Jenny Jones Television Talk Show (Part II)
Aired on December 18, 1992
Back to Part I
(commercial break is over)
[I was kept backstage where Lange could not see me, and at the last possible moment, the producer sent me running up an unsafe ramp (wearing shoes of oppression didn't help :-) onto the studio stage and (after almost tripping :-( ) the confrontation of Lange went like this. . .]
JENNY JONES: My next guest worked in the office of the second largest nudist organization in the country for five years. She's here to tell us why she's changed her mind about nudism and decided to put her clothes back on. Meet Nikki Craft.
NIKKI CRAFT: (walks on stage) Hi Ed.
ED LANGE: Hello Miss Craft.
JENNY JONES: Welcome Nikki. Ah, tell us first why you changed your mind?
NIKKI CRAFT: Well, I originally got into naturism from the free beach movement because I believe very strongly in body acceptance, and the way that advertising and pornography has portrayed women and body image problems, bulimia, the various, ah, things that women incorporate into themselves to internalize their own oppression. And I felt like, you know, if we learn to accept our bodies more that we might be able to change the culture. And so, I got involved in it, and I started seeing a whole undercurrent.
I was involved in the Naturist -- with the Naturist Society -- my exit actually began when I first became involved in it. Ah, the first event that I went to was a boat cruise. Two hundred men pulled out cameras as soon as we got into international waters. (the audience gasps, expresses shock)
[When I wrote an article about this experience ("Why I Rocked the Boat"), Baxandall -- as my editor -- required that I reduce the number of men I thought were involved. We fought about it at the time. I do know it was an intimidating number of men -- a shocking number of men -- with cameras. These cameras were all pulled out and the men began snapping photos of nude people the moment we hit international waters as clothing was being removed. This Windjammer cruise was one of my first Naturist Society Events.]
JENNY JONES: Ohhhh.
NIKKI CRAFT: The second, the second -- this was within the first eight Naturist Society gatherings that I went to -- uhm, my attorney's daughter's friend, who they had brought to Lupin, was sexually molested in the sauna. And then, I went to a --
JENNY JONES: Well, wait a minute, let me just back -- are you saying that, that pictures are taken of people in the nude?
NIKKI CRAFT: Frequently. They have photo shoots, they see nothing -- and it's frequently, you know, it's with photo shoots with children, but the next camp --
JENNY JONES: Of children?!
NIKKI CRAFT: Oh yeah, children, and women, appear in European pornography. Ed Lange is one of the biggest offenders, he used to put out a publication called YOUNG AND NAKED (copy of YOUNG AND NAKED appears on screen), and he distributes to European pornography magazines, he -- I mean, if I am wrong I hope that he will sue me. But he is a pornographer. He believes very strongly in the connection.
And so, he's talking out of both sides of his mouth, and Ed, I think you owe people a real apology, I think you owe nudists an apology, I think you owe the American public an apology. (audience applauds)
JENNY JONES: That is -- I'll let you respond, it is upsetting at the thought, uh, it's one thing -- it's bad enough for adults -- but the thought of having children's pictures taken is very upsetting. Does that really go on?
ED LANGE: Miss Craft, I will respond to you in kind. Miss Craft is very unhappy with the experiences she had, which were a series of rejections, and now, at specifically to the question and to the point: there had been a witch hunt about so-called child abuse for a long time. It got out of hand, as many of you may realize, and the fact is there is abuse of men, there's abuse of women, and sometimes there's abuse of children. There's nothing new about that.
What is important here is that it happens occasionally, sometimes, but is not something that has anything to do with nudist, naturist activities. Children are not permitted to be photographed by anyone without their parent's consent and parent's presence.
JENNY JONES: What about the magazine that she said you published?
ED LANGE: (continues to speak, ignoring JJ's question) A long time ago there may have been that, but policies have been established which make that very unlikely.
JENNY JONES: (said this at the same time Ed Lange is making the above statement) What kind of policies?
ED LANGE: (continues to talk) It's always possible, but very unlikely.
JENNY JONES: (repeats herself while EL continues to talk) What kind of policies?
ED LANGE: Yes ma'am?
JENNY JONES: What kind of policies?
ED LANGE: What kind of books?
JENNY JONES: No, no photographs?
ED LANGE: Oh, I have a book called THE NAKED CHILD GROWING UP WITHOUT SHAME, a hard cover book that my publishing company has distributed all over the world, and is available in your corner bookstores, in most bookstores, not in all bookstores. I'm not ashamed of pictures of children.
JENNY JONES: (stated at the same time Ed Lange is saying the last sentence) Are these pictures taken at the camps?
ED LANGE: (continues to speak over Jenny Jones' question) And my family, with my children (unintelligble here).
JENNY JONES: You may not be, but what about the kids? Are they -- is this with their permission?
ED LANGE: The parents are the responsible parties, for their children's upbringing, and their behavior. This is where we have a difference of opinion.
NIKKI CRAFT: Yeah, what they do is they come on and they talk about the wholesomeness of nudity, and then they pull people in, they invite women, and then any time women get in there, then they start writing it off as some kind of psychological sexual fantasy, blaming women who are critical and who are outspoken, and they keep people who have very good intentions, like Sonny, who really want to believe in wholesome nudity, and it is a wonderful concept.
But the naturist/nudist movement in this country is not working, and the media has been very quick, on ratings week, to just come in with the nudists and their public relations -- Geraldo sat in a hot tub with a man who runs a Southern California nudist camp, and he's the American Sunbathing Association's representative for family nudism, and I have the court county service documents, which say that in the past, he has admitted to having sex with all three of his daughters, and a wife beater. (audience gasps)
Now, Geraldo was sent this information, he never did any follow-up work on it; he won a media award for the show that he did with them; and so it's time for the media to stop accepting a non-critical viewpoint; I think what Jenny Jones is doing here is extremely brave, and I really think -- I want to commend her.
I'm, I'm going to, ah, read something -- I think Ed will recognize this -- Ed was just given the award for, ah, the American Sunbathing Association Hall of Fame Award, and I believe he should receive the Hall of Shame Award. Now, he edited the American Sunbathing Association's official journal, uh, called NUDISM TODAY, "No doubt about it," -- this, and this is the ad that he ran for his publication: "No doubt about it, this is THE -- in all caps -- magazine of teenage nudism, real teenagers, real nudists. No over the hill wasted looking models. YOUNG AND NAKED is fresh, youthful naked girls and boys just having fun."
Over the hill; what happened to body acceptance?, is my comment. In his magazines we did a statistical study, it was twenty to one young girls, and amidst, in the publication there were ads for "Two hundred and one girls," "Girls Galore With Luscious Lovelies," and "Welcome to the World of Women." Now, if this was a behavior that had stopped, I wouldn't be out here, but as late as 1987, when Michelle Handler and I called Ed Lange and asked him, we were shocked --
JENNY JONES: I would like to ask Ed if you have a response?
ED LANGE: Of course I do. How long ago was that, uh, Miss Craft, that those magazines were published?
NIKKI CRAFT: This was in the mid 70s, but in 1987 you explained to us, we were on extension phones we both heard it, that YOUNG AND NAKED was the finest example of wholesome nudity that exists today. Now, are you ready to stand behind that now?
ED LANGE: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm certainly willing and ready to stand behind that Miss Craft, because I think your viewpoint is a sour one, is unrealistic, does not (audience begins to protest), ah, ud, uh, you want to find out? You want to find out? I'll tell you how to do that.
JENNY JONES: speaks at the same time EL is speaking) What? Yeah.
ED LANGE: You can get information about magazines and books I published by calling (jumped to the opportunity to giving himself a plug for economic gain) and find out for yourself. You want to find out? I'll show you what I do, I'm not ashamed at what I do. I'll stand up for it and fight, and I will give it to you as people, the whole of public opinion. And I'm glad to be here to do that. Thank you for the opportunity.
An audience member calls out as he is speaking: You ought to be ashamed.
JENNY JONES: She says you ought to be. (JJ goes over to the woman who made the statement and gives her the mike)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Ed, I think you ought to be ashamed of yourself, because I don't, I don't , I don't like it about the children. (the audience applauds) I don't like it about the kids; I have a son.
ED LANGE: I'm sorry, I couldn't --
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I said, I don't like it about the children. I don't care what color they are, black, white, Mexican, Puerto Rican, whatever color they are, I think that that is wrong. We need young lawyers, we need doctors, and look what you're doing to them.
ED LANGE: I have no fault with, with your position. I have no fault with anyone's right to their own opinion.
JENNY JONES: We do have to take a break, but I do want to ask when I come back, uh, to you, Ed, what guarantee do you have that there are no sex offenders in these camps?
ED LANGE: There are no what?
JENNY JONES: Alleg -- sex offenders.
ED LANGE: There could be sex offenders in church. There could be.
JENNY JONES: I want to come back with that, we'll take a break and come right back.
(commercial is over)
JENNY JONES: We just left with a question to Ed that I know is a, is a big concern when there are children involved. How do you know there are no child molesters in these camps?
ED LANGE: No one knows absolutely a thousand percent, but the very environment, and the people's natural instincts to protect their children, usually, and almost always, prevents that from being -- from taking place. Obviously something can happen occasionally, as it does in any social group, in any picnic, on any beach, anywhere.
The point here is that the children, and the parents -- they can't be there without their parents -- some of them, by the way, are just born there, a person just asked me -- look after their kids, and they are not going to permit some pervert to exercise the opportunity because they're unclothed. They're even more sensitive to it.
JENNY JONES: But kids run off to play, they're not with their parents twenty-four hours a day.
SONNY GALLAGHER: Also, children are abused when they're clothed. They can be in parks, they can be anywhere in this world, and are being abused all the time.
JENNY JONES: I want you to hear this story, we have a lady on the phone; Collette, are you there?
COLLETTE MARIE: Yeah.
JENNY JONES: Okay. Uh, now you went to a nudist camp as a child?
COLLETTE MARIE: Uh huh.
JENNY JONES: Uh, how old were you?
COLLETTE MARIE: Uh, eleven through, probably fourteen.
JENNY JONES: Did you want to go?
COLLETTE MARIE: Uh, no, uh, my father forced me, against my will, to strip at nudist camps when I was a child, and I believe children don't have rights at nudist camps. There was no one I could turn to for help, no one.
JENNY JONES: What happened to you?
COLLETTE MARIE: Well, uhm, I was fondled by an older man who was at a nudist camp, taking photographs of nude children. I told on him, and I'm not sure if he got kicked out or not, but a year later, I saw him at another camp, he was serving as a judge at a nude beauty contest in a position of honor. Can you believe that?
JENNY JONES: Beauty contests at nude camps, does that go on, too?
COLLETTE MARIE: Yes.
ED LANGE: They used to have them, they've been discontinued in most places almost ten years ago.
NIKKI CRAFT: Not true, not true.
JENNY JONES: I thought the whole idea was not to be judged by, by that.
ED LANGE: They're King and Queen contests, not just beauty contests. King and Queen contests were a staple of nudist park, camps, and so on.
NIKKI CRAFT: The language has changed.
ED LANGE: Long ago, they don't have them anymore, except, for perhaps one or two places that still use them for recreational and educational and entertainment purposes.
JENNY JONES: Yes, Collette, just one quick comment from you, and then everyone else has like literally one sentence left, what did you want to say, Collette, in finishing?
COLLETTE MARIE: I think that Ed there is full of it, he's in denial, he's full of it. I've seen and I've heard, and I've heard of more molestations at camps, I've been there and heard people talking about this pool maintenance man that got, you know, he finally got sent away, he molested a whole lot of kids before he got caught.
ED LANGE: I'd like to know more about that. If that's the case, why hasn't something been done about it? If that's true, why haven't you done something about it?
COLLETTE MARIE: Oh, come off it, you're ridiculous, man you're in denial. Wake up! Wake up!
NIKKI CRAFT: She's written --
ED LANGE: Come on, (said something intelligible) your reporting is true to the extent to which you are making it. I challenge that.
NIKKI CRAFT: She's wr --
COLLETTE MARIE: I was eleven years old when I heard this!
ED LANGE: I invite you to come and find out for yourself.
COLLETTE MARIE: I have!
NIKKI CRAFT: Just complete --
JENNY JONES: I have a feeling we'll be doing another show on this, anyway. We, we really do have a quick one last sentence; Sonny, from you?
SONNY GALLAGHER: Okay, I would like to encourage those people who are thinking about trying it to do it, because you will find a whole -- it's not like what you're hearing at all -- it's been nothing but beautiful experiences for me, I made beautiful friends, I'm proud to be a nudist.
JENNY JONES: Amy, do you have anything you want to say?
AMY ENGELER: I think my experiences are somewhere in between these extremes, I mean I can see, uhm, the sexual undercurrents, but I can also see how wonderful it could be for some people and their self esteem.
JENNY JONES: Would you feel comfortable with your child there?
AMY ENGELER: I don't know I don't have a child. I can't really say.
JENNY JONES: Ed, a last sentence?
ED LANGE: My children were brought up in a nudist park, the American Sunbathing Association in Kissemme, Florida near Orlando, the Naturist Society in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, TANR, The Trade Association for Nude Recreation, and Elysium can all be reached through us, or possibly write to the program, because, if you want to know --
JENNY JONES: I wasn't suggesting that you do a plug here, I thought you might have something you want to --
ED LANGE: No, I do, if you want to know -- you don't have to go -- but if you have a need know, that's how you can find out.
JENNY JONES: Nikki, any last words?
NIKKI CRAFT: Uhm, I would say that people should really take notice that the American Sunbathing Association and the Naturist Society really have their public relations rap down. View this movement extremely critical -- the people who were abused, when Ed Lange talks about how long ago it was, are documented in government hearings as still being very messed up and going through therapy right now.
Fifteen years is a relatively short time when we're talking about sexual abuse of children, as we know.
JENNY JONES: I just had one thought and I -- if, if it's so comfortable and great, why can't you just do it in your back yard? And not go to -- I mean, with a fence, with a high fence? (audience begins to applaud, Ed Lange continues to try and speak, saying "You can and we do, repeatedly) Thank you all very much, thank you.
Back to Part I
BACK TO NUDIST/NATURIST HALL OF SHAME