News and Views
August 1966 • Vol. 1 No. 11
Originally published in the August 1966 issue of Tangents
New York — John Fellebaum, a 27- year-old weight lifter of Monroeville, Pa. and a member of a nationwide ring that blackmailed homosexuals, received on Aug. 16 in Federal Court the maximum prison sentence of five years and a $I0.000 fine. The ring’s leader was said to be John J. Pyne, former Chicago detective, who is under indictment and awaiting trial. Members of the ring were reported to have collected well up to two million dollars from TV personalities, educators and members of the Armed Forces. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Maloney said that one of the victims had committed suicide after being interviewed by the FBI. Fellebaum’s role was to pick up the victims, usually in bars. They would go to a hotel room, where a homosexual act would be committed, and Fellebaum would rob the victim of credit cards or other identification. Other ring members posing as detectives would later approach the victim at his home, tell him he was needed as a witness against Fellebaum and then suggest a bribe to forget it. Before imposing sentence on Fellebaum, Judge Irving Ben Cooper caustically said: “This case is as revolting as you are. It’s steeped in filth.”
Time, July 22, 1966, reported that when Canadian-born Clive M. Boutilier, 32, filled out the application forms for U.S. citizenship in 1963, he reported that he had once been arrested for a homosexual act, but the charges were dismissed. The Manhattan building maintenance man, when pressed for more details, revealed his assorted relations with both sexes since the age of 14. As a result, Boutilier was ordered deported under the 1952 Immigration Act which bars any alien with a “psychopathic personality.” Using psychiatrists’ statements that he was no such thing, Boutilier took his case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. That court, in a 2-1 decision, rejected his appeal on the ground that “psychopathic personality” legally means that Congress was too circumspect to say “No homosexuals allowed.” The ruling is in direct conflict with two decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, which has ruled that section of the immigration law “void for vagueness” in its application to homosexuals. Since the Supreme Court generally agrees to referee circuit conflicts, it may now take its own reading of the elusive phrase.
Restrictions against divorce in New York will be eased beginning Sept. 1. Up to then divorce in New York was granted only for adultery, a fact that sent thousands seeking divorces to other states and Mexico. Divorce grounds have been extended to include mental cruelty, abandonment, imprisonment of a spouse and sexual deviation.
Confusion of the sexes recently hit New York Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller. He was campaigning for reelection one night in Greenwich Village. Some of the men in his audience wore shoulder-length hair. When one of the male beatniks asked a question, Rockefeller replied, “Yes, madam.” The crowd roared with laughter. I’m sorry, sir,” the governor responded.
Ellen Kaye in Women’s Wear Daily (Aug. 18, 1966) reported of the sad decline of once-chic Bucks County, Pa., and especially its scenic little village along the Upper Delaware, New Hope. She said the town of New Hope today is strictly for Saturday night swingers and Sunday drivers on the one band and the growing army of Regulars on the other. The Regulars strive to maintain New Hope’s fast fading fame as a bucolic Bohemia. They abhor its recent descent into tacky tourism. Horace Greeley McNab, a newspaperman turned press agent who has lived just outside New Hope for over ten years, described things like this:
The place used to have real style, real class…today it’s all just low camp, real low. On one side there’s all those young men and their ‘beaus’…and on the other, the old-lady tourists in their print dresses and sweaters, looking around for something to look at, then being horrified when they find it…and of course we have the mothers—with their kids in their hands and their rollers in their hair…it’s depressing, depressing, depressing.
Bunny Evans, a former Philadelphia model who has been living in New Hope for almost 20 years, talked about shop-lined Mechanic Street with pure contempt:
It’s gotten to the point where the fudge-man from Atlantic City thinks he can make it here with that lousy S9.00 a pound fudge of his (what’s worse I think be will)…and all the gay boys with their artsy craftsy don’t help. We’ve always had them, of course, but we used to have the ones with talent.
San Francisco — A San Francisco Chronicle editorial reported on a Los Angeles based organization calling itself the California League Enlisting Action Now—a title laboriously synthesized to form the acronym CLEAN—which has sponsored an initiative (Proposition 16 on the November ballot) which it says will fortify the state’s antiobscenity laws and which it fondly calls “The CLEAN Initiative.” The editorial stated that the measure is so extravagant and so contrary to sound legislation that it has already aroused the hostility of the California Library Association, the California-Nevada Council of Churches, Californians Against Absurd Censorship and the district attorney of Los Angeles County (see July Tangents). An ACLU analysis demonstrates clearly and in detail how the passage of this measure would threaten the First Amendment, restrict the freedom of Californians to read, write, speak and teach, incite an orgy of bookburning and permit any extremist, neurotic or eccentric to set up shop as a censor and sue any district attorney who refused to prosecute matter which the self-appointed censor might think is obscene. Gov. Pat Brown in his Labor Day campaign speech for reelection came out against the CLEAN initiative.
Exposure of female breasts without suggestive motions has been legalized in California. The California Supreme Court has ruled that topless exhibitions do not violate the state law or outrage public decency. The high court upheld a decision by the District Court of Appeals which said June 3 that the law was too vague to apply to toplessness. The case originated in Hawthorne, a suburb of Los Angeles, when Jeanne Zillgrit Davis modeled half a leopard skin bikini June 26,1964, in a bar she and her husband owned.
Los Angeles — The San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles is going through the throes of attacks by self-appointed censorship groups. A delegation of West Valley church and civic groups prevailed upon the Police Commission to revoke the motion picture permit of Vincent Miranda’s Park Theater, specializing in “exhibition type” films and advertising. Protestants claimed the theater showed “obscene” films and advertising. Miranda, a 33-year-old Korean War veteran, took his case to the Superior Court which issued a writ against the Police Commission, thus allowing the theater to operate while the case is fought out in the courts. Miranda promised to bring busloads of Negroes into Canoga Park churches to show “just how hypocritical these people are.” He also charged that another protestant of his theater, Pierce College Prof. Tom Devine, told a Commission hearing last year that “we should return to the good old days and bullwhip criminals.” “These are really the people you have to worry about,” Miranda said.
West Valley newsstands are being pressured to take girlie magazines off their racks. Mrs. Lee Casey of Granada Hills, who described herself as the co-president of the Representative Committee for Moral Betterment, said, after two recent sex slayings, “A scientific study of the reading and movie habits of these sex criminals would he quite revealing.” Mrs. Edwin Pudwill, vice president for the West Valley For Decent Literature chapter, said the effects of Mrs. Casey’s campaign are being felt in Canoga Park. Marlin Foster, magazine stand owner, confirmed that he had taken two nudist magazines off his stand. He said the hue and cry is aimed at girlie magazines, but nobody seems to be upset about young girls buying confession, romance, movie and women’s magazines. “There are just as many magazines published with the same appeal for women as girlie magazines,” Foster stated. “I have never heard one of these women complaining about them.” George Mettler, another newsstand operator, said his stand has been picketed in the past. “If you stop reading about sex you are just about going to stop reading everything published today,”he said. “We would be left with the Holy Bible here, and then there are a lot of people who don’t like that either.” Mettler said people who link reading and sex crimes “are not qualified to judge.”
The Studio City Graphic, a weekly throw-away newspaper in that well-to-do section of the San Fernando Valley just over the Cahuenga Pass from Hollywood, has been attempting to raise hellfire over the proliferation of gay bars, restaurants and night clubs along Ventura Boulevard. Sue Blakeslee, editor, called her series of articles “Crime in the Valley” but spent most of her wrath in a diatribe against homosexuals. She called Studio City “fruit city” and used such glowing phrases as “nauseous parade,” “a travesty,” “laughing stock” and “to spread a sick doctrine.” She appealed to the Chamber of Commerce, the PTA and women’s clubs to rise up in arms. So far, few eyebrows have been raised.
Laguna Beach — This Southern California “sister city” to Provincetown has been having on-again off-again problems. On June 3 the popular Barefoot Bar on Laguna’s boardwalk was charged by the State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board as being a “disorderly house” and the scene of 14 alleged immoral acts and solicitations by homosexuals of police and ABC officers (plain-clothes entrapment officers) to “engage in acts of sexual perversion.” On June 10 the Barefoot was placed in the hands of receivers after owner Peter Thorn filed bankruptcy proceedings, thus placing the bar under control of the federal bankruptcy law. On June 30 the Barefoot was shut down. On July 1 the Los Angeles U.S. District Court had the bistro running again in time for the gala holidays. A July 11 bankruptcy court hearing recommended that the place remain open so creditors could be paid off. Nevertheless, another local court order on July 20 swung the doors shut again. This legal tug-of-war between those who want to keep the Barefoot open for creditors and law enforcement people who want to close it because of its alleged homosexual reputation has resulted in a heyday of headlines and articles in the two local papers. “Nobody has any big bellyache about homosexual bars unless they get out of line,” Orange County District Attorney Kenneth Williams told the Laguna Beach Post. “You’re not going to have any right to close a bar where homosexuals congregate—they’ve got the same rights as anybody else,” Williams continued. “It’s when offbeat sexual acts occur in the place—that’s the time something should be done.” Laguna’s Chief of Police Harry Labrow made headlines when he stated that the Barefoot should be closed for a minimum of three months to erase the “image” the bar has “all across the nation.” Labrow said the bar is “well publicized in homosexual newspapers and lavender bar guides” in the U.S. as an “in” place to go in Laguna. Your reporter spent the week of August 1 by the seashore and on Thursday of that week the doors of the Barefoot opened again and by the weekend the place was filling up. In the meantime, Dante’s, at the other end of the boardwalk, was doing SRO business.
Rome—Italy and Greece, custodians of thousands of antique statues, are trying to prevent nudism spreading from sculpture to people. Too many people, when visiting the Mediterranean, are claiming the same rights as the statues: that is, to take everything off. An increasing number of northern European and American tourists want nudism. France hitherto has been the refuge of these sun worshippers. In February a French court acquitted a school teacher for appearing on the Riviera the previous summer in a topless swim suit. Suddenly President Charles de Gaulle began cracking down on the few pockets of “free bathing” between Marseilles and the Italian border. Nearly all of them were closed except the classic little “Republic of Nudism” on the Island of Levant. An exodus of nudists from France then began, which offered Italy and Greece new opportunities to speed the decline of French tourism. But Italy muffed her chance. A few Germans who established themselves on beaches on the outskirts of Venice were raided by police. There are an estimated four million members in Germany alone of the freikorperkultur (culture of the freedom of the body). Thus, nudist tourists, let down by the democracies, are turning to Communist states. An alarming number are showing their discontent by going to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey. Bulgaria has started on the banks of the Ropopotamos River a special camp for “friends of the sun.”
England—The University of London has appointed Britain’s first Professor of Morals. The Rev. Gordon Dunstan, 49, said he will do research on homosexuality, suicide, abortion, artificial insemination, marriage, divorce and sterilization.
Eighteen foundry workers in Birmingham staged a one-day walkout recently when wolf-whistling by their women co-workers became intolerable. “It’s all very embarrassing,” a striker said. “You see, we have to change our trousers in front of the women who work here. And they peep.”
Rev. E.J. Edmundson has written in his parish newspaper in Newmarket that football players should end the “ridiculous” practice of hugging and kissing each other whenever their teams score a goal.
Algiers — Adultery has become a crime under Algerian law, and women will be punished twice as heavily as men. Under the law, women committing adultery are liable to a two-year prison sentence. The maximum for men is one year. The code outlaws brothels and soliciting, and punishes homosexuality with up to three years in prison.
Prague — The National Committee of Prague said recently that it is okay for young men to wear their hair long if they want to—but in order to hold a job they’ll have to cover it with hairnets or kerchiefs. The committee also said youths with Beatle-type hairdos will be banned from theaters, first-run movies and the better restaurants. The committee, it is said, adopted the measure to fight hooliganism.
Nova Scotia — The motion picture Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, has been banned from Nova Scotia theaters by the provincial board of censors, it was announced in Halifax. Board Chairman J. Henry R. Macleod said in an interview that the controversial film of Edward Albee’s play was reviewed by the three-member board “several months ago” and “we didn’t give it a certificate.” He said the three members unanimously agreed to the ban because of the film’s “obscenity and blasphemy.”
Trenton — The appellate division of the New Jersey Superior Court has upheld the State liquor Authority’s right to suspend the licenses of taverns frequented by apparent homosexuals. The court held “irrelevant” a New Brunswick, N. J. tavern owner’s contention that the rule violated the U.S. Constitution’s protections of freedom of assembly, equal protection and free speech. The court said holding a liquor Incense was a privilege which bound the holder to conduct his affairs in strict accordance with state edicts.
Omaha — Institutions Director George Morris said he fired William Ettinger from his post as superintendent of the State Boys’ Training School at Kearney because Ettinger had placed five boys caught engaging in homosexual activity in a room and told them to continue. Mr. Morris said Gov. Morrison ordered an investigation after Mr. Ettinger denied the charge. The alleged incident occured [sic] about a year ago. Mr. Morris continued: “This thing never would have come to light if I hadn’t asked Mr. Thomas (Fred Thomas, the assistant superintendent at the school, who was recently fired by Mr. Ettinger) about it. I asked Thomas about things in general and then he told me about it.” Asked why Mr. Thomas had waited so long to reveal it, Mr. Morris replied, “I suppose Mr. Thomas was holding onto his job.”
In the Letters to the Editor column in the Omaha World-Herald, the following appeared recently:
“I hadn’t been solicited in downtown for 30 years. Then the other night I was seated at a bus stop when two beatniks drove up alongside, total strangers. The traffic sign went red, and the following conversation ensued: “Have y’got five dollars, Pops?” “What for?” “F’r five dollars y’can make it, Pops.” “Make what?” The light changed, and they drove off. What’s the country coming to? Signed: Pops.”
Houston — The “obscene” books case which started July 11 appears to have ended in a mistrial. The seven books under question were Virgins, Inc., Passion Carousel, Sin in Summer, Temple of Shame, Orgy Club, Shame Hunger and Swamp Sect. The federal trial jurors reported after nine days of deliberations that they were deadlocked hopelessly. At one point they were 9-3 for acquittal and at another 9-3 for conviction. Stanley Fleishman of Los Angeles, one of the defense lawyers, had charged that the government chose Houston as the site of the trial because it is located in the so-called Bible Belt and U.S. attorneys were shopping for a favorable forum to seek indictments. Federal attorneys had contended that the seven books appealed solely to the prurient interest and to a “morbid, shameful, inordinate sexual appetite.” Defense attorneys said the books appeal to a broad, normal sexual interest of the average American. U.S. District Judge Joe Ingraham, in declaring the mistrial, said the federal government “should take a long look at this caes” [sic] before deciding whether to presecute [sic] further.
Columnist M. David Scott in the Houston Chronicle protested the raiding of the Dallas branch of the Club Rebel and said prosecutions of consensual adult relations are medieval witch hunts. A letter to the Chronicle from a James E. Morrison stated:
The United States of America was founded by Christian people (Puritans and Quakers) for Christian people. All of our laws and even the Constitution were largely designed from laws for human behavior quoted in the Holy Bible. Every thinking person knows that the Bible does not condone what these people were arrested for. The acts were considered as a sin against society; therefore neither you nor any member of this queer cult of consensual or sex deviators has any right to plead for protection by our government.
Louisville — A Kentucky bookstore owner, fined $500 for selling nudist magazines, will appeal his conviction to the Supreme Court if necessary, he has said. This was after a jury took 15 minutes to convict Abraham Zimmerman of selling five magazines which the panel considered obscene. The magazines were sold in June 1965 to John Kilroy, who served as a registered lobbyist for the Citizens for Decent literature during the legislative session earlier in the year. Kilroy was instrumental in securing passage of a new state obscenity law which went into effect recently. It replaced the statute under which Zimmerman was tried. Prosecutor Edwin Schroering said if Zimmerman’s appeals are unsuccessful, he will seek a court order to confiscate all nudist magazines in Louisville.
Atlanta — Solicitor Gen. Lewis R. Slaton has urged the City of Atlanta to enact an ordinance prohibiting the sale of magazines that portray nudes to persons under age 18. The proposed law would not affect the sale of books and magazines that carry no photographs. Slaton said: “The ordinance would say what parts of the human body can be shown and what parts can’t.” Slaton was of the opinion that magazines displaying photographs of nudes appeal more to the teenagers than the various sex books on the newsstands. “They’ll take time to thumb through a magazine and look at photographs, but I don’t think they take the time to read a complete book.”
Claremont, S. D. — A bashful bull who shuns romance has found himself a cowless island in a slough and apparently aims to stay there alone. His owners at the Daly farm thought their newly purchased bull would be happy with a harem of cows so they put him in a pasture among four or five cows. The bull took one terrified look at his new playmates, ran through a four-strand barbed wire fence and swam a mile and a half to a ten-acre island near the stockwater dam. Mr. Daly says that he has had considerable jocular advice about ways of luring the animal off the island. The cow-hating bull did briefly leave the island once, but when observers approached him he snorted, turned tail and swam back to his lonely sanctuary. At last report, he was still there.
Providence — Homosexuality is on the increase as a cause of rejections of draftees at the Rhode Island Armed Forces Examination and Entrance Station in Providence. Lt. Col. Robert L. Wilson, Selective Service manpower officer, said he had no statistics and declined to estimate the number or percentage of potential inductees rejected on this ground. But, he said, “There has been a definite increase over the past year.” Some youths claim “homosexual tendencies” in an effort to evade being drafted. But medical examiners are “pretty well versed in picking out the phonies,” and the majority of such claims are bona fide. Col. Wilson said one of the questions on the medical form calls for a simple yes or no on “homosexual tendencies.” In about half the cases, registrants are ignorant of what the term means and check the “Yes” for strange reasons. These youths are quickly enlightened. He said there have been cases where a registrant answered “No” on the original examination form, evidently to conceal the “tendency,” and then changed his answer when called for induction.
Originally published in the August 1966 issue of Tangents magazine
©1966, 2018 by The Tangent Group. All rights reserved.