yaphank, about having lots of friends at the YMCA is said to have drawn a knowing laugh. The reputation only increased in the Depression with the construction, in 1930, of two huge new YMCA hotels, which soon became famous within the gay world as gay residential centers. The enormous Sloane house, on West 34th Street at Ninth Avenue, offered short-term accommodations to “transient young men” in almost 1,500 rooms, and the West Side Y, on 63rd Street at Central Park West, offered longer-term residential facilities as well. A man interviewed in the mid-1930s recalled of his stay at Sloane House:

One night when I was coming in at 11:30PM a stranger asked me to go to his room. They just live in one another’s rooms although it’s strictly forbidden. . . . This YMCA is for transients but one further uptown [the West Side Y] is a more elegant brothel, for those who like to live in their ivory towers with Greek gods. If you go to a shower there is always someone waiting to have an affair. It doesn’t take long.

Such observations became a part of gay folklore in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, when the extent of sexual activity at the Ys—particularly the “never ending sex” in the showers—became legendary within the gay world. A man living in New Jersey remembered that he stayed at Sloane House “many times, every chance I got . . . [because] it was very gay” another man called it a “gay colony.” Indeed, the Y had such a reputation for sexual adventure that some New Yorkers took rooms at Sloane House for the weekend, giving fake out-of-town addresses. “It was just a free for all,” one man who did so several times recalled, “more fun than the baths.”

While the sexual ambience of the Ys became a part of gay folklore, the role of the Ys as gay social centers was also celebrated. Many gay New Yorkers rented rooms in the hotels, used the gym and swimming pool (where men swam naked), took their meals there, or gathered there to meet their friends. Just as important—and more ironic, given reformers’ intentions—was the crucial role the hotels often played in introducing young men to the gay world. It was at the Y that many newcomers to the city made their first contacts with other gay men. Grant McGree arrived in the city in 1941, not knowing anyone, intimidated by the size of the city, and full of questions about his sexuality. But on his first night at the Y as he gazed glumly from his room into the windows of other men’s rooms he suddenly realized that many of the men he saw sharing rooms were couples within a week he had met many of them and begun to build a network of gay friends. As many gay men used to put it, the letters Y-M-C-A stood for “Why I’m So Gay.”

Adapted excerpt from Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 by George Chauncey. Copyright © 2019. Available from Basic Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, a division of PBG Publishing, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.


Concise Politics — Your Time should NOT be wasted.

“The Part of the Dennis Hastert Scandal That No One’s Paying Attention To” from Robert Reich’s website.

HASTERT BLACKMAIL SCANDAL = Covered Longest-serving GOP Speaker of House in US history = INDICTED related to BLACKMAIL PAYMENTS for child molestation = $3.5 MILLION IN BLACKMAIL.

HASTERT BLACKMAIL SCANDAL = Hastert never made $MILLIONS from teaching or from Congress = BUT HAD $3.5 MILLION TO PAY BLACKMAILS = PERHAPS THE PRO-ISRAEL LOBBY.

HASTERT BLACKMAIL SCANDAL = 1970s 3% of retiring members of Congress became Washington lobbyists — NOW 50% OF SENATORS DO and 42% OF HOUSE MEMBERS DO = HORRENDOUSLY LARGE REWARDS DFOR DOING IT = PAID BY AIPAC LOADED WALL STREET = HEDGE FUND CRIMINALS!

BLACKMAIL FOR ALL THOSE YEARS BY WHAT ORGANIZATION?

ANSWER: PRO-ISRAEL = Giant Wall Street HEDGE FUNDS AND BANKSTERS sunk fortunes into rigging the game to their advantage + LOVE TO USE ANY TOOLS TO GET LEVERAGE OVER GOVERNMENTS!

HASTERT BLACKMAIL SCANDAL = FORCED A FOREIGN RUN SET OF POLICIES ON AMERICANS FOR LONGEST TIME IN HISTORY!

HASTERT BLACKMAIL SCANDAL = Campaign contributions are only PART OF THE CRIMINAL USED TOOLS = INTIMIDATION + BLACKMAIIL + BRIBERY + THREATS + CHRISTIAN ZIONIST PRIEST LEVERAGE

HASTERT BLACKMAIL SCANDAL = SIMILAR BLACKMAIL AND THREATS INSURED 100% OF SENATORS VOTED FOR $BILLION IN SUPPORT OF ISRAEL’S ILLEGAL MASS MURDERS OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN AND CIVILIANS.

HASTERT BLACKMAIL SCANDAL = LIKE ISRAELI GOP House majority leader Eric Cantor = PUSHED Wall Street’s AGENDA TO THE MAX = Joined the Wall Street bank (Moelis & Co.) as vice chairman and managing director = $400,000 base salary, $400,000 initial cash bonus, and $1 million in stock = They had been doing business together so long that Cantor must have anticipated the bribe = BRIBERY AND BLACKMAIL Undermines government.

HASTERT BLACKMAIL SCANDAL + BRIBERY = My infect the Obama White House being so easy on big Wall Street banks = NO tough conditions on them for getting bailout money + NOT ONE CEO prosecuted from top Wall Street BANKSTERS = PRO-ISRAELI FORCES OWN OUR GOVERNMENT AND ARE PURPOSELY DESTROYING AMERICANS AND OUR WAYS OF LIFE!

HASTERT BLACKMAIL SCANDAL + BRIBERY = WHAT DO THEY HAVE ON THE CUBAN Marco Rubio (LIKE MENENDEZ) WHO PUSHES THE ISRAELI AGENDA? = Rubio steered taxpayer funds to BILLIONAIRE Braman’s BENEFIT = “When Norman Braman brings [a proposal] to you,” Rubio said, “you take it seriously.”

HASTERT BLACKMAIL SCANDAL BRIBERY = EPSTEIN CASE GREAT EXAMPLE + Hillary and Bill Clinton made more than $25 million for 104 speeches in ONE YEAR = HILLARY delivered 51 speeches = $11+ Million + BILL CLINTON CONTINUES THAT RACKET! = Bill Clinton said, “People like to hear me speak.” = HALF MILLION PER TALK!

HOW DO WE REMOVE THIS BRIBERY AND BLACKMAIL THAT IS FORCING ISRAELIS POLICIES ON AMERICANS?

HASTERT BLACKMAIL SCANDAL + BRIBERY = SOLUTION IS DIVORCE EVERY ASPECT OF ISRAELIS AND ISRAEL AND PROSECUTE THE CRIMINALS ON BOTH SIDES!


Eroticized Dominance - Emotional Grooming, Predatory Behaviors As Cultural Norms?

The eroticization of male dominance and female passivity in couple relations is a game in which there are no winners, a luring trap that blocks what makes human relationships human an empathic connectiona hardwired drive to mutually know and compassionately understand one another that is rooted in our nature to matter as meaning-seeking relational beings.

This capacity remains dormant, however, unless developed. It is a learned ability that requires such skills as being open and vulnerable to one another, an essential aspect of growing the courage we need to love with our whole heart. (To love with our whole heart, in a nutshell, means to develop our capacity to remain empathically connected to self and other, in moments when core fears, such as inadequacy or rejection, get triggered.)

In a cultural context that relegates empathy, vulnerability and emotional closeness as weakness or &ldquogirly,&rdquo and emotions of pain, hurt or fear as signs of inferiority or defect, especially for men (to women who want to be &ldquoaccepted&rdquo as &ldquoequals&rdquo in this milieu),is it any wonder why so many couples get tripped up in their attempts to create vibrant, mutually enriching relationships?

It has to do with the dehumanizing nature of these cultural norms.

For this and other reasons, looking more closely at the negative impact of these cultural stories opens up possibilities for men and women to see one another anew, and, rather than compete, to honor the intrinsic dignity and value of each in relation to the other, first and foremost, as human beings, with an amazing potential to work cooperatively as partners in forming a healthy relationship and an enriching context for one another to grow and self-actualize as uniquely contributing individuals.

Seeing the dehumanizing nature of dominance?

Cultural values thatnormalize addictive patternsof relating in couple relationships, and idealize interlocking dynamics of narcissism and codependency, cause a lot of emotional suffering for both men and women, and no doubt have far reaching effects on family, community and society at large.

Our human brains are wired to move toward pleasure and avoid pain. We learn and adopt behavioral patterns that release feel-good hormones such as dopamine or oxytocin.We are also wired to learn from pain, to seek to eliminate or avoid what produces pain and anxious sensations, such as the stress hormone cortisol. These processes are regulated by the mind of the body &ndash the subconscious.

The body also releases feel-good hormones whenever we experience relief or lower anxiety through the specific ways we&rsquove learned to deal with stress, such as an angry outburst or an emotional shutdown.

  • Emotions shape and spark the firing and wiring of neurons that produce behaviors, accordingly.
  • Happy neurochemicals are released whenever our distress is relieved by behaviors that activate these feel-good neural patterns.
  • Oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin develop synapses each time they are released, strengthening any behavior patterns associated with feel-good sensations of relief.
  • These chemicals are released in accordance with our learned perceptions of what poses danger and how to deal with it.
  • Our earliest experiences of how we met our needs, for safety and love in particular, were imprinted in cellular memory, and left on their own can endure a lifetime.

Essentially, beliefs are perception filters that our body relies on to know when to activate its sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Our beliefs can, and do, for example, activate anger or fear tolevels known to cripple our capacityto make wise choices. Nothing turns the otherwise amazing human mind into a prison than fear-based limiting beliefs.

Recent findings in neuroscience show the regions of the brain that regulate aggression and violence overlap with ones that regulate empathy, and that activation of neural patterns in one direction reduces activity in the other. Thus,encouraging aggression inhibits empathy, and similarly, growing empathy inhibits aggression.

The two hallmark traits of narcissism, a lack of empathy and taking pleasure in victimizing others, are key traits in antisocial personality disorder as well. In a recent post, psychologist Dr. Stanton Samenow points out these two personality disordershave a lot in common.

In his book,Dying to Be Men, Dr. Will Courtenay describes the cultural influences of &ldquomasculinity&rdquo that lead men to reject many healthy behaviors, and simultaneously to gravitate to numerous unhealthy behaviors instead, which put them at risk of death, injury and disease.

In the extreme, eroticized dominance in couple sexual relations, at least subconsciously, posits one or more of the following, that:

  • Sex is a weapon for personal gain to prove superiority viadominance(versus a key aspect of emotional intimacy in a couple relationship).
  • Primary goal is to &lsquowin&rsquo by overpowering the will of another, to ensure they know &lsquotheir place&rsquo -and sex is a secondary goal.
  • Main pleasure is derived from causing (emotional) pain to the other, i.e., tricking or manipulating them for own gratification.
  • The other is seen as a weak or defective &lsquoobject&rsquo without feelings, thoughts, opinions, etc, of their own.
  • Love is regarded as overall sex-focused, sex is equated with intimacy, and emotional-intimacy is tactically avoided.
  • Women only respect men who dominate them, and respect is associated or equated with obedience.

Not surprisingly, these eroticized ideals form some of the core issues men and women struggle with, and often only discover in couples therapy, as they address the pain, confusion and sexual addiction and dysfunction rooted in desperate, and futile, attempts of each to find a way to matter to the other.

&ldquoEmotional groomers&rdquo and the &ldquoemotionally groomed&rdquo?

In what was first aparent guideby Ron Herron and Kathleen Sorensen, and now updated and available as aleader&rsquos guideby Kathleen Sorensen McGee and Laura Holmes Buddenberg, the book,Unmasking Sexual Con Games: Helping Teens Avoid Emotional Grooming and Sexual Con Games,is one of kind.It provides practical tools for teens, parents and teachers to use, in educational contexts, that support adolescent girls to avoid the traps of &ldquoemotional grooming&rdquo and date rape. (A teen guide is also available.)

The reason it&rsquos one of a kind, however, is that the authors discuss the elephant in the room that most leaders and professionals have ignored for decades, more specifically, thatemotional groomingand other sexual predatory behaviors arenot only associated with behavior patterns of sexual predatorsand offenders, as they are often portrayed, though they may be used more aggressively in these cases.The authors note that:

  • In varying degrees, emotional grooming and sexual predatory behaviors are widespread cultural norms, that we often minimize as boys will be boys behaviors.
  • And that boys first learn to exhibit these in middle school. Some boys bring more extreme versions from home, and learning processes, in a culture that normalizes male dominance, then take a natural course from there.
  • A groomer skillfully plays with words, learns to identify what the perceived victim wants to hear, and uses this knowledge, for personal gain, to direct and to keep the focus of her attention exclusively to meeting his emotional and physical needs at the expense of her own.
  • Agroomer takes pleasure in skillfully causing pain to increase his sense of control in keeping her anxiously focused on not upsetting or angering him.

To a woman or teen, it can feel confusing, and is. It is a form of thought controlknown to jam up the otherwise amazing critical thinking capacities of human brains.

Why does emotional grooming work?

An emotional groomer would not be anywhere near as effective, however, were it not for complementary cultural conditioning that paves the way for women from girlhood to be at risk of falling into the mind traps. As a complement to the notion of rightful male dominance, the same cultural forcesemotionally groomwomen from girlhood to believe one or more of the following:

  • To believe in romanticized notions of female passivityand accept these as norms.
  • To believe their value and worth as human beings, unlike men&rsquos, is based primarily on meeting the needs of others, i.e., husband, children.
  • To hold that agood woman, according to this doctrine, never looks to her own needs, and that only selfish women do that.
  • To think it&rsquos their job to meet men&rsquos need to feel more important, entitled, etc., and thus, to behave like children, dependent, helpless, in need of men to take care of them, protect them, make decisions for them, etc.
  • To regard women who do not know their place bad, evil or dangerous to society, emasculating or hurtful to men.
  • Thus, to accept the notion that a &lsquoreal&rsquo man &lsquoshould&rsquo subdue women who do not know their place, much like parents do in response to unruly or disobedient children.

These expectations naturally promote distance and a parent-child type of relationship that, from the start, has no chance of developing into healthy emotionally intimacy. Safe to say, this is also a training that indoctrinates women into codependency behaviors as norms.

Notably, that these cultural expectations are alsoeither-or thinking patternsthat, in addition to denying our human nature, portray both men and women&rsquos nature in extremes. Women are described as either passive and moral, or wild and dangerously out of control, for example, incapable of being good mothers and spouses. Similarly, men are either respectable and dominant (over women, children and weak men), or spineless doormats or gay.

Subconsciously, men and women&rsquos behaviors are controlled by emotion taboosthat instill them with shame, guilt and fear associated with their value as human beings.

  • What&rsquos theworst thing to call a woman in our culture? Selfish.
  • And, the worst thing to call a man? A sissy (a girl).

These cultural values amount to training for men and women to adopt addictive relating patterns overall in the directions ofnarcissism and codependency, respectively. These can be, and are, uniquely expressed in as many ways as there are couples, and with varying degrees of overlapping in the dynamics. They also foster parenting that is characterized by narcissism that puts children at risk for abuse.

The emotional groomer&rsquos tools, language, and tactics?

According to the authors of Unmasking Sexual Con Games, a groomer employs the followingthree basic tools to remain in control of a perceived victim&rsquos emotions.

1. A caring protector The groomer portrays himself as a caring protector, and lulls her into thinking he is the only one she can and must trust and depend on for her emotional and physical care. He professes his love to get sex, i.e., its okayIll always take good care of you.

2. A loyal oath to secrecy The groomer gets her to agree to secrecy, to loyally protect his image from being tarnished in any way thus, she&rsquos responsible for keeping secret any abuse or acting out on his part. He persuades her that their relationship is special, and that if she were to disclose any abuse, no one would understand, that this would hurt him and make him feel insecure, and that she would be blamed for not making him or others happy. (In more extreme cases, he may threaten to hurt her, others, himself if she discloses.)

3. A victim The groomer also portrays himself as her victim. Like all narcissists, he has a very fragile ego and cannot handle not getting his needs met. He persuades her that its her fault whenever he acts out physically or sexually, and not his, and that he wouldn&rsquot act out if she would stop making him angry. If she would just do what she&rsquos supposed to do, he scolds, he wouldn&rsquot have hurt her. He blames her for his unhappiness, often reminding her that she isincapable of making him happy, that she always fails him, that he has been hurt in the past, that he needs her to make up for what others have done to him, i.e., in his childhood, or past relationships, etc.

A groomer goes beyond the typical pick-up lines,&rdquo and uses language in a distinct way thatis specifically geared to:

  • Gain her complete and unquestioning trust, so she solely depends on him.
  • Isolate her from others, so he possesses exclusive rights to her attention.
  • Threaten and intimidate her to give in to his demands without questioning him.
  • Blame her for any abuse he commits against her, himself or others.
  • Treat her as an object that does not have feelings, wants, thoughts. etc., of her own.
  • Make her feel like hes doing her a favor by keeping her around.
  • Reinforce his position as the boss.

To achieve the above aims, an emotional groomer skillfully uses some or all of the following tactics:

  • Jealousy and possessiveness He lets her know she his territory and that it is natural for him to ensure no one else is messing with her mind or body. This reflects an insatiable neediness to be in control, and to have her attention completely focused on him, his needs, and so on.
  • Use of insecurity He vacillates between: (1) acting insecure, seeking pity, or asking for constant reassurance of her love and loyalty and (2) instilling her with a sense of insecurity, making her think that no one else wants her, that she is stupid, or incapable of caring for herself, and so on.
  • Anger powered by blame He uses outbursts of anger to get what he wants and makes her think shes to blame for his anger outbursts, and that, unless she gives in to his demands, her life will be miserable. (This can be potentially dangerous, if the anger becomes an addictive pattern associated with a high or a rush of power, even more so in cases where a pattern forms of first hurting her, then getting sex as a reward.)
  • Intimidation Similar to anger, he uses an array of dont mess with me or else tactics, which can be scary words, facial expressions, or physical gestures, or even sexually suggestive behaviors, all of which serve his intention to keep her at a perceived lower status than him, where she fears harm or disapproval.
  • Accusations He turns minor or innocent events into occasions to accuse her of betrayal, disloyalty, etc. and may even make up lies to falsely accuse her just to play with her mind. This again stems from a neediness to have her anxiously focused on him, on his pain, hurts, or need for her to assure him that he is the only one that matters to her, etc. (This can put children at risk of neglect, abuse, etc., in cases where the groomer demands that his needs take excessive priority over the children&rsquos.)
  • Flattery He knows how to use language to impress, give compliments, appear trustworthy, and so on, providing it serves his purpose. Thus, he knows how to make her think she is the greatest (but only to him). This differs from praise, in that it is shallow, insincere, and often sexually graphic, inappropriate and unwanted. It may also occur only when the goal is to get sex or position himself to keep her dependent on him in a perceived competition with another a source of care and protection, i.e., her family.
  • Status He uses his status, i.e., popularity, career or athletic success to lure her into giving sex, and makes it known that, by giving her his time and attention, he is doing her a favor. A groomer also seeks to maintain his status with other males by being sexual, i.e., boasting how sexed up he is, how much sex he gets, how many women are after him, etc.
  • Bribery He buys material things with the expectation that he is then entitled to get sex as pay back for spending his money on her.

These thought control tactics are part of the grooming process, designed to shape her beliefs so that they conform to promoting his personal aims for her to make him &lsquofeel&rsquo that he is superior, entitled, and in possession of her emotional needs for his own. The beliefs he seeks to instill include, that:

  • Sex is proof of or equates to love.
  • It is normal to have a sustained, intense sexual desire.
  • She is defective or inferior to the extent that she wants less sex than he does.
  • Sexual behavior is womans duty or responsibility to men.
  • Sex is the ultimate proof of her love or loyalty and devotion.
  • Its normal for him to be in charge of her wants, body and activities as he knows better.
  • His possessiveness is evidence of his love, care, protection (thus, she should feel grateful, beholden).
  • It&rsquos her &ldquojob&rdquo to make him &ldquofeel&rdquo that he is superior to others, more entitled, and that she makes this, and him, her focus.

Looking over these tactics, and the beliefs that drive them, it is evident that, to a great extent, they have been widely regarded, in varying degrees, among men in particular, as normal ways that men (or the ones with &ldquostatus&rdquo or &ldquopower&rdquo) are expected to relate to women to get sex and to keep women in their place.This is especially true for men who consider themselves as having traditional family values.

Even men who wouldn&rsquot consider these behaviors may secretly admire men whom they perceive as having the &ldquopower&rdquo to &ldquokeep woman in their place.&rdquoMany of these practices are so ingrained in our culture that even couples who set out wanting or thinking they have a healthy partnership, at some point, find their romance turns into a power struggle.

So, how did we get to where we are today?

How did sexual relations between men and women become more about performance and power-over games to prove superiority or toemotionallyoverpower the will of another?

The real culprit is a cultural belief system that associates human worth with external standards of performance, and defines &lsquopower&rsquo as the ability of one human being to render another powerless (which at best is only an illusion).These beliefs cause harm as they teach us to judge ourselves and one another harshly, to distort who we are with enemy-images in our minds, in ways that cause us to feel disconnected from one another. Because we are relational beings, judgements are the root of our suffering.

It started at the beginning of Western culture when political leaders decided to structure a &lsquosocial order&rsquo based upon a &lsquomight makes right&rsquo philosophy for their political gain.

A philosophy of &lsquomight makes right&rsquo as a political tool?

According to Riane Eisler, in her seminal work,The Chalice and The Blade, the notion of dominance as a &lsquonatural social order&rsquo has philosophical roots in the might makes right ideology originated by the Sophists, a group of men who, with regard to morals and ethics, exemplified the thinking of political rulers throughout history from its beginnings in Ancient Greece.

Theirs was the first official lie-by-design-for-political-gain school of thought.

  • Unlike other philosophers who contemplated the big ethical questions of life, the Sophists were primarily interested in the mechanics ofhow language can be used to control human behavior.
  • Sophists were paid well to help rulers write speeches and win court cases through the use oftwisted arguments and paradox(not unlike what is known in modern times asOrwellian doublethink).
  • A &lsquomight makes right&rsquo ideology posits that the right to rule over others is just, and earned, on the basis of proving one&rsquos strength, wealth and, or armed might.
  • Members of the ruling class competed with one another to attain what was considered the top prize (to do wrong and not get caught), and to avoid what was the worst humiliation (to be wronged and not get revenge).
  • Fabricated lies, of the doublethink variety, were necessary for one very good reason, well understood by political rulers and sociology researchers alike physical strength or violence alone do not work to oppress or dominate human beings.

The power of the pen has been instrumental in promoting the notion that dominance was not only &lsquonatural&rsquo but also ordained by God. The ruling elites, influenced by the philosophical teachings of Plato, crafted The Noble Lie to persuade the masses to think of their rulers as gods and being ruled over as a sacred benefit for their protection.Naturally, similar beliefs have been used to enslave groups throughout history.

The writings of one of the most most influential shapers of Western thought, Aristotle, for example, taught that only two classes of people exist, those meant to ruleand those meant to be ruled.He also decided womens influence on men was a hindrance to their political aims for maintaining an oligarchic social order, that women were a contaminating influence on the masculine spirit. Thus, unlike his mentor Plato, he promoted the idea that men should be educated separately from women.

In his view, women&rsquos education should be narrowly focused to teach women to accept their &lsquoplace&rsquo in society was: to bring pleasure and comfort to husbands and sons.Aristotle&rsquos works were highly regarded handbooks by ruling elites and clergy for many centuries well into the Medieval period. Aristotle was even canonized by the church in Medieval times as a pagan saint.

As for his ideas regarding women&rsquos education, they were upheld and reinforced by other Western philosophers well into the 20th century. In the words of 18th century philosopher, educationalist and essayist of Romanticism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau:

A womans education must therefore be planned in relation to man. To be pleasingin his sight, to win his respect and love, to train him in childhood, to tend to him inmanhood, to counsel and console, to make his life pleasant and happy, these arethe duties of woman for all time, and this is what should be taught while she is young. The further we depart from this principle, the further we shall be from our goal, and all our precepts will fail to secure her happiness for our own.

Taking the perspective that all of the tactics men and women use, in fact, reflect their best efforts of each to fulfill their emotional needs for both love and connection, on the one hand, and recognition and value for their unique contributions, we can see the futility both women and men face in our culture in contexts that place high value on male dominance and female passivity.

&ldquoTo be happy in one&rsquos home is better than to be a chief.&rdquo

Witting or unwittingly, the notions of rightful dominance have been reinforced by cultural institutions, such as family, school, church, military, among others, throughout history.

  • Perhaps no cultural forces have been more effective in shaping cultural norms, however, than pornography and other mass media.Pornography has played a big role in eroticizing dominance and predatory behaviors. It also eroticizes violence, and associates the tactics of emotional groomers with male virility, and illusions that women want this from men.
  • Dominance as a norm, if we remove the sexual component, also negatively impacts other key social relationships, in particular, that of parent and child. Children of narcissistic parents are most at risk of abuse. The hallmark of narcissism is lack of empathy.
  • Both narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders, psychologist Dr. Stanton Samenow notes, have &ldquoa lot in common,&rdquo the two key traits being lack of empathy and victimizers, and the main difference is the narcissist &ldquohas been shrewd or slick enough not to get caught.
  • It is also ineffective and harmful in employer-employee relations. Trulyeffective leaders do not dominate, they lead. And, there&rsquos a world of difference between the two. Those who dominate are ruthless, self-centered, and lack empathy, in short, as Dr. Ronald Rigggio points out, it&rsquos what happens when narcissism and leadership collide.

How can dominance be natural, if force, violence and trickery must be used?It&rsquos an Orweillian contradiction, or doublethink. It&rsquos like saying &lsquowar is peace&rsquo or &lsquoignorance is bliss&rsquo or &lsquoslavery is freedom&rsquo which totalitarian rulers do, by the way, to cripple the otherwise amazing abilities of our brain.

Also, how can dominance be natural, if it harms the body, physically and emotionally?Recent studies link social dominance behaviors in primates withhealth risks and high stress levelsandparasites and infection.

One couple&rsquos story &ndash Sandy and Bob

Subconsciously, the particular ways we learn to cope with stress teach, or wire, our brain to know what and when to release those feel-good chemicals.

  • These perceptual patterns have shaped the story of our life, what we tell ourselves regarding what it means to be a man or a woman, what it means to be in a couple relationship, to be human, and what we believe we and others &lsquomust&rsquo do so that we feel connected to our value,etc.
  • What drives most all of our behaviors is this inner drive to matter.Because we are relationship beings, this means we seek to matter in relation to life around us and those who mean a lot to us.
  • The mental map of the world that we built in our minds, as children, is still the one most of us are working with today. Our early expectations about what we had to do to get our needs for love and value are still there.
  • Whenever we want to change something and it stubbornly persists, it is because of these resistant neural patterns, or early survival-love maps.
  • Neural patterns associated with fear regarding our self-worth and value are essentially about instinctual drives to ensure our survival, in this case, emotional survival.

Early survival-love maps are enduring neural patterns, often highly resistant to change.We can change them, however, with determination, passion and strong reason to do so. The discovery that our brain is open to making changes, known as plasticity, throughout our life is good news.

Here&rsquos Sandy and Bob&rsquos story of hope (not actual names of clients):

Sandy and Bob were married for seven years when they came to see me. Bob&rsquos demands for Sandy to perform uncomfortable sex had been out of control for several years, and, in the last few years, she often fantasized about leaving him. It was not until she discovered that Bob had a serious credit card debt, and he disclosed his addiction to phone sex and prostitutes, however, that they considered therapy. She had lost hope, and wanted to leave he was hoping to save his marriage.

Sandy chose to move to her own place when they started therapy, to &ldquoclear her mind,&rdquo and only saw or talked to Bob in weekly sessions or to arrange for the care of their daughters. They came for individual therapy, and joint sessions weekly.

In their first years together, Sandy was okay with Bobs pornography habit. In fact, she enjoyed pleasing him by acting as if she liked it. Bob told her that he often boasted to his friends about her because &ldquoshe wasn&rsquot squeamish&rdquo about pornography like their wives, and she was open to trying new things.Sandy felt proud of her status and competed with the women in their group of friends to maintain it.Bob also told her that, unlike his friends that cheated on their wives, he didn&rsquot have to look outside of his marriage to fulfill his fantasies. For a long time, she hid her discomfort with his new demands. If she hinted at &lsquono,&rsquo it seemed, he pursued her even more. She always gave in. The more she wanted to lessen the frequency, the more frequently he wanted sex. She began to notice he only touched her when he wanted sex. She felt increasingly sickened, and could no longer hide it. This did not slow Bob down. Even when she complained, he quickly dismissed her, and acted as if he knew her better, &ldquobaby, you know you like this, you know you want this,&rdquo he would repeat.She kept her thoughts and feelings to herself. She put on 30 pounds, hated how she looked, dreaded sex, and felt guilty about her feelings of disgust for Bob.

Sandy played along to please Bob, believing it was her responsibility. She also feared that he would cheat on her if she did not comply. Hehad emotionally groomed her to make sure nothing she did upset or angered him. He became increasingly dismissive and irritable with her, and their two young daughters. She felt hurt, confused, and used. It was a familiar feeling, however. Her step-father had used her for sex from age 7 to 17, until the time she left home to get married. He too had emotionally groomed her to believe what they had was special, that he needed her to take care of him, that it was her job to keep their secret. If she told anyone, he warned, she would be guilty of hurting him and others.

It was not easy, yet Sandy &lsquogot&rsquo that it was not healthy for her to own the responsibility for the success of her marriage, and that it was Bob&rsquos responsibility to learn to calm his angry feelings, and not hers. They explored how pornography, as a set of beliefs that objectify women, and men, had had a dehumanizing effect on each of them. Bob had to face beliefs that prevented him from seeing Sandy as a separate and unique person, with feelings, wants, dreams of her own. It was not easy for Sandy to be empathically present to her own wants, and to learn to make clear requests. It was hard for Bob to be empathically present to Sandy&rsquos needs and requests, and even more painful to allow himself to &lsquosee&rsquo how much he had hurt and betrayed her, and to write and deliver a lengthy apology from his heart to hers. It was challenging for Bob to be present and vulnerable in their interactions, and to see this new ability to feel vulnerable as a strength. Together, they embraced new ways of rebuilding their emotional relational system, as individuals and a couple, from the ground up.

Both genders have been swimming in culturally endorsed values romanticizing dominance that distort human nature and the power of our stories. Men and women are, first and foremost, human beings with profound yearnings to meaningfully connect, to be recognized and valued for who they are as individuals, to contribute to life and others.

Essentially, the limitations placed on men and women frustrate the needs of bothand, ultimately, invite internalized or externalized resentment, mistrust and rage from which, depending on other variables, such as the extent to which partners have experienced trauma in childhood, blocks emotional intimacy and healthy sexual relations.Maintaining a healthy sense of self, while also nurturing a healthy relationship, in these contexts is a possibility only in fairy tales.

Speaking of tales, here are two very short yet enjoyable reads, written as fairy tales for adults one that portrays the inner struggle of men with intimacy, and the other of women with finding their voice. (It&rsquos useful for partners to read both, and not unusual for men and women to report finding their story in both.)

Yes, men and women are unique in many ways (yay!). In truth, as human beings, both share the same core relational needs to feel safe, valued and recognized as unique individuals. These are deeply profound, hard-wired instincts, the pursuit of which shapes most every human behavior.At deeper levels, both also share the same core fears, regarding whether they feel safe, valued, accepted and recognized for the person they are.

Hopefully, bringing these life distorting cultural stories into the open would allow us, as men and women, to have conversations together, about forging new stories together, new neural patterns in our brains, ones that release us from addictive relating patterns, to integrate new understandings, so that we may reclaim our intrinsic sense of worth in relation to one another, first and foremost, as human beings.

It&rsquos only fair to ask that, as a society of leaders, we consciously seek to foster cultural contexts that, in the very least, make it less challenging for both sexes to heal and thrive as individuals and partners in mutually enriching relationships.

Beattie, Melody (1992). Co-Dependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself. Center City, MN: Hazelden.

Schaeffer, Brenda (2009).Is it Love or Is It Addiction?Center City, MN: Hazelden.Schneider, Jennifer P. (2010). Sex, Lies, And Forgiveness: Couples Speaking Out on Healing From Sex Addiction., 3rd Edition.Tucson, AZ: Recovery Resources Press.

Weiss, Robert, Patrick Carnes & Stephanie Carnes (2009). Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts. Carefree, AZ: Gentle Path Press.


For Centuries, Blackmail Was a Tool Used to Intimidate Gay Men - HISTORY

Joseph Alsop - Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis Newspaper Photograph Collection, Digital Public Library of America

Newspaper columnists have historically been known for their biased commentary, advice on current events, or reflections on their individual points of view. One writer, who produced what is believed to be the longest-running editorial column in the United States, took pride in creating pieces based on in-depth reporting in addition to opinionated comments. Though he traveled the world and became a leading figure in chronicling events of national politics, the life of renowned journalist Joseph Wright Alsop V began just west of Hartford, on a prosperous farm in Avon, Connecticut.

The son of Joseph Alsop and Corinne Robinson, this famous columnist was born in 1910 and grew up in relative wealth, graduating from the Groton School in Massachusetts and Harvard University. From a young age, he was introduced to politics as the great nephew of Teddy Roosevelt and distant cousin of FDR, piquing his interest in this career field and eventually leading to him becoming one of the country’s most well-known political journalists of the 20th century.

Volunteer Service and International Influence

Labeled as a “gloomy conservative,” a “doyen of Georgetown society,” and a “fierce foreign-policy hawk,” Alsop caused both controversy and concord among his contemporaries who included presidents, world leaders, Supreme Court justices, and influential mid-century journalists. It was his unwavering determination to provide his readers with the truth – at least as he saw it – prompting him to say in a 1974 interview, “I do have strong opinions, but I do try to give the customers value for money – which are the facts on which my opinions are based.”

Alsop Family (ca. 1941). Photo taken at the Wood Ford Farm at 27 Nod Road in Avon the weekend before Joseph Alsop left to serve in World War II. Left-right: John, Corrine, Stewart & Joseph. – Courtesy of Marian Hunter History Room, Avon Library, Avon CT

Alsop first started gathering those facts as a writer for the Harvard Crimson, followed by a position at New York’s Herald Tribune where, in 1936, he and fellow journalist Robert Kinter began writing a daily syndicated column. That was put on hold during the Second World War when Alsop became part of the American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers). After being captured by the Japanese during a supply mission, he was imprisoned in Hong Kong but earned his freedom by portraying himself as a civilian journalist on assignment.

Once the war ended, Alsop resumed his journalism career, this time collaborating with his brother Stewart to write a column for the Tribune entitled “Matter of Fact” which garnered them national recognition in the early 1950s. Running several times a week in several hundred publications, the Alsop brothers’ writings exerted considerable influence around the country – and the world.

When Alsop traveled to the Philippines to cover elections there in 1953, it was not at the request of his syndicate but at the request of CIA officials, with whom he had a close relationship. According to author Evan Thomas, the CIA “asked Joe Alsop to write some columns warning the Filipinos not to steal the election from [Ramon] Magsaysay,” a candidate for president. Alsop agreed, though he seemed unsure of his impact on the statesman’s victory.

A Refusal to Be Blackmailed

A closeted gay man and a staunch critic of the Soviet Union, Alsop used his renown to thwart a blackmail set-up during a visit to the U.S.S.R. in 1957. After meeting a man who, unbeknownst to Alsop, was a KGB operative, the two rendezvoused in a Moscow hotel room where they were photographed by another agent in a compromising tryst.

When Soviets told the prominent columnist that they intended to circulate the incriminating photos among American journalists and politicians unless he agreed to spy for them, Alsop refused to be intimidated. Instead, he revealed the specifics of the incident – and his sexuality – to his associates in the CIA. When U.S. intelligence officials learned of the entrapment, they turned the tables on the Soviets, threatening them with blackmail information, which eventually took Alsop out of the one spotlight in which he never wished to be.

Stewart and Joseph Alsop (between 1945 and 1960) – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

As a critic of Joseph McCarthy and the “Red Scare” and as a proponent of the war in Vietnam, Alsop never wavered from his forceful opinions, calling his columns “largely reportial.” With connections to the highest of Washington’s elite in the 1960s, Alsop became a confidant of John F. Kennedy and a critic of Adlai Stevenson. Even his own brother, with whom he worked for years before their partnership dissolved, labeled him “egregious, a genius … and like most geniuses hard to work with. He seemed to feel a psychic need for at least one shouting, foot-stamping row each week.”

Though his work as a commentator took many forms over the course of his career, Alsop’s columns ran for a half century, documenting the lives, the scandals, the society, and the dealings of prominent politicians and public figures, all to bring to his readers “the facts on which my opinions are based.” Robert W. Merry, in his book Taking on the World: Joseph and Stewart Alsop, Guardians of the American Century, describes how the writings of these men, specifically older brother Joseph, mirrored the events of mid-20th century America. “Within the lifetime of the Alsop brothers the country was remade,” Merry writes. “And its remaking illuminates their careers, just as their careers illuminate the American Century.”

Later Writings

Late in his career, Alsop wrote for the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, retiring in 1974, though he continued writing up until his death in 1989. His memoir I’ve Seen the Best of It was published posthumously three years later. He is buried in Middletown, Connecticut, only 25 miles from his birthplace in Avon. Despite his international renown and both famous and infamous reputation, he remained a Connecticut Yankee at heart.

“To this day,” he wrote in his seventies, “my idea of heaven is to dress in my best garments for a wedding, sit at a table of pleasant friends, and drink champagne in an apple orchard under a New England June sun.”

Emily Clark is a freelance writer and an English and Journalism teacher at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge.


Bury Your Gays

This trope is the presentation of deaths of LGBT characters where these characters are nominally able to be viewed as more expendable than their heterosexual counterparts. In this way, the death is treated as exceptional in its circumstances. In aggregate, queer characters are more likely to die than straight characters. Indeed, it may be because they seem to have less purpose compared to straight characters, or that the supposed natural conclusion of their story is an early death.

The reasons for this trope have evolved somewhat over the years. For a good while, it was because the Depraved Homosexual trope and its ilk pretty much limited portrayals of explicitly gay characters to villainous characters, or at least characters who weren't given much respect by the narrative. This, conversely, meant that most of them would either die or be punished by the end. Even somewhat sympathetic characters would usually receive punishment, as their sexuality was perceived as a negative trait (similar to how one would write a sympathetic drug addict). However, as sensitivity to gay people became more mainstream, this then transitioned into the Too Good for This Sinful Earth narrative, where stories would tackle the subject of homophobia and then depict LGBT characters as suffering victims who die tragic deaths from an uncaring world. The AIDS crisis also contributed to this narrative, as the Tragic AIDS Story became its own archetype, popularized by films like Philadelphia. And then there are the cases of But Not Too Gay or the Bait-and-Switch Lesbians, where creators manage to get the romance going but quickly avoid showing it in detail by killing off one of the relevant characters.

Also known as Dead Lesbian Syndrome, though that name has largely fallen out of use post-2015 and the media riots about overuse of the trope. And, as this public outcry restated, the problem isn't merely that gay characters are killed off: the problem is the tendency that gay characters are killed off in a story full of mostly straight characters, or when the characters are killed off because they are gay.

Can be seen as Truth in Television in some cases, as gay and lesbian people are at a substantially higher risk for suicide and assault — see the tropes Gayngst-Induced Suicide and Homophobic Hate Crime. The fact that AIDS hit the gay male community most prominently provided potent fresh fuel for this long running trope (which, like many things about the eighties, still has an effect on more recent works). There may also be a higher prevalence of this trope in Period Fiction because of its supposed realism since historically there was lots of homophobic persecution — though undoubtedly plenty of acceptance, too. Another issue, however is that the stories where gay people quietly lived out their lives in peace are often less documented, and considered less dramatically compelling for straight audiences, leading to what can still be a skewed picture of the past.

However, sometimes gay characters die in fiction because, well, sometimes people die. There are many Anyone Can Die stories: barring explicit differences in the treatments of the gay and straight deaths in these, it's not necessarily odd that the gay characters are dying. The occasional death of one in a Cast Full of Gay is unlikely to be notable, either.

It's also, however, a question of a sheer numbers game. Even when there is a perfectly valid narrative reason for the writers to chose to kill off the character, or it serves the story perfectly, it's often the case that killing one queer character is removing the only positive representation within the narrative. Additionally, given the ratio of mainstream queer narratives that end in tragedy, compared to ones with a genuinely happy ending, any addition to the list of the dead is often greeted with dismay, no matter how technically well executed.

The exact opposite is found in Preserve Your Gays, which is often a reaction to this.


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How the Stonewall Riots Worked

In West Village of Manhattan, New York City, the neat grid of streets collapses into a tangle of odd angles and jagged alleys. A few blocks from Washington Square Park, the streets converge like the center of a spider's web, appearing to meet at one place: the Stonewall Inn.

The Stonewall was never showy. It was a dive bar with one significant feature — it catered to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. On a hot summer night in 1969, the police raided the place, lining up gay men, transgender people, lesbians and even the bar's Mafia-connected owners, demanding to see ID before filing them off to paddy wagons waiting outside. Police had raided LGBTQ bars hundreds of times in other cities across America [source: Armstrong and Crage]. But something was different that night: The crowd vehemently fought back.

The resulting riots galvanized the gay rights movement in the U.S., which until then had been quiet and slow to anger. But exactly what happened that night? Why did the LGBTQ people of New York react so differently than they had during so many other police raids? And why did this incident take on such a prominent role in the history of gay rights in America?

First, we'll unravel the conditions in the LGBTQ community that led to the Stonewall riots and their legacy as a pivotal moment in the gay liberation movement.

LGBTQ Life Before Stonewall

Gay rights in the U.S. can be divided into two eras: before Stonewall and after Stonewall. While LGBTQ people face many challenges today, life as an LGBTQ person before the Stonewall riots was particularly challenging.

That's because of a web of local and state laws made that restricted the rights of gay people before 1969. Those mandates included anything from the restriction of dancing in public with a same-sex partner to anti-sodomy laws that criminalized private sexual acts performed in people's own homes. Police used these laws to harass and intimidate LGBTQ people, raiding gay clubs and enforcing "gender-appropriate" clothing laws. The laws also required people to wear a minimum of three pieces of clothing deemed appropriate for their gender, and they were designed to target transgender people, cross-dressers or anyone who didn't conform to a set of gender signifiers [source: Carter]. In every state but Illinois, which became the first to repeal its sodomy laws in 1961, it was effectively illegal simply to be gay.

A culture of silence and fear surrounded LGBTQ life in the mid-20th century. There were no contemporary federal laws or court precedents that protected the civil rights of LGBTQ people in the United States. They could be fired from their jobs if it was revealed they were gay. (Indeed, people in many U.S. cities can still be fired for being gay, as there is no federal law against anti-LGBTQ employment discrimination.) LGBTQ people were under constant pressure to conform, to keep things hidden and to "act straight." Until 1973, homosexuality was listed in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) as a disorder. Being gay was viewed as a mental illness for so long that many LGBTQ people truly believed that they were sick and had a problem they needed to hide or overcome.

The 1950s were especially brutal, due to a witch hunt sometimes known as the Lavender Scare. During this period, from around 1945-69, the anti-communist scourge of McCarthyism also targeted LGBTQ people as criminals or perverts. In fact, this anti-gay hysteria regressed gay rights and attitudes toward LGBTQ people, which had gradually become more relaxed since the beginning of the 20th century.

But the pre-Stonewall era was not entirely without hope. A movement in favor of gay civil rights began to grow in the 1950s. Known as the "homophile movement," it emphasized a quiet, conformist version of gayness. The most prominent gay rights group at that time was called the Mattachine Society (named after a secret society in the Middle Ages). While the specific successes achieved by the homophile movement were limited, the movement helped craft a positive LGBTQ identity, and also established a nationwide network that allowed LGBTQ people to communicate, mostly via newsletters.

Life for LGBTQ people in the 1950s and '60s was filled with oppression and harassment. There were few places where they could meet other gay people and enjoy the emerging gay culture, and they were often disowned by their parents and shunned by their community. But one place where the LGBTQ community in New York did feel relatively free to do those things was the Stonewall Inn.


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