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Thursday, 14 November 2013 10:36

Famed Leftist Gore Vidal Likely a Pedophile, Say Relatives

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A famed man of letters and sexual liaisons who never had a kind word for traditionalism, the late Gore Vidal hobnobbed with the rich and influential and locked horns with William F. Buckley on television. During one of these debates, Vidal called Buckley a “pro-crypto-Nazi,” prompting Buckley to call him a “queer.” Only one of these accusations was true, but both pale in comparison to a charge Vidal’s own relatives are now leveling at the writer.

That, as the Daily Mail puts it, he was a “globe-trotting paedophile who preyed on underage boys.”

The revelation came courtesy of Vidal’s half-sister Nina Straight and her son, Burr Steers, while talking to Tim Teeman, author of the new book In Bed with Gore Vidal. Both Straight and Steers were quite close to the writer during his last years; Vidal died in 2012 at age 86.

Vidal made no secret of his ravenous homosexual appetites and had affairs with actors such as Rock Hudson, Fred Astaire, Charles Laughton, and Noel Coward and also cruised male prostitutes from England to Egypt. This deathstyle even led to violence, with Vidal and a number of other men beating up a male prostitute in 1957. But it was what the foul-mouthed Vidal didn’t boast of, allege Straight and Steers, that was most damning. Writes the Mail, “Nina Straight suggested her half-brother had committed ‘Jerry Sandusky acts’ — a reference to a recent notorious case in which a U.S. college football coach was found guilty of sexually abusing young boys.”

Helping to complete the picture, the Mail wrote:

[Steers added,] “Gore spent a lot of time in Bangkok, after all.”

The Thai capital is infamous for child prostitution and Gore would visit every year. Friends say he had sex there with young male prostitutes.

This helps explain another chapter in Vidal’s life: the expensive legal battle he launched against Buckley in which both writers sued each other for libel. According to Straight and Steers, Buckley had a file on Vidal containing “incriminating” evidence of his pederasty, and Vidal was “terrified” of it coming to light. In fact, “Ms Straight believes Vidal — who was the first to sue — spent $1 million fighting the battle to keep Buckley from revealing details of his dealings with underage boys,” wrote the Mail.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know for sure what the file contained. Buckley’s son, Christopher, said that he discarded the Vidal file in 2012.

Yet I believe the allegations. I’ll tell you why.

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” said Hamlet’s mother Queen Gertrude. William Shakespeare knew man’s nature. When people devote tremendous energy to defending or justifying some action, they invariably have a vested interest in doing so. Usually this is because they’re guilty of it themselves.

I think here of the woman who reacted hysterically to pro-life sentiments because she herself once had an abortion; or the man I knew who I was virtually certain was cheating on his wife and who, almost out of the blue one day, emphatically said, “What’s wrong with sex!” And I think of how I defend faith and am guilty of having it myself (lacking though it is, I’m sure). People always give themselves away.

I also think of Gore Vidal. As to this, the Mail reports Steers as saying that Vidal dismissed the adolescent victims of transgressing priests as “hustlers who were sending signals.” Note that this is a common rationalization among pedophiles. Steers also said, writes the paper, “that when Vidal’s half-brother, Jamie Auchincloss, was caught with child pornography, ‘Gore would not condemn him.’” The Mail then adds, “In the Seventies, Vidal even spoke out in support of paedophiles who formed a notorious group set up to campaign for legalised sex between adults and children called NAMBLA, the North-American Man/Boy Love Association.”

Then there was what Vidal said about the 13-year-old girl drugged and raped by director Roman Polanski: “I really don't give a f***. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she's been taken advantage of?”

Why you’d have to drug a prostitute to get sex wasn’t explained. But, hey, perhaps the above is why Vidal’s many fans think he has such a way with words.

There are also Vidal’s travels. Listen, there’s only one reason a person such as him goes to Thailand “every year” — and it’s not for cultural enrichment. Note that Thailand is widely advertised in homosexual magazines; it was even touted in a NAMBLA magazine as a prime destination for sex tourism. And in 1989 already, writes Benoit Denizet-Lewis in Boston, “at least one NAMBLA member was arrested in Thailand after police said he was running an orphanage that served as a front for child prostitution.”

In addition, the Mail tells us:

Vidal himself revealed in his memoirs that he was “attracted to adolescent males….”

[And] one of his friends admitted he was astonished when Vidal once told him: “You know I’m a pederast.”

Really, though, none of this astonishes me — given Vidal’s leftist leanings. What do I mean? Well, why do you think liberals so viciously attack tradition and Christianity? Why do you think laugh-lusting leftist Bill Maher once said on his old show Politically Incorrect, “The concept of Absolute Truth is scary”? It’s for the same reason pro-life views evoked the emotional response in the woman I mentioned.

Leftists almost invariably have an affinity for — and want to justify — behaviors Christianity calls sins.

They know that if Christianity is right, they’re wrong. And they know that if Christianity holds sway, not only will people never accept their sins, but it will be harder for them to accept themselves.

This isn’t just because they can’t condemn the sin but love the sinner, but because they conflate the sinner and the sin. Consider how leftists talk. Vidal didn’t say, “I’m someone who has engaged in pederasty.”

He said, “I am a pederast.”  

Leftists don’t just say, “I’ve indulged in homosexual behavior.” They say, “I am a homosexual.”

It’s the Zen of Being Wrong, as they become one with their sins.  

And, of course, when this is your attitude, you’ll see any condemnation of your choice behaviors as a condemnation of you.

This is why Vidal has plenty of company. Hardcore liberal Bay Area radio host Bernie Ward was sent to prison in 2008 for possession and distribution of child pornography. It was learned in 1983 that far-left Massachusetts congressman Gerry Studds had an affair with a 17-year-old boy a decade earlier (he was re-elected). It was recently revealed that British Liberal Democrat politician Cyril Smith was a “serial abuser of boys” and that this fact was covered up by other liberal politicians; another Liberal Democrat legislator, Derek Osbourne, was arrested this year for possessing and distributing images of children suffering, as the police put it, “the most serious level of abuse.” Back on our side of the pond, retired socialist disk jockey David Herman was arrested at about the same time for plotting to transport a seven-year-old girl to the Caribbean so he could molest her. I could go on. Why, even late essayist Christopher Hitchens, while certainly no pedophile, admitted in his memoir Hitch-22 that he’d had homosexual experiences in school. So is it any wonder he was a self-proclaimed “anti-theist” who ranted against Christianity? He was another who doth protested too much.  

It’s hard to keep up with the attempts at justification, though. When I wrote my piece “The Slippery Slope to Pedophilia” earlier this year, I didn’t know that the American Psychiatric Association had just released the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and reclassified pedophilia from a disorder to a “sexual orientation” (after an uproar, they revised it to an “interest”).

So who knows? In a couple of decades, Vidal’s fans may no longer deny his pederasty, but say that he was on the cutting edge of sexual liberation.

Correction: This article originally stated that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was released by the American Psychological Association, rather than by the American Psychiatric Association. We apologize for the error.

6 comments

  • Comment Link Scott Saturday, 23 November 2013 11:11 posted by Scott

    According to my Oxford American dictionary, one definition of opinion is: “A personal view not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.” In the case of your opinion titled, “Famed Leftist Gore Vidal Likely a Pedophile, Say Relatives”, I will add to that definition...or logic. In your opinion, what Vidal might have done condemns anyone who might agree with Vidal politically, hence the use of the categorial abstraction leftist in your title; I see the abstractions in your mind falling like dominoes: leftist-liberal-socialist-sinner-homosexual-queer-pedophile. Since I agree with Vidal’s idea that writing is about trying to tell the truth, I am compelled to refute your written falsehood.
    You start with an extreme statement about Vidal. “...[He] never had a kind word for traditionalism...” Yet he wrote and spoke about taking seriously the Magna Carta, habeas corpus, the Constitution of the United States-particularly its Bill of Rights-and defended increased personal freedom. These traditional ideas are easily found throughout his works. Vidal was a historian, which is to say a learned traditionalist. One might think you have never carefully read any of Vidal’s work. How’s that for an extreme statement.
    By your words I must choose to accuse Vidal of being something that does not exist or label the late William F. Buckley Junior a pro-cryto-Nazi. (By the way, you have Vidal “locking horns” with William F. Buckley in that debate. It was not he, but his son, William F. Buckley Junior. You’re off by a generation). Forced by your cranial rigidity, I must declare Junior a Nazi. For Vidal was not a homosexual-no such thing exists-he only performed homosexual acts. Yet see how harmful your categorical thinking is to truth? I have just smeared the name and reputation of someone I never knew and whose works I never studied because I was forced by your framework to choose one answer or another. Rigid either-or thinking of your kind and of this type reminds me of those who said or wrote that Vidal hated America simply because he was often critical of her governors and their policies. As if all criticism is rooted in dislike and none out of affection. Vidal’s response to another example of cranial rigidity was classic Vidal. In response to a critic who said he didn’t like America Vidal wrote: “Of course I like my country. After all, I’m its current biographer.” It’s from his short essay “A Cheerful Response”, if you’d like to read it. Wait...because you don’t like him you won’t read his work if I read you right; and besides, in your opinion, he’s overrated.
    This current biographer of a lurid sort, Tim Teeman, might be someone you might read, after you’re done with the Daily Mail and the innuendoes printed within suggested by Vidal’s former heirs. I skimmed some reviews on Amazon.com regarding Teeman’s In Bed With Gore Vidal, and wasted a few minutes reading what was under the covers of In Bed on the site. One reader found it “fun and gossipy”, an evaluation one would expect from not exactly peer reviewed stuff. It’s nobody’s business really, probing a person’s sex life, and looking for what...fulfillment? Luckily, Teeman tells all in the prologue, admitting that the book is nothing more than a thick kiss and tell: “This is a book with sexuality at its heart; it is neither a general biography, nor evaluation of Vidal’s writing career.” In short, my bet is much is not to be learned from reading In Bed...probably less than one could learn from reading one paragraph of Vidal’s work or, if the book is truly inspired, one sentence of Vidal’s work.
    Your position that Vidal is a pedophile is weakened again by your again rigid and false idea that “man’s nature” is singular. Let me add to your “man’s nature” women, who make up roughly half the world’s population. (You could have written human nature and been less wrong.) And let me add to that cultural relativity and two samples from a part of culture that is ever changing and easily seen: fashion. Cultural relativity allows Scotsmen to wear kilts in one culture and women to wear pants in another. These changes come from women and men being creative and bold. Creativity is a constant in human affairs. Given that, your argument that Shakespeare “knew man’s nature” is false because there is no one nature to know. Cultures, like sexuality, are not fixed, but continually changing. That’s why you wrote this: “And they know that if Christianity holds sway...” The “if” in your sentence proves my point.
    Now to your charge that, “People always give themselves away.” They do not. Proof of this is the number of yellow pages in the Yellow Pages under the category of...shall I give it away? Answer: Lawyers. My copy of the Yellow Pages is 636 pages thick and almost one hundred of those pages have as a heading, Lawyers.
    Perhaps Vidal was a pederast and did call a lawyer he found in the Yellow Pages to protect himself from shame and disgrace. If there was actual proof he was a pederast a newspaper headline might be: “Vile Vidal.” And if he was a pederast I would share your disgust. Yet there is no damning proof. In place of proof I’ve found innuendos, trips to Bangkok, a book without one documented reference, your lurid headline and your wacko opinion. Not much for you to put for weighing on the scales of Justice.
    If you put Vidal’s work on the scales of Literature, you’ll find that any honest discussion of Literature must include his work. If we human are not yet extinct the few literate remaining five-hundred years from now will read Vidal’s essays and his Narratives of Empire series to try to make sense of our fast fouled culture and American history. They’ll read his self-proclaimed “inventions” for fun. Vidal has won a National Book Award for his “United States” and a National Book Award lifetime achievement award; more over, he published books over a span of seven decades. Too, Vidal has been compared to Pope and Byron, two other immortals of Literature. These achievements are not bad for a writer you say is an “overrated, pseudo-intellectual skunk.”
    I’ll close with a point of agreement so you don’t think me a skunk or brainwashed. You and I do agree about the Polanski mess. Yet I am less interested in Vidal’s opinion than I am in getting the answer to this question: “Where were the parents of this thirteen year old girl? Shall I give away the answer? Where else-Bangkok!

  • Comment Link kurt Friday, 15 November 2013 04:23 posted by kurt

    I'm sorry if I have offended you that was not my intention, it was a generalized term that I think all would agree on, that it's unfair to defame the dead when they're not here to defend themselves, I wonder would any of this be made public had Vidal still been alive as I'm sure many would fear his wrath? I wonder if you neglected mentioning the court case against the Vidal estate because it doesn't gel with your opinion or give your view credence, i.e. it sounds better with that very important fact omitted. I also wonder if you are one to jump on the ignorant 1950's bandwagon of opinion that all gay men are pedophiles? Also if you look at what Nina Straight has said she has been extremely careful in her wording so as not to be liable. She has never come outright and said 'Vidal was a pedophile'. Yes we are all entitled to our opinion, Vidal sure knew that. I didn't know Vidal, you didn't know Vidal. He may well have been a child abuser of the lowest order, and if he was, I stand corrected. He was a prickly character and I agree, somewhat overrated. We may never know the truth, however in my experience as an attorney the hearsay and opinions presented in the media as fact would never stand up in a court of law. But, at the end of the day the man is dead and probably delighted that he is still being talked and argued about!
    I do however resent your unfounded, unprofessional and childish statement implying I support al-Qaeda. Like I've said, assumptions are not fact. Seeking truth and justice is not morally weak. After all is said and done I was not the one to have to resort to sarcasm and immature school- girl name- calling.

  • Comment Link Selwyn Duke Friday, 15 November 2013 02:42 posted by Selwyn Duke

    Dear Kurt:

    Thank you for responding. First, if these revelations had come to light when the overrated, pseudo-intellectual skunk Vidal was alive, I would have been happy to report on them then.

    Second, note that this article is in the "Opinion" section, not the "News" section. And I didn't mention the lawsuit because I don't deem it germane, as the evidence of Vidal's pederasty is overwhelming. We have his own admission. We have friends who attest to his activities. We have his regular travels to Bangkok (please). We have the character of the man as a guide. And I don't see how hurling these accusations would help the relatives' cause in court, anyway.

    As for people coming forward, you sound very naive. Vidal could walk down the street in the US today and very few Americans would recognize him. Do you actually think that underage male prostitutes in Thailand decades ago would have had any idea who he was? Do you think they're aware of this story even today (and we don't know how many are still alive; it's a high-risk business)? And, even if they were, do you think they'd recall that he was one of their Johns? I don't think they know who he is even today or that he died. And people like Vidal are very clever; they don't dump their garbage where they live.

    There's no question in my mind that Vidal had relations with boys who would be underage in the US. And guess what? There's little question in yours. If you had to bet your life, you'd wager that Vidal did have such relations. Oh, I don't expect you to admit it here, but that's the truth. It's obvious.

    Anyway, I would say that it is a very morally weak person who feels compelled to defend a reprobate such as Vidal. Aren't there more noble causes you could take up (such as defending al-Qaeda)?

  • Comment Link kurt Friday, 15 November 2013 00:59 posted by kurt

    You knew Fred Astaire personally? I think Gore Vidal knew a little more about the gay underworld of the 50's and 60's. The public didn't know Hudson was gay till he was dying of AIDS! Liberace successfully sued a magazine for implying he was gay! Liberace! Subsequently they sued his estate after he died and reclaimed their money. Even today Hollywood is full of many a closeted star. I understand Vidal wasn't the easiest of people to like, but hearsay is not evidence.

  • Comment Link kurt Friday, 15 November 2013 00:46 posted by kurt

    It is a very weak person who attacks the dead when they are not here to defend themselves, especially when they have no concrete evidence to support their accusations! What you neglect to inform the reader in this overtly homophobic article is that Nina Straight and her son Burr are currently locked in a bitter battle with the lawyers of Gore Vidal's estate because he left his entire estate to Havard and not to them! Ms Straight only implies she has a feeling her half brother was a pedophile, like I have a feeling the Queen has English muffins for breakfast! Honestly if someone as famous, revered and wealthy as Gore Vidal was a child abuser, would not at least one of his victims have come forward to gain justice or exhort money from him before now? There is a huge difference between being sexually attracted to a child and being attracted to the fully -developed, post pubescent body of a late adolescent. It's not to condone pedophilia. Dead men tell no tales, nor can they reprise a rebuttal, and as we know, Gore Vidal loved a good debate!

  • Comment Link Michael Skaggs Thursday, 14 November 2013 14:29 posted by Michael Skaggs

    Re: Paragraph four. I just checked the web and no website reported that Fred Astaire was homosexual. One more lie from Gore Vidal.

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