Two private screenings of an upcoming Hollywood feature film on the famed “father of the sexual revolution” – attended by Alfred Kinsey’s chief critic and whistleblower – were mysteriously canceled.
Dr. Judith Reisman, scholar and author of “Kinsey, Crimes and Consequences,” thinks the cancellations were no accident, asserting the Fox Searchlight film is part of a broader media blitz to patch up the damaged reputation of a man widely regarded as the linchpin of the scientific, educational and cultural structures built up during the sexual revolution of the past 40 years.
Reisman flew to Los Angeles Sept. 20 to view “Kinsey,” touted as a potential Oscar winner for Liam Neeson in the title role and Laura Linney as his wife.
But only 10 or 15 minutes into the film, which opens Nov. 12, the screen suddenly went blank.
Film critic Ted Baehr – publisher of family-friendly MovieGuide and arranger of the screening through Fox Searchlight parent 20th Century Fox – told Reisman, “It’s because of you.”
In an interview with WorldNetDaily, Baehr said he spoke by telephone at the screening room with a representative of the film distributor who claimed the Sept. 20 showing was stopped because of a technical problem. But the technicians on hand denied that, insisting the film was in good shape.
Fox Searchlight, however, said it was willing to reschedule, and another showing was set for Oct. 5.
Reisman once again flew to Los Angeles. But an hour and a half before the 3 p.m. screening, Fox Searchlight informed Baehr it had been canceled and promised to send a fax later with an explanation.
Baehr said the explanation was vague, but a statement the film distributor sent to WND said the showing was canceled because after the first screening, Baehr “proceeded to launch unfounded, vicious and extreme attacks on ‘Kinsey.'”
Baehr insisted the charge is false, and Reisman agreed, asserting there is only one explanation.
“This was another excuse to cover up – they did not want me to see the film, and I don’t blame them,” she told WND after the cancellation.
Reisman said that while promoters of the film know she can write critically about it after its Nov. 12 release, they want to “frame the battleground” on Kinsey.
Alfred C. Kinsey
Amid a host of unflattering details about Kinsey, who died in 1956, is one his supporters are most afraid to see in the light of public scrutiny, contends Reisman – namely, his “joyful” collaboration with child molesters.
A researcher and scholar of Kinsey for more than two decades, Reisman charges the late Indiana University professor conducted fraudulent science that employed the use of pedophiles. She says his socially explosive 1948 book, “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male,” contained a record of unfathomable sexual human experiments conducted by men on hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children.
The Kinsey study, widely seen as the book that launched the sexual revolution, has been used to support the contention that sexual activity in children is natural and healthy and should not be repressed.
‘Liberator or pervert?’
Reisman has been critical of the new Hollywood film during its entire production process, warning Neeson and others more than one year ago that they are party to a whitewash of a man who has done incalculable damage to American society by providing “scientific” rationale for softening laws that protect women and children from molesters and giving institutional sanction to an “anything goes” sexual morality that has ruined millions of lives.
As WorldNetDaily reported in February 2003, the Kinsey film’s director and writer, Academy-Award winner Bill Condon, was upset by a campaign by Reisman and radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger to expose Kinsey as a “man who produced and directed the rape and torture of hundreds of infants and children.”
Reisman believes a media blitz this year, backed by the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute among others, is seeking to rehabilitate Kinsey as some of the explosive revelations about him gradually surface in the mainstream media.
Reisman regards two recent articles as breakthroughs.
The New York Times, in an Oct. 3 story headlined “Alfred Kinsey: Liberator or Pervert?,” refers to a scene in the movie that Reisman believes Condon was forced to insert because of the pressure brought by the campaign she waged along with Schlessinger.
The brief scene depicts Kinsey’s June 1944 meeting with 63-year-old pedophile, Rex King, whose diaries included meticulous recording of sexual encounters with boys.
Missing in the film, but cited in the Times article, is a letter Kinsey wrote to King urging him to send the diaries.
Biographer James H. Jones reported that on Nov. 24, 1944, Kinsey wrote, “I rejoice at everything you send, for I am then assured that much more of your material is saved for scientific publication.”
A Sept. 27 story in the Times of London notes Kinsey also relied on data from a Nazi pedophile, Fritz von Balluseck, who was tried for the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl in 1956.
The two men corresponded, the London paper said, with Kinsey once warning von Balluseck to “watch out” in case he was caught.
King’s data appears in a table in “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” that summarized his attempts to bring to orgasm boys between the ages of 2 months and 15 years, in some cases over a period as long as 24 hours.
Kinsey falsely claimed the data was derived from many sources. But recently retired Kinsey Institute director John Bancroft admitted in 1995 that all of it came from King.
The New York Times said a forthcoming article by Bancroft will suggest Kinsey’s motive was to shield King from public attention.
Reisman points out that in addition to the Hollywood feature, presentations of Kinsey’s life are being produced by American Experience and the A&E cable network – all in response, she believes, to her damaging revelations about Kinsey.
The Kinsey Institute in particular believes Kinsey’s personal biography is crucial to maintaining its status and the reputations of many academics and sex educators whose credentials were built on the foundation of the Indiana professor’s research.
At a 50th-anniversary celebration of the 1948 book at San Francisco State University seven years ago, Reisman points out, Columbia University anthropologist Carol Vance observed that “moral conservatives are attempting to undermine Kinsey, which has put all sex educators on the defensive. ”
Kinsey’s biography, Vance said, therefore has become “a battleground.”
The New York Times story noted biographer Jones’ book “revealed that Kinsey had had affairs with men, encouraged open marriages among his staff, stimulated himself with urethral insertion and ropes and filmed sex in his attic.”
But Jones did not believe he was debunking Kinsey.
“What I told myself, and I still think this, was that I was writing a biography of a tragic hero,” Jones told the Times. “It shouldn’t surprise us that pleas for sexual tolerance would come from a person who couldn’t be himself in public.”
Though Condon reveals some of Kinsey’s darker side, the upcoming film portrays him as the “tragic hero” who overcame the religious rigidity of his strict Methodist father to pave the way for sexual freedom for everyone.
That portrayal likely will resonate with many viewers, Reisman acknowledges.
“We have become so jaded … so the notion of being upset because he was bisexual or tortured himself is by the wayside,” she said. “But one thing our society is not jaded about is men raping children and passing that off as science.”
Why did Fox Searchlight cancel for a second time?
Baehr told WND the promised explanation by fax was vague, stating only that Fox Searchlight was concerned that he had made statements about the screening. Fox did not characterize or specify the content of the statements, he said.
WND made numerous attempts to obtain an explanation from Fox Searchlight for the second cancellation and received only a one-paragraph statement that said, in part:
“We set a screening of the film in good faith; trusting that Baehr would view the film with an open mind. Following this agreement, Baehr proceeded to launch unfounded, vicious and extreme attacks on ‘Kinsey.’ After a great deal of deliberation, we decided to cancel this screening in the interest of fair and informed dialogue about the film.”
But Baehr insists he launched no attack on the film’s content, although he did express to WND his suspicion that the first screening was canceled because Reisman was in the audience – a belief WND had passed on to Fox Searchlight in an attempt to get an explanation.
“What they are saying is amusing, because we haven’t made any unfounded or extreme attacks on ‘Kinsey,” Baehr said. “So why would they invent something so absurd?”
Baehr’s MovieGuide later issued a statement denying Fox Searchlight’s charge of “unfounded, vicious and extreme attacks” and noting MovieGuide has not yet published its full review of the film.
“We have, of course, remarked strongly on Hollywood and the mass media’s tendency to lionize Alfred C. Kinsey and his work, even though both the Kinsey Institute and the New York Times have admitted that Kinsey’s research was terribly flawed,” the statement said, adding, “Of course, we do not agree with Hollywood’s fascination with overt sexuality, lust, sexual oddities, and even sexual perversions.”
The statement said Baehr “remains open-minded” about the rest of the Kinsey movie, despite negative reports from others he trusts who have seen it.
“We advise Fox and Fox Searchlight to remain open toward any controversy generated by the movie, because such controversy will produce ticket sales,” MovieGuide said. “We don’t think they should respond so negatively to attacks and criticisms on the movie that they try spreading disinformation and exaggerations against the attackers and critics, especially when the attackers and critics are a small entertainment ministry like MovieGuide. It will not look good for a multi-billion dollar company (that’s billion with a “b”) to be unfairly attacking or smearing a small organization with a budget under $1 million.”
‘Proud of the film’
After the first screening, WND asked Fox Searchlight’s vice president for promotion and publicity, Breena Camden, to respond to Baehr’s claim that Reisman was the reason for the cancellation.
Camden insisted there was a technical problem with the film, and that she offered to reschedule the screening for the next day. Both Baehr and Reisman were leaving for extended trips, however, and Oct. 5 was the earliest date to reschedule.
Camden maintained Reisman had nothing to do with the cancellation.
“Quite frankly, we are extremely proud of this film,” she told WND. “We are not trying to hide the film. It’s had some wonderful critical acclaim. There is no reason for us to hide it, and in fact we are not.”
“I fully believe Dr. Reisman will be part of his party again Oct. 5,” she said.
But Baehr tells a different story.
He said that just before the first scheduled screening, he received a call from a representative of Fox Searchlight who said it had to be canceled because a reel of the film was damaged.
The representative said the projectionist had pre-screened the film to check it out and discovered the damage.
Baehr continued to the screening anyway, because Reisman was flying in from out-of-town for it. When he arrived, the projectionist told him the film looked good.
Also, according to Baehr, the delivery person said she had just brought it from Fox and nobody had screened it.
Baehr identified the projectionist only by his first name, Josh.
The screening proceeded, but only about 15 minutes into the film, Josh stopped it on orders from a “higher up” at Fox Searchlight.
Baehr said he got on the phone with the representative, who explained that the reel was damaged.
But Josh, according to Baehr, maintained that the film was in good shape.
According to Reisman, a veteran technician on hand said he had conducted screenings for 40 years and had never seen anything like this.
“They were very upset,” Reisman said. “The technician was extremely agitated and made a comment to the effect that he was not going to cover up for what happened.”
“It wasn’t their fault,” she added. “There was nothing wrong on their end.”