Picking up from Part XVII of "We Have Met the Enemy":
By 1973, John Money was what we now call an "influencer", and a heavyweight influencer at that. Cited and celebrated now not only by academics, but by Western intellectuals, activists, counselors, journalists, and legislators, Money had performed a history-changing feat of alchemy: he had turned a boy into a girl. Or so he (falsely) claimed. And in doing so, he claimed to have demonstrated that virtually all differences in male-female thought, feeling, and behavior result from environment, not biology. That meant, potentially, that through choice and a changed environment, anyone could become anything. For a West whose sexual mores had already been in freefall for a decade (not least thanks to Money's efforts within academia), his "scientific discovery" was exhilarating news.
Money, now viewed as a scientific miracle-worker, began pushing the rest of his agenda. In his telling, because anyone could become anything, everyone should become anything. Transcending biology—changing one's own sex—was the ultimate symbol of human power. For Money, it was the ultimate "f*** you" to God himself. As he put it in an article called "The Future of Sex and Gender" published in The Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, "the very idea of sex reversal runs counter to one of the eternal verities we live by, namely, that male and female were ordained by God to live in sacred apposition"—and according to Money, that was exactly why we should do it. Our assault on, our erasure of, sexual dimorphism—our full embrace of sex-identity fluidity—constituted "the fulfillment of being human".
Remember when I brought up Aristotle, back in June? For Aristotle, true fulfilment meant achieving the full fruition of one's innate essence or nature. For an acorn, the best thing is to grow into a strong, healthy oak. For human beings, it is to live a life of eudaimonia, within a polis dedicated to that end, together with cherished others.
A similar idea pervades Jewish and Christian thought. True fulfilment means achieving one's full potential, and what that potential looks like depends not only on our choices, but on the nature God gives us in the first place.
As God says to Jeremiah:
"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations...See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant."
David expresses something similar in Psalm 1, in which he writes that the godly man "shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season".
But for Money, true fulfilment didn't mean bringing something natural to its full fruition. It meant declaring war on nature. That is, it meant obliterating all constraints imposed by nature. Why? Because God is the author of nature. Given that our sexual identity is a manifestation of nature, to destroy it is to score a huge victory against God, the author and embodiment of nature (something I alluded to in an earlier piece). And so, for Money, who repeatedly expressed his contempt for God in his "scientific" articles, attempting to change one's sex was an act of righteous, spiteful defiance.
But there were other ways to score points against God beyond warring against sexual dimorphism, according to Money. There were all sorts of sexual taboos, codes, laws, customs, which you could—and should—violate.
One of them was the legal and moral prohibition on pedophilia. As he once told an interviewer from pro-pedophilia Dutch journal Paidika, "If I were to see the case of a boy aged ten or eleven who's intensely erotically attracted toward a man in his twenties or thirties, if the relationship is totally mutual, then I would not call it pathological in any way."
In that same interview, Money criticizes "value judgments" of homosexual pedophilic relationships where the child consents. (How an innocent ten year old boy could meaningfully "consent" to that sort of thing in the same way his 60 year old pursuer might, Money does not attempt to explain.) Money also reveals he had long ago vowed to never report a pedophile to the police, and that he has "no doubt" most incarcerated pedophiles don't deserve to be in prison. "Consensual" pedophilic relationships, he says, are often "fatherly", "positive", "affectionate", and "powerfully important for the younger boy". (And given his language, you begin to wonder if Money himself indulged in such activities).
How young is too young to give sexual consent, according to the Johns Hopkins "scientific expert" John Money? In the article, he doesn't give an age. And he doesn't give an age because, as he reveals in the last exchange of the interview, he "wishes to attack the whole basis from which age-of-consent laws are constructed". That is, for Money, there shouldn't be any age-of-consent laws at all. "Consensual" pedophilia should be perfectly legal, no matter how young a child is.
Now, bear in mind that as John Money was out stumping for pedophilia, he was still employed by Johns Hopkins. He was still "counseling" young boys alone in his office. He was still shaping the entire thought-world of thousands of doctors, psychologists, and counselors around the world. He was still shaping the treatment protocols they used. He remained a superstar of the scientific establishment.
As you might imagine, Money didn't stop at promoting the legalization of pedophilia. In his 1976 article, "Sex, Love, and Commitment", published in The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, he took aim at romantic commitment itself. The word "commitment", said Money, was "word garbage" meant to mask a risible "Judeo-Christian ideal of monogamous marriage". He then revealed his scientific conclusion that love does not actually exist. Instead, "we all fall in love not with a partner, but with a fantasy superimposed or projected on to a partner". And for anyone still interested in monogamous marriage, he wrote in his 1975 Sexual Signatures, they really need to get with it: the regular practice of bisexual group sex, he wrote, is at least as "personally satisfying as a paired partnership".
In other articles, Money promoted the most violent and extreme forms of sadomasochism. In an article entitled "Sexual Dictatorship, Dissidence, and Democracy", published in The International Journal of Medicine and Law (an article, by the way, which has been entirely scrubbed from the internet, and which I was only able to obtain, prepping for this piece, through James Bond-like maneuvers and string-pulling), Money begins by smearing all traditional sexual customs and laws as constituting a "sexual dictatorship" based on a mixture of church and state. Any societal or legal restraints on sexual behavior between consenting partners (including children) amount to intolerable reflections of McCarthyism, Nazi Germany, and the Spanish Inquisition. He then goes on to express his support for voluntary "lust murder", in which one lover kills another during violent sex, providing the murdered person previously consented. He follows that by advocating for certain behaviors during sex too disgusting for me to even print here. And this was published in a top scientific journal.
The more lurid, bizarre, dark, and grotesque Money's pronouncements, the more of an academic rockstar he became. And the more of an academic rockstar he became, the more professionals adopted his ideas. He made the most of his status and influence in his personal life, too, regularly obscenely propositioning his young patients and colleagues (of both sexes), as well as regularly participating in orgies with fellow "scholars" in an academic association called the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.
Thrilled with his success in destroying bourgeois sexual morality as the seventies unfolded, Money increasingly laced his speech with sexual profanities around patients and colleagues alike. He believed this would break down lingering sensitivities about sex organs and sex acts. He also began telling his colleagues his real field of study was "f**kology". He hoped to popularize the term. It never quite caught on, but a trio of academic admirers did use the word as the title of their 2014 compilation tribute to John Money.
But what did catch on was a wide range of Money's other ideas. They form the backbone of the barbarous sexual lunacy plaguing us now. Drag queen hour at the local children's library; public sex acts during Pride parades; the growing normalization of child sexualization and pedophilia; the growth of gender dysphoria diagnoses, transgender claims even among small children, and sex reassignment surgeries; the dissolution of obscenity laws; the mainstreaming of sadomasochism; the erosion of laws inhibiting divorces; the rejection of monogamous heterosexual marriage as the sole legal form of marriage; the disparagement of traditional marriage roles between husband and wife; the diminution of parental rights over their children when it comes to transgender issues; all these and dozens more changes can all be traced back to a sexual radicalism John Money—perhaps more than any other single person—began successfully insinuating into society and law as far back as the 1950s.
And that's why, I confess, I'm sick of writing about this demonic sicko. And so, next week, I want to finish up the story of Bruce Reimer, and move into a discussion of what the Money case, and others, really tell us about science, authority, liberalism, Wokism, and the West.
Tal will be back here next week to continue the conversation. Mark Steyn Club members can weigh in on this column in the comment section below, one of many perks of club membership, which you can check out here.