Thousands of people on the Internet may be protesting Amazon's decision to continue sales of a self-published book on pedophilia, but at least one person stands by its decision: the author.
Philip R. Greaves II, author of the electronic book, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct," said he was aware of the "stinging accusations" online, but argued that his critics are misunderstanding the point of his book.
"They're accusing me of wanting to hurt children. They're accusing me of encouraging pedophilia and all these other things. But that's not why I wrote the book," the 47-year-old from Pueblo, Colo., said.
"I wrote the book to establish guidelines so that people would behave in a manner that is non-injurious to each other, for one, and, for two, to communicate the fact that these people who are so different in maturation, etc., that when they develop relationships, they use certain principles that regular people, adults, would be well to attend."
The book, which went on sale Oct. 28 and costs $4.79 to download, has sparked a wave of criticism online, with customers taking to Twitter and elsewhere to ask Amazon to remove the book from its online store and others calling for a total boycott of the company until it does.
"This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow," the author wrote in the product description. "I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter [sic] sentences should they ever be caught."
"Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions," the company said.
Greaves, who was a nurse's aide until he retired because of a disability, said he was not encouraging pedophilia through his book, but, pointing to the case of Mary Kay Letourneau, the Washington state teacher who had an affair with her student, said he believed it was possible.
While the book was written from the perspective of an adult, he emphasized that he was not speaking from personal experience as a pedophile.
"The only personal perspective it was written from was that I was introduced to sex at the age of 7 by a 10-year-old girl. It was oral sex. And I carried on through that having that kind of sex with children until I was about 15," he said. "And everybody involved enjoyed it."
When asked why he wrote a "code of conduct" that appears to endorse an illegal, abusive act, he said, "I'm not saying I want them around children; I'm saying if they're there that's how I want them to behavior."
Still, Greaves said he understood why hundreds of people on Amazon alone have posted messages condemning the him and his book.
"I can see where they would come to that kind of conclusion and to a certain extent I wanted that kind of notoriety to effect the book. ... I wanted it to effect sales," he said.
But his book has not garnered the sales for which he had hoped. In the days since its launch, he said, he had sold just one copy.
"It hasn't increased sales; it just has a lot of negative responses coming in," he said.
As of this evening, more than 800 customers had left comments on Amazon's site protesting the controversial book.
"As a mother of a child who has been molested, shame on Amazon for allowing such garbage to be sold on it's site," wrote "thirtysomething."
"The author of this book is a predator and should never have been allowed to write or promote this trash that is called a book of information. How many children will be assaulted because of this. Amazon--take it off your site."