Sunday, July 20, 2014

LOS ANGELES: Intactivist paediatrician Paul Fleiss dies, aged 80

LA Times
July 19, 2014

[Intactivist] Dr. Paul Fleiss dies at 80; father of 'Hollywood madam' Heidi Fleiss

by David Colker

Pediatrician Paul Fleiss, who pleaded guilty in 1995 to conspiring to hide profits made by his daughter, convicted "Hollywood madam" Heidi Fleiss, died Saturday morning at his home in Los Angeles, said his cousin, Joel Fleiss. Paul Fleiss was 80.

The cause of death was unclear. Paul Fleiss' son, Jesse, heard him having trouble breathing while still in bed, Joel Fleiss said. A call was made to 911 and paramedics pronounced Fleiss dead at the scene.
Fleiss, who was known for having a gentle bedside manner and devoted patients, was still practicing medicine. He was the rare doctor who made house calls, and although he was pediatrician to children of several Hollywood celebrities, he also took on patients whose families could not afford to pay him.

Dr Paull Fleiss
Dr Paul Fleiss
(at the 6th International Symposium on Genital Integrity
in Sydney, Australia in 2000)
[Despite being Jewish, Dr Fleiss was a strong opponent of infant circumcision. With others he wrote articles for medical journals debunking medical claims, and a book, "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision"]

Hundreds of supporters crowded into the courtroom for his sentencing in 1995 for the crime that prosecutors said involved Fleiss signing the mortgage on a luxury home his daughter used as a headquarters for her call-girl ring. "I never intended to cheat or lie or steal," Fleiss said outside the courtroom. "I only wanted to help my daughter."

...

He ... was sentenced to three years' probation, 625 hours of community service and a fine of $50,000.
Paul Fleiss was born Sept. 8, 1933, in Detroit. He trained as a pharmacist and osteopath, moving to Los Angeles after a law was passed in California in the early 1960s allowing an osteopath to convert to an M.D. degree. He took his residency in pediatrics at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

...

In addition to Fleiss' daughter Heidi and son Jesse, he is survived by daughters Amy, Shana and Kim. His son Jason died in a drowning accident.

...

BOULDER, COLORADO: 13th International Symposium on Genital Autonomy this week

PRWeb
July 19, 2014

13th International Symposium on Genital Autonomy, Children's Rights, and Infant Circumcision

The 13th International Symposium on Genital Autonomy and Children's Rights, "Whole Bodies, Whole Selves: Activating Social Change," will be hosted by the University of Colorado at Boulder on July 24-26, 2014.

The symposium will promote interdisciplinary dialogue about the often controversial topic of genital cutting practices of male, female, and intersex children, and on strategies for protecting children from unnecessary genital alteration.

The conference features speakers from around the world, including the US, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Israel, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Liberia, and Finland. Included are experts in healthcare law, ethics, urology, midwifery, anthropology, pediatrics, medicine, psychology, foreskin repair and restoration, and children's rights. See the program for presentation details.

Several conference presenters are Jewish; some will be speaking specifically about the problems inherent in Jewish ritual circumcision. Jewish presenters include: psychologist Ronald Goldman, who will be speaking about the psychology of circumcision; award-winning journalist Jennifer Margulis will be speaking about the business of circumcision in connection with her recent book The Business of Baby (Scribner 2013); Berkeley, California novelist Lisa Braver Moss will be speaking about non-circumcising families in the Jewish community; social activist Eran Sedah will be speaking (via Skype) about the anti-circumcision movement in Israel; psychiatrist Richard Schwartzman will be speaking about unconscious cruelty--the emotions behind genital cutting; writer/publisher Rebecca Wald will be speaking about the Beyond the Bris website; and documentary filmmaker Francelle Wax will be screening an excerpt from her forthcoming film.

In addition to three days of presentations, three films will be screened in the evenings including: Intersexion by Grant Lahood, John Keir, and Mani Bruce Mitchell; The Hidden Trauma: Circumcision in America (excerpt) by Brendon Marotta; and American Secret: The Circumcision Agenda (excerpt) by Francelle Wax.

These Symposia have taken place every other year since 1989, alternating between the United States and a location abroad. They are an important forum for advancing knowledge and thought on these issues, and for connecting people in the Genital Autonomy Movement from all over the world.

The 13th International Symposium on Genital Autonomy and Children's Rights is sponsored by The National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (USA), Intact America (USA), Genital Autonomy (UK and Australia), and the Sexpo Foundation (Finland). It is locally organized by NOCIRC of Colorado.

Press passes for the symposium are available - please contact Gillian Longley.

Program and registration information is available at: www.GenitalAutonomy2014.com

You can read more about previous nocirc.org/symposia/

Read the full story at www.prweb.com/releases/2014/07/prweb12028739.htm

Friday, July 18, 2014

EASTERN CAPE: Pigs stolen, owner abused for being intact

New Age (South Africa)
July 17, 2014

‘Initiation school teachers stole my pigs’

by Montsho Matlala
A subsistence pig farmer yesterday decried the police’s failure to make an arrest after 20 of his pigs were allegedly stolen by a group of people from a local cultural initiation camp in Jane Furse, Limpopo.

Mafole Machika, 57, told The New Age yesterday that cultural initiation camp teachers from Ga-Phaahla village stole his pigs on May 23.

“The mob – armed with sticks, knobkerries, axes and pangas – stormed my yard undressed to their waists,” he said. “They took my 20 pigs while shouting that I was a worthless man who had not been culturally circumcised.”

Machika said the young men also swore at him in front of his grandchildren.
“And the police officers in Nebo were disgusting,” he said.

“The station commander told me that it was the traditional law of the land that I be treated that way because I was leshoboro (uncircumcised). Even now nobody has been arrested and my pigs are gone.”

Machika also claimed the two senior police officers who ridiculed him were friends of the local traditional leader.

“All I want is justice. Every year during cultural initiation rituals, gangs of boys and men insult me about my private parts.

“Three years ago I even sent my two sons to the cultural initiation school and they have graduated,” the pig farmer said.

“My sin is that I didn’t go to the mountains? But why are so many men in the village who did not go there not harassed?”

Provincial police spokesperson Col Ronel Otto confirmed the incident. “At this stage, I still have to find out more details and I will make a comment soon,” Otto said.

House of Traditional Leaders chairperson Kgosi Malesela Dikgale has condemned the incident and called on traditional leaders to help victims of harassment by cultural initiation school “fanatics”.

“Any form of harassment is not a part of our culture. Some of the pillars of cultural initiation is respect for everyone and integrity,” Dikgale said.

LONDON: Quaintance admits offences against five boys

The Tablet (UK)
July 17, 2014

Former Knights of Malta member pleads guilty to abuse of young boys

A former sacristan for the Knights of Malta has pleaded guilty to nine sex offences including those against boys as young as 11 he had met in the 1960s and 70s.

Vernon Quaintance, a companion of the Order of Malta, served at the Knights’ regular Mass at the chapel in St John and St Elizabeth Hospital in North London.

On Wednesday this week a court heard that Quaintance, 71, was a paedophile who also ran a pro-circumcision group. Southwark Crown Court heard he accumulated images as recently as 2011.

He was also a leader of the Gilgal Society, a group claiming to promote male circumcision and “its benefits in terms of health, sexual satisfaction and self-image.”

In 2012, he was found guilty of possessing nine hours of child pornography on video tapes. This week he pleaded guilty to five counts of indecency with a child between 1966 and 1976 and four counts of possession of indecent images. An additional count of sexual assault alleged to have taken place in 2011 on a child was left to lie on file.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC adjourned sentencing until September. He said there was a “very real likelihood” of a significant custodial sentence. Quaintance was released on conditional bail, with the requirement to have no unsupervised contact with anyone under 18.

Concerns about Quaintance’s behaviour had come to the attention of members of the Grand Priory, a senior body of knights, who were later found not to have reported the concerns to the relevant authorities. Quaintance had been banned from serving and attending the social club at St Bede’s, Clapham Park, South London.

An inquiry into the matter by Baroness (Julia) Cumberlege found that three of the knights made a catalogue of serious errors in dealing with the concerns. The three later apologised.

Earlier story

ZIMBABWE: Senators call for circumcision ban

Southern Eye (Zimbabwe)
July 16, 2014

Senators demand circumcision ban

MDC-T's Matabeleland South senator Sithembile Mlotshwa yesterday moved a motion urging a ban on circumcision of minors saying the country is "creating a generation of useless men".
by Veneranda Langa

Mlotshwa moved the motion in Senate saying there were no benefits to infant male circumcision as children did not indulge in sexual activity.

She said infant circumcision could not mitigate the spread of HIV and cervical cancer.

"I'm afraid we are creating a generation of useless men because if one of your limbs is not functioning properly after the mishaps of circumcision then you will be disabled. These children do not indulge in sexual activity anyway," Mlotshwa said.

"After mutilating these children's sexual organs (in failed circumcision) the future generations will judge us and by the time these children need to taste how these organs should function we will be long dead and history will judge us on why we allowed the circumcision of children to continue."

Mlotshwa challenged all ministers to get circumcised if the programme was as good as its promoters claimed.

She said there was a side of the story that was not being told to the nation about male circumcision.

"In Somalia women's clitorises are mutilated to ensure girls do not enjoy sex," Mlotshwa said.

"That is because they give them in marriage to old men who cannot satisfy them and mutilating them is to ensure they do not discover the pleasures of sex.

"Circumcision of young boys is tantamount to genital mutilation and we are afraid that in the government will end up saying women's clitorises should be cut because they are just taking everything that comes without doing proper research."

She said money meant for infant circumcision should instead go towards treatment centres for cervical cancer.

"The Creator made a foreskin for a purpose. Are we not going to have a generation of men without foreskins? Most of the doctors who circumcise are not circumcised themselves and where do they put those foreskins?" she asked.

MDC-T Masvingo senator Misheck Marava seconded the motion saying men constituted only 48% of the population and their organs cannot be tampered a with.

"We cannot play with risks by tampering with their organs because they may not be able to rectify failures," he said.

Zanu PF Mashonaland Central senator Damian Mumvuri said many parents were making mistakes by deciding for their children.

LONDON: Gilgal website reborn as "Helpdesk"

Under New Management?

July 15, 2014

Gilgal Society website re-opens, rebranded

by Hugh Young
A new pro-circumcision website has replaced that of the defunct Gilgal Society. This coincides with the beginning of the trial of the head of the Gilgal Society for offences against boys.

The "Circumcision Helpdesk" site is almost identical in wording and format to the Gilgal website. It has the same postal address.

Gilgal Society website front page
The Gilgal front page (click for larger)
The Circumcision Helpdesk front page
The Helpdesk front page (click for larger
The trial of Vernon Quaintance began in Southwark Crown Court on Monday for charges of indecency, indecent assault, sexual assaults and possessing indecent images. The court heard argument yersterday about whether images involving circumcision were indecent.

The Gilgal website has been frozen since Quaintance was first convicted of possessing indecent images in April 2012. A message said that "as a result of major computer failure" its publications were unavailable. Single copies of the same or similar publications from the "Circumcision Helpdesk" are free. It remains to be seen how the several leaflets by Professor Brian Morris again being offered from the new site are branded - with the Gilgal imprint, as before, or without, as he reissued them after Quantance's first conviction.

Earlier story

LONDON: Trial of Vernon Quaintance begins: Gilgal gone

July 14, 2014

Quaintance trial begins: Gilgal goes, even from Morris website

by Hugh Young
The trial of a high-profile circumcision advocate for crimes against boys began in London on Monday. This coincides with the disappearances of his online pro-circumcision society and the last reference to it on the website of a prominent Australian circumcision advocate.

Vernon Quaintance went on trial (case No T20130462) in Court 8 at Southwark Crown Court at 10:30 am.

In January he denied 10 charges relating to young boys between 1966 and 2011. He is accused of four charges of indecency with children under 16 between 1966 and 1974.

He also faces one charge of sexually assaulting a young boy in 1974 and a further charge of indecent assault on another young boy in 1966.

The four remaining charges relate to indecent images of children ranging from level one to level five in severity discovered at Quaintance's home in 2011.

Much of the day was taken up with an argument about what could be included in charges of possessing indecent images. A statement by Quaintance claimed that pictures concerning circumcision on his computers were medical or health-related, and not indecent.


Quaintance was the head of the pro-circumcision Gilgal Society, which published the first editions of the series of pro-circumcision pamphlets written by Professor Brian Morris of the University of Sydney. The Gilgal Society website has recently had all its files removed, including advertisements for Professor Brian Morris's leaflets.

Soon after Quaintance was first charged in April 2012, the Gilgal logo was removed from the leaflets available from Professor Morris's website. A page of "circumcision humor" including a poem by "Vernon Quantance" remained until the middle of 2013. A link to a list of "possible circumcisers in Australia and New Zealand" carrying a Gilgal Society logo has been removed since July 3, leaving a "404: file not found" message.

Gilgal's list of circumcisers on Morris's site
Click for larger
Earlier story