||Paul and Shirley
Eberle: A Strange Pair of Experts
by Maria Laurina
Paul and Shirley Eberle wrote
The Politics of Child Abuse, a book that accuses mothers, mental
health professionals, and prosecutors of feeding children
stories about sexual abuse. Since the book was published by Lyle
Stuart in l986, the Eberles have been cited as experts in sexual
abuse trials. They were featured speakers at a conference of the
Victims of Child Abuse Laws, a group formed to protect accused
startling about the Eberles' reputation as ground-breaking
experts in the field is that their dubious credentials have not
been widely challenged. Paul and Shirley Eberle edit a soft-core
magazine in California called the L.A. Star that contains a
mixture of nude photos, celebrity gossip, telephone sex ads, and
promos for The Politics of Child Abuse.
1970's, however, the Eberles were also publishing hard-core
pornography. Their publication, Finger, depicted scenes of
bondage, S & M, and sexual activities involving urination
and defecation. A young girl portrayed with a wide smile on her
face sits on top of a man whose penis is inside of her; a woman
has oral sex with a young boy in a drawing entitled
"Memories of My Boyhood."
Eberles were featured nude on one cover holding two life-size
blow up dolls names "Love Girl" and "Play
Guy." No dates appear on the issues and the Eberles rarely
attach their names, referring to themselves as "The L.A.
Eberles were the distributors of Finger and several other
underground magazines, says Donald Smith, a sergeant with the
obscenity section of the Los Angeles Police Department's vice
division who followed the couple for years. LAPD was never able
to prosecute for child pornography: "There were a lot of
photos of people who looked like they were under age but we
could never prove it." The pictures of young children in
Finger are illustrations, and child pornography laws were less
rigid a decade ago than they are today.
"Sexpot at Five," "My First Rape, She Was Only
Thirteen," and "What Happens When Niggers Adopt White
Children" are some of the articles that appeared in Finger.
One letter states: "I think it's really great that your
mags have the courage to print articles & pixs [sic] on
child sex...Too bad I didn't hear from more women who are into
child sex...Since I'm single I'm not getting it on with my
children, but I know of a few families that are. If I were
married & my wife & kids approved--I'd be having sex
with my daughters."
entry reads: "I'm a pedophile & I think its [sic] great
a man is having sex with his daughter!...Since I didn't get
Finger #3, I didn't get to see the stories & pics of family
sex. Would like to see pics of nude girls making it with their
daddy, but realize its too risky to print."
Stuart plans to print the Eberles' forthcoming book on the
McMartins preschool trial. Carole Stuart, the publisher,
describes the Eberles as "experts in the field," and
family friends "for years."
Reprinted in the ICONoclast,
WINTER 1988 / VOL. 1, NO. 2
with permission from Ms. Magazine
TO NUDIST/NATURIST HALL OF SHAME