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Lucifer Whole No. 716

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Text below

page 4




Eastern Representative, E. C. Walker, 244 W. 143d st., N.Y.
European Representative, George Bedborough, 16 John Street,
   Bedford Row, London, W.C., England.

The name LUCIFER means LIGHT-BRINGING or LIGHT-BEARING and or the paper that has adopted this name stands for Light against Darkness --- for Reason against Superstition --- for Science against Tradition --- for Investigation and Enlightenment against Credulity and Ignorance --- for Liberty against Slavery ---for Justice against Privelege.

Published weekly. One dollar per year. Three months twenty-five sents.

ABNER J. POPE writes us that he was released from Portland jail on the eighth of this month. He asks his friends everywhere to write him in care Jones's book store, Portland, Ore. His letter will be published later.

LAND OWNERSHIP, taxation laws and government control of money are three of the giant evils that keep the masses in slavery to the few. Fifteen dollars per acre --- fifteen dollars of restricted money of our plutocratic lords --- is a terrible price to pay for unimproved or even improved lands in Dakota, but as a choice of evils it is probably better to pay this price than to pay fifteen dollars and upwards per month as rent for a little house or flat without yard or garden, in Chicago. The letter of Frank Weller --- see "Voices" column --- will be interesting to liberal-minded people who may be seeking homes in the rural districts. South Dakota has many advantages, prominent among which are its liberal divorce laws, its fertile soil, artesian wells and comparatively mild climate. Before deciding on a new location our home-seeking friends might do well to correspond with Mr. Weller.

The Arrest of George Bedborough.

It has been suggested that the arrest of George Bedborough in London, England, was instigated by Inquisitor Comstock for the purpose of cutting off the supply of "bad" literature at its source. Those who are familiar with Comrade Bedborough and his work need not to be informed that he is a builder of civilization, whilst Comstock is a ghoulish destroyer. The secret of George Bedborough interest in sex reform is for the first time publicly set forth in the article on "Our English Comrades" by Sydney Layton, published in this issue of Lucifer. The evil consequences of ignorance concerning sexual selections and heredity became appallingly apparent the families of his own father and brother. If ever a man had a "call to preach salvation" George Bedborough is that man, and the salvation he is called to preach is salvation from ignorance. For preaching this greatest of gospels he has been thrown into prison by the self appointed guardians of the tree of knowledge.

It is gratifying to note that the friends of free thought and free speech in England are ready to do battle for the liberation of their brave young champion who, at last account, was merely nominally at liberty under $5,000 bonds. The following call to friends of liberty has been issued by one of the pioneers of free thought in England, himself a former publisher of a radical newspaper in the interest of social freedom.

51 ARUNDEL SQUARE LONDON, N. My Dear Sir: An attack upon the freedom of the press has been made in the arrest of Mr. George Bedborough, Hon. Secretary of the Legitimation League, for selling a copy of Mr. Havelock Ellis' scientific work on "The Psychology of Sex." Realizing the serious nature of this prosecution, I have been moved to call upon all freinds of freedom to rally in the defence of the rights, of those precious rights which have been conquered, at so much cost and sacrifice, by reformers in the past. I am not concerned with the individual views of Mr. Ellis or of Mr. Bedborough, or of any one else on the subject of sex. The issue is plain. The book in question deals with sexual inversion and discusses the causes of sexual abnormality from the most disinterested and lofty stand-point. More than this need not be said. Mr. Bedborough has an unquestionable moral right to sell such a book (its price, however, being prohibitive to the general public) and therefore it is the duty of every right-minded person to stand by him at this critical juncture, to the extent of affording him that moral and precuniary assistance which is so urgently needed to ensure an unprejudiced as well as an adequate legal defence. To this end, a Free Press Defence Committee will be immediately se on foot, which will hold a watching brief, as it were, in the interests, solely, of the freedom of the press.

It is surmised that the attack upon the book in question is merely an insidious attempt to crush the Legitimation League, the active spirit of which Mr. Bedborough undoubtedly has been. Any subsequent change of tactic8 by the prosecution will not affect, I apprehend, the principle involved. The Legitimation League claims the right to decently discuss the problem of sexual relationships from all points of view, and has no concern whatever with the opinions of its individual members. This is the broad fact, however much the fact may be distorted.

Mr. Robert Buchanan has already intimated his willingness to join the Defence Committee, and I am confident of securing the co-operation of many worthy public men. I shall, therefore, esteem it a favor if you will initmate, as early as possible, your willingness to join this committee or contribute to the expenses; or, better still, that you do both.

Your obedient servant, HENRY SEYMOUR.

George Bedborough is the London representative of Lucifer, and his work is strictly in accordance with the doctrines which Lucifer has taught for nearly a score of years, and for which George Bedborough has been doing in England, by contributing, to the extent of their ability, to the fund for his defense. Any contributions sent to Lucifer for this purpose will be promptly acknowledged and as promptly forwarded to Comrade Bedborough. Even small contributions for this righteous purpose will be acceptable.

Reply to E. C. Walker.

(1) Yes, it is quite true that I have a "forgetter," and though sometimes inconvenient I would by no means willingly lose this part of my mental equipment. He who remembers everything is necessarily a very unhappy man-unless inhuman. Whether my forgetter got all its work on the occasion referred to I will leave others to judge. Here is the paragraph you ask me to print in full:

"Think E. C. W. got off his eggs on the war business. This war is a huge blunder-it is demagogy, boodle, politics. Let the law of evolution and revolution work out its own salvation. Spain offered the half-civilized Arabs self-government agreeably to our demand; then 'he demanded the armistice and and she granted that. The best way for you is to say 'nix' in Lucifer. Too delicate a subject."

The word "seemingly" is quite properly inserted by you; but as Longfellow says, "Things are not [always] what they seem." It is just possible I had other paragraphs from the same writer in mind also, when penning my first reply. Here is one that you did not see:

"Why didn't we ask a court or congress of nations to take cognizance and interfere if there was ca use? Why take law into our own hands and fight dog-fashion or thug fashion? When will we become civilized? Our government was four and- a-half years conquering her rebels. Spain did not interfere. She had no right or disposition to do so. This meddling with other people's affairs is pure Comstockism. We had better secure liberty at home before we bellyache about oppression in Cuba."

From both the quoted paragraphs it is plain that our "Western friend" agreed substantially with Mr. Baylor and myself, and my inference was that he objected largely, if not mainly, to continuing the controversy on the war question because of the danger that it would divide and weaken the forces that should be concentrated on Lucifer's chosen work.

(2) I did not use the word "offensive" in connection with "personal" What I objected to and what I now object to, is bringing in the personality of the writers at all when discussing arguments or facts printed in Lucifer, and especially when treating of a subject so "delicate" as the war question. As to the "alleged facts" criticized by you, if your "forgetter" will stand aside for a moment you will probably remember that my articles on "Intervention" were called out by your direct accusation that I had failed to protest against the Spanish Cuban atrocities.


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