Michael Fabrizio, Nudist Camp Owner Arrested: Part III
back to Part II
On March 26, 1990, I attended Ed Donaghe's pretrial hearing. The defense attorney questioned the arresting officer, and I learned that Ed gave the false name of Don Edwards for the order at the processing mart. There were 60 photos. About 10 were of a clothed white male with a killed boar-hunting pictures. The remaining 50 or so were of children-all nude, with some adults. Ed claimed the photos were taken by someone else, though he had told me that he had taken some of the photos. However, if he admitted that in court, he might be subject to the more serious charge of producing child pornography rather than just possession. When arrested, Ed said he was a member of Acorn Sun Club, rather than proprietor. Ed also refused to identify the children in the photos. More lies from Donaghe.
I believe all this salient information regarding the Donaghe case constitutes a genuine need for concern and action. This being the case I wrote to Lee Baxandall and strongly advised him to remove the Acorn Sun Club from his list of approved clubs and to take what ever measures he can to alert the naturist and nudist community of the possible dangers of dealing with Donaghe. What will be done about these suggestions remains to be seen.
I've learned that mainstream naturism is certainly not up to my standards, so I'm no longer involved in it. These days, I publish a quarterly newsletter called NAVEL-Naturists Advocating Vegetarian & Ecological Lifestyles. Through it, I can support what I thought naturism was supposed to be about in the first place-being natural. Michael Fabrizio
I then wrote him asking that he remove Acorn Sun Club from his group listing. His reply was as follows:
April 26, 1990
I am troubled that you imagine that I gave you inflated figures for TNS membership. If, as I have probable cause to suspect, your (unnamed) source for this accusation is Ms. Nikki Craft (to resort to your current stilted modes of naming and address), then I suggest that you consider the source of the accusation, and think it over. Her malice towards the Society which so much benefitted her is inexhaustible.
I enclose a couple of items of interest: The permission for Tim Wilcox to photograph the 1988 Naturist Gathering, of which Craft has made so much; she gave him permission! And, articles which I wrote in 1985 alerting the nudist clubs that "child porn" must not be trivialized. Craft was not "into" this problem that early; [Craft Interjects: This is not true.] yet she's been just great in making herself look like a sole concerned party. If posturing and high-voltage negativism are the criteria, then she's your woman.
Regarding your urging that Acorn Sun Club be removed as a listed club, we will adhere to the same policy we held to with regard to Tim Wilcox: We will wait upon the results of judicial process as the most reliable means of reaching a finding.
Have you seen the photographs in question? One person's sexually suggestive" is another person's normal nudity; and obscenity may be (at times) "in the mind of the beholder".
I am dropping a letter to Ed Donaghe inviting him, if he wishes, to defend himself to us. I will copy this letter to him to the ASA as well, since they may be unaware of the charges.
Naturally, Lee Baxandall, encl: Wilcox & childporn article items
February 19, 1991
Dear Mr. Baxandall:
I apologize as usual for the delay in getting this letter to you, which I started in May 1990.
In your letter of April 26,1990, you express distress over my using an honorific ("Mr.") to address your letter. I would remind you that you were the first "to resort toÉstilted modes of naming and address", as you put it. (See your letter to me of December 26, 1989.) In addition, your letters to me have been quite condescending and inflammatory, and thus I feel that formality between us is appropriate. It also seems ridiculous that you would want to remain cordial and informal when you have taken the tactic of telephoning me and then hanging up on me in the middle of the conversation. I will now be formal, but I can no longer continue to be polite.
YOUR "KIDDY PORN" ARTICLE
Golly, Mr. Baxandall, thank you so much for sending me your 1985 article on child pornography (which appeared in the ASA's journal and not your own) to convince me of your sincerity concerning children's issues. Of course, your writing this article proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are doing everything you can to protect children today, five years later. Won't you please now share with me articles on this subject that have appeared in Clothed with the Sun/Nude & Natural in the last three years, as well as the information you send to nudist resorts and naturist groups explaining how to be alert to problems with children and what they can do about it? Come on, Lee! You don't impress me by pointing out that you acknowledged the problem in 1985 if you won't acknowledge it now!
I want to precede this by reminding you that your response to the Wilcox matter came only after extreme persistence on my part. If you were truly concerned with my understanding of the issue, you would have engaged in meaningful dialogue freely (rather than being forced into responding). Your information to me about Wilcox came only after you saw that I was actually taking action to address a sensitive issue. (While at the same time, you were not.)
You may not have known about Wilcox in the past, but you certainly know about him now. Considering his history, I think it would be extremely appropriate to run a piece on him. I can't understand your defending Wilcox just because he was not convicted of the most recent charges against him. How does his alleged innocence in his most recent case justify his past actions?
Such an article about Wilcox would at least let people know that these problems exist. And even if this were the only case (which it is not), once should be enough to get you concerned. By dismissing concerns about pedophiles as "rare", you in effect state that there is an acceptable level of pedophilia.
It is also inappropriate for you to characterize pedophiles as a "nudist problem" when your magazine supports that very same nudist community; you are associated. For example, you list nudist camps in your magazine, and you accept advertising for them as well.
Finally, I think it's rather odd that you blame Louise Flanagan as the source of the Wilcox problem, yet you use her as your credible source to defend Wilcox to Craft.
SOME REAL ISSUES
(1) You failed to convince me of your sincerity and integrity.
My involvement with these issues began in 1989 when I was ignorant in these matters, and I repeatedly pleaded with you to defend yourself to me concerning your position on child abuse/pornography. The best you could do was to tell me that Nikki Craft is a nut.
(2) You attack style and not substance.
Typical of your ad hominem approach, you argue by attacking a person whose position differs from your own, rather than attacking that person's position. You say, "Craft was not Ôinto' the problem this early; yet she's been just great in making herself look like a sole-concerned party. If posturing and high-voltage negativism are the criteria, then she's your woman." Lee, is this even relevant, even if there were truth to it? Let me explain something: The issue is not whether or not Nikki Craft has character flaws. The issue is whether or not the naturist community is protecting its children. What's so hard to understand about that? When you disagree with something, your logical response should be, "You're wrong!" The Lee Baxandall response is, "You're nuts!" Lee, it doesn't even matter if someone is nuts. That doesn't address the issue. What matters is the validity of what they're saying. You shame yourself and your organization by your blatant and unsuccessful attempts to avoid issues by trying to discredit your opposition instead of paying the slightest bit of attention to what they're saying. This disgusts me more than I can tell you. I am only puzzled as to why you continue to do it after I have repeatedly let you know that I am not too stupid to fall for it. Perhaps you don't even understand what you're doing, despite the fact that I have mentioned it before. In that event, I don't know which is worse: purposely using your tactic to dishonestly distort the issue, or being so uncomprehending that you don't even realize that you're doing it.
You can fantasize all you want about the alleged personal and social ineptitude of Nikki Craft or myself, but the reason I take the position I do is that you have shamefully avoided taking the action or responsibility for the safety of children in the movement that you should have taken long ago. At this point, you'll throw a tantrum and whine that Nikki Craft is a lunatic and that I'm into cheap thrills; it doesn't change the fact that you have failed to act on your obligations. That's the point, Lee. No, don't start complaining about ulterior motivesÑthe point is that you chose not to do what you could to protect children from molesters and pornographers, you have denied it, and you have lashed out with a vengeance against anyone who tried to work on the issue themselves.
(3) What you should have done.
No doubt you will respond with a few specifics of great deeds you have done (such as your untimely 1985 article on the subject), which "proves" not only your concern, but also your effort and attention.
Such examples will not hide the fact that you failed to do several major, specific things. Lest you have no idea what exactly it is you should have done, the very first thing you should have done was to acknowledge the problem, instead of ignoring it and telling everyone it didn't exist. Then you should have addressed the problem, with your journal being an excellent starting place. You should have provided specific guidance to nudist camps and naturist groups as to how to be alert to problems with children, and what to do if something happens. You should have investigated possible pedophiles thoroughly, and swiftly and forcibly ejected the problem people, while loudly warning the rest of the community to beware of those individuals. I know you have not done these things because, among other things, I have long noticed the absence of such issues in your magazine, and I have personal experience with your contemptible lack of action concerning the Ed Donaghe case.
ED DONAGHE/ACORN SUN CLUB
When I originally wrote to you in 1989 to get your story on the issue, you swore up and down the street to me that, "From the start, we've energetically found and ousted persons with private agendas concerning children," and, "We keep track of all possible problem persons, and inquire about them." At that time, with no other experience with these issues, I made an effort to believe you. But now my first-hand experience reveals that you were not entirely honest with me.
(1) You did no investigation of Ed Donaghe or his Acorn Sun Club.
Oh, wait, you looked in your file and found "some good press clippings in his favor", and found that an ASA guide once listed his place as a 100-acre nature preserve. It apparently didn't matter to you that the ASA dropped him years ago, while you neglected to do until June 1990 so despite the evidence and despite my request. Four months after I informed you about this case, the best you could do was to "drop a letter to Ed Donaghe inviting him, if he wishes, to defend himself to us". You also mentioned that you would copy your letter to the ASA, since you thought they might have been unaware of the charges. Had you really been looking into this case, you would have discovered that not only was the ASA "aware of the charges", but they also offered legal assistance to Donaghe before even seeing the photos in question! You topped it off by calling me in September 1990, and off-hand asking me what is going on with the case! So much for your wonderful investigations! You lied to me about your efforts to investigate child abusers. Yet you attack those such as Nikki Craft who are actually conducting the investigations that are your responsibility. This is ridiculous and contemptible.
(2) There is plenty of reason to suspect Donaghe.
I have explained all this to you already on more than one occasion. The only response I have gotten from you is "One person's Ôsexually suggestive' is another person's normal nudity." (And in regard to the photographs, your charge is laughable as you know less about the photos than I do. In any event, while I haven't seen the photos yet, the descriptions I have heard were more than detailed enough for me to make a determination of their inappropriateness without reservation.)
I have already provided several facts that should have made you extremely wary of Donaghe. The fact that these did not affect you is disappointing. As previously mentioned, why did Ed lie to me about the subjects in the photographs? Why did Ed lie about the nature of the photographs? Why did Ed lie to the court about who took the photographs? Why did Ed lie to the photo lab about his name? Why did Ed think that it was appropriate for me to recommend an attorney to him, no questions asked? Why did Ed feel it was inappropriate for me to ask questions concerning the case before recommending an attorney? Why did Ed avoid contacting the Naturist Society? Why couldn't he maintain even 10 members at his camp? Why were a known, violent drug manufacturer and his prostitutes welcome guests at his camp? Why can't he spell "naturist"? Why does he believe in the repressive idea of mandatory nudity? What does taking pictures of dead, killed animals have to do with naturism? Why don't you wake up?
(3) Your criteria for continuing to list Donaghe is ridiculous.
While at long last in June 1990 you finally dropped Donaghe's camp from your listing of nudist camps in Nude & Natural, your stubbornness and illogic in defending that listing prior to that (despite all the evidence and despite my request) was deplorable and inexcusable.
Specifically, you declared that you "will wait upon the results of the judicial process as the most reliable means of reaching a finding.'' Give me a break! Well, at least that certainly saves you from having to be bothered by looking into the case at all yourself! I can't believe that you think there could be no possible problem just because Donaghe hasn't been convicted yet. What if it takes two years to convict him? What about all the children he could get to during that time? And are you so naive that you think that a person must be completely innocent if he hasn't been convicted in a court of law? Is he innocent all the while up until the time of the actual conviction? If you found a man raping a child at a naturist gathering, would you say, "Well, hmm . . . you haven't been convicted by a court of law. Guess that's okay, then. Carry on." ? Maybe you should pay attention to your own words:
"Whether or not they're [pedophiles] not prosecutable, they're not desirable." Lee Baxandall, 1985
But since you have decided to drop Donaghe's camp even though he has yet to be convicted, then I have to ask, What exactly is your policy on dropping listings, Mr. Baxandall?
But perhaps most importantly, although you have finally dropped Donaghe's camp from your list of nudist camps, you did so without alerting your readers to be wary of him!
As I know of your fondness for conspiracy theory against you, especially concerning Nikki Craft, it wouldn't surprise me if you charged that Nikki "put me up" to writing this letter, or even allege that Nikki wrote it herself. This would be yet another attempt on your part to dismiss the issue on both irrelevant and incorrect grounds. I wrote this letter by myself and of my own free will. However, to be perfectly honest, I clearly and unashamedly state that I maintain both a working relationship and friendship with Nikki Craft. In no way am I embarrassed about my connections to someone who devotes her life to working for justice and must endure your condemnation for doing so.
Lee, I don't want to continue a useless barrage of correspondence back and forth when there is important work to be done. If you took a fraction of the time you spend blasting Craft and sidestepping issues with me, and instead spent it on actively working on positive change, then there might actually be some progress. I'm not writing you because I want to debate the issue when the truth is obvious. Rather, I'm writing because I want you to stop writing me useless letters and start doing something! I would rather not hear from you if all you are going to do is criticize those who are doing your work for you while you complain bitterly and defend your lack of action.
Lee, you're dragging your movement into the ground with your inaction and denials. What feu progressive people you had have been leaving en masse. In five, or even two years down the road, will you be able to differentiate TNS' "naturism" from nudism? Change your focus before you lose everything and everyone of substance.
Meat is murder, Michael A. Fabrizio
Enclosure: Destroyed Naturist Society Membership Renewal Form
Continued Donaghe Part IV
Craft Interjects:Sometime after this Baxandall dropped his affiliation with Acorn Sun Club but he didn't inform Fabrizio or anyone else that we know of about his decision to drop Acorn. Maybe, he dropped affiliation. Anybody know where Donaghe is today? Still active? Still taking his photos of children at "naturalist" camps? Who knows? Anybody out there care?
Portions reprinted from the ICONoclast, p.o. box 2085, Rancho Cordova, Ca 95741-2085. Copyright 1995 by Nikki Craft. Commercial Use Prohibited. Comments, feedback and information about individual pedophiles are welcomed.
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