For those struggling with guilt: some self-help

In todays world, where we are the most hated and misunderstood of sexual minorities, it is unsurprising that so many people suffer with issues of guilt and shame, at least to some degree. It’s an issue that I have direct experience of, since for my dad it was paralysing, to the point of him breaking up with me. So if you or your other half are going through this right now, I understand, and it’s why I am writing this article.

So, in order to tackle such feelings, we have to first understand where they come from. What is it that makes people feel this way, even when the relationship is healthy and loving? I believe the big one to be internalization of societal opinions, a version of the whole ‘if everyone believes this then it must be true’ fallacy.

What exactly is being internalized which could produce guilt and shame?

Consider the below statements, these are public opinions about incest:

  • Nobody in their right mind would want to do that, therefore anyone who does must be mentally ill.
  • It’s harmful for the people involved
  • It’s harmful for the family unit and undermines the function of the family
  • It always involved manipulation, grooming or sexual abuse
  • People aren’t able to consent to their relatives
  • People who do that are perverts
  • It’s on par with bestiality, necrophilia and pedophilia
  • They’ll make deformed babies
  • People who do that are retarded
  • People who do that must suck at dating/are so ugly that they can’t get dates
  • That’s just gross, anything that gross is just WRONG
  • It’s wrong because it’s illegal, and illegal because it’s wrong

Now, you and I can see that this list of popular beliefs are completely out of touch with the reality of our relationships and lives, so you might think on the surface that nobody would internalize complete horse shit like this because the logical mind would never accept such statements as true when it runs counter to ones own experiences. But as with most emotional problems, sometimes what is actually happening in the mind isn’t logical.

How does the mind accept these inaccurate statements as true?

Well, to begin with, these ideas are floating around in the cultures in which we were born into. Look at it this way, nobody had to tell you that pop music is cool, that you should wear trainers with a pair of Jeans, that you go to a job interview smartly dressed and use your best manners, that it’s polite to smile back or say hi if somebody smiles at you, that it’s rude to jump the queue at the checkout, that you should offer your guests to your home a drink of tea or coffee because it’s inhospitable not to… these things you learned because you observed the actions of others, you may have read about them in magazines or newspapers, you internalized these cultural norms as YOUR norms.

Most of the time this process of internalization is beneficial, it allows you to navigate your social environment without having to second guess yourself with each new situation. We all obey these rules and norms quite subconsciously, and for the most part, most people conform to the norms of the culture in which they are raised, that’s expected.

However, that doesn’t mean that all norms and beliefs floating around a culture are beneficial. Some of them are very harmful, and that includes the beliefs about incest (and of course, other sexual minorities involving consenting adults). Such beliefs lead to the stigmatization, and criminalization of people who felt strongly enough about each other to buck the trend. In turn, the stigma and criminalization reinforce the false beliefs on which they are founded, creating a negative feedback loop.

Since these beliefs are absorbed as if through osmosis, and they entered into the subconscious mind without the filter of rational thought, this is how people who are consang can unwittingly believe some very negative things about themselves. Most of the time, these beliefs were absorbed long before the person entered into a consang relationship. Sometimes these beliefs don’t ever come to the surface fully, in which case the affected person may experience it as a more general feeling of ‘wrongness’ just for being what they are. Other people may experience some of these feelings more directly, and they ask themselves questions like “am I a pervert?” or “what the fuck is wrong with me, I shouldn’t be feeling this?”

How can a person get rid of these unwanted feelings?

There is no quick and easy fix to this I am afraid, and the only process I know of is to fish these beliefs out from the subconscious mind into the conscious one so that they can go through the minds logical filter. This is an emotional exercise as much as an intellectual one.

In order to fish out these wrongful beliefs, one must think about the guilt that they’re experiencing, and ask ‘why do I feel that way?’ and to answer themselves honestly. They must then process their answer through the logical part of the brain, and find out whether these beliefs are true or not.

Let me make up an example so I can show you what I mean, let’s say a guy is involved with his younger sister and has been for a couple of years, neither have children and are both settled in their jobs. Say they moved in together a few months ago, their apartment is great, their relationship is great, they’re in a reasonably safe position as they’re not around others who know them as brother and sister and who could rat them out to authorities if they’re discovered. Yet despite all of this, he still feels bad about himself.

So one day he sits down and asks himself ‘why do I feel this way?’

He answers himself ‘because we had to move away from our other relatives so we wouldn’t be discovered, that’s been hard on both of us’

Why did you feel you had to do that?

Answer: Because otherwise we would be thrown in jail and publicly shamed

Why is that?

Answer: Well, it’s not normal or right is it.

What makes you say that?

Answer: Well, it’s illegal, and people find it gross so it must be perverted.

Do you think you’re a pervert?

Answer: Maybe, probably… I don’t know

Well, are you and your sister hurting anyone?

Answer: Ourselves, because we had to move away. Our family who are now denied our presence in their lives.

Is that your fault, or is it the fault of peoples reactions towards incest?

Answer:  ….

Does your relationship feel wrong to you?

Answer: No, we love each other.

Have either of you any mental health problems?

Answer: Anxiety and insomnia sometimes.

Why do you think that is?

Answer: It’s been playing on my mind a lot.

Is that your fault, or is it societys fault for not accepting couples like you?

Answer: … never thought of it that way.

So do you think you deserve to feel bad?

Answer… well not really…

Gotcha!

 

Okay, I know this is a simple example I just made up off the top of my head, but you see what I mean. If you’re suffering with guilt and shame, you need to ask yourselves the right questions. Get to the root of WHY you’re feeling what you feel, so you can fish out the harmful beliefs and replace them with healthy self-supportive ones.

I’m not saying it’s easy, it isn’t. You might also experience a lot of anger during and after the process towards the world on account of what you’ve mistakenly been forced to feel. That’s NORMAL, I went through it. It shows that you’re accepting yourself as is, and have correctly rejected the false beliefs that were the cause of your problem. From here you can not only rebuild your self-esteem, but experience tremendous growth as a person. It can teach you to be less judgemental of others, and to be more compassionate and forgiving, to youself as much as to others. This is important for yourself and your relationship, your partner won’t want to see you suffering, if you’re the consang partner of somebody who is going through this, I understand your plight all too well.

But you’re not a therapist, how can you say this will work?

Because this is how I questioned myself in the early days of my relationship with my dad, it worked for me. Every now and then I’ve also helped others online by asking them these kinds of questions, and some people feel better just for having read this blog and others on the subject… I advocate it because IT WORKS.

I’d also recommend to anyone struggling, to join the community at Kindred Spirits. You can talk to other people who are going through the same things and that can help by giving you some extra perspective. You don’t have to be alone with these issues, we’re a friendly bunch and being in a mutually supportive environment helps a lot.

Nobody should have to go through this, but sadly because the world doesn’t accept us, guilt is probably going to continue to be an issue for us until we get our rights and are accepted as a normal part of life. In the meantime, those of us who can help others have a moral obligation to do so.

Addressing concerns about grooming and sexual abuse

There is an unfortunate conception in society that consensual incest is impossible because of grooming. Namely, that because of family dynamics, it would be impossible to seduce a relative without there being some form of grooming taking place. Such concerns are particularly levied against non-GSA parent/offspring couples, but some believe that grooming happens in ALL cases of incest, regardless of their kinship.

Well, obviously having been a young woman in a consensual non-GSA father/daughter relationship, I think it’s about time I dispelled the myth and explained the difference between grooming and ethical seduction, and how that can play out in a relationship. If we want to be taken seriously as a movement, if we truly want equal rights, we need to address these concerns people have and demystify our lives.

Unfair as it is, the burden is upon us to prove ourselves worthy of equality and respect. People just aren’t going to listen to our cries for equal rights if we don’t answer their objections with honesty, integrity and empathy. We need to show that we take such concerns very seriously, that we have a good understanding of the issues and that we have a high standard of ethics. If we fail this task, then the movement will fail, If we succeed, then we will get these oppressive laws overturned, helping literally MILLIONS of innocent men and women to live their lives in peace and security. All I ask at this point is that all readers, both consang and regular, listen to my words and think about them carefully.

What is grooming?

Grooming is when somebody is persuaded using an unethical manner to engage in any sexual act, especially when the groomed person is a minor or young adult with limited or no experience.

We all have the mental image of the archetypal dirty old man in an anorak giving children sweets and money in exchange for sexual favors. However, it’s not usually as simplistic nor as blatant as this mental image would suggest, and sometimes it can be very subtle, so subtle that you would question whether it’s grooming or not. I think it’s worth exploring what could be classified as grooming.

Typically, people who groom others, particularly children and young people, for their own sexual gratification use at least some of the following methods:

  1. Creating situations where he or she is going to be alone with their chosen target. Usually this is achieved by gaining the trust of others who are responsible for the protection of the target. This is done solely to gain access.
  2. Buying ‘too many’ gifts for the target, again to build up a relationship of trust and make the target feel ‘special’.
  3. Plying the target with illicit substances or alcohol, thus lowering inhibitions and making it harder for the victim to come forward about the sexual abuse.
  4. Convincing the target that it’s perfectly normal but ‘people wouldn’t understand’.
  5. Convincing the target that he or she has a responsibility or duty to make their abuser happy, and of course that means sexual favours.
  6. Using relentless persuasion over a long period of time to get the target to consent to what would otherwise be abhorrent to them.
  7. Using a play on words, like ‘You love me don’t you? This is how we show love’
  8. Making the target believe he or she is doing something wrong if he or she says no.
  9. Using the guise of ‘sex education’ to lure the target.

This can happen in all kinds of settings, it’s notoriously happened in the Catholic Church with untold numbers of altar boys being sexually molested by pedophile priests, it’s happened in schools, orphanages, foster homes, and yes, some people have become victims of their own family members. It’s not nice to think about, but it can happen and it does happen and such acts should be denounced in the strongest possible manner. If there was anything that is always wrong, in ANY kind of relationship, it’s grooming.

If the double-love bond that exists in consensual incest is the strongest and most pure bond imaginable, then grooming by a family member is the ultimate act of betrayal, worse than being betrayed by an outsider, and it should be punished accordingly.

What counts as ethical?

Well first and foremost, the same rules apply to consensual incest as apply to everyone else. Rules like these:

  1. Everyone must be over the age of consent.
  2. Everyone involved must make the decision to engage in any sexual act willingly and without duress.
  3. Everyone involved must be mentally competent to make the decision, for instance, NOT half passed out through excessive alcohol or high on illegal drugs.
  4. Flirting is okay, but no means no if the flirt is unsuccessful.
  5. Stalking and sexual harassment is not allowed.
  6. Consent is renewed for each sexual encounter, consent to sex on Tuesday doesn’t necessarily mean consent on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
  7. Consent to one sexual act doesn’t mean automatic consent to another, for instance consent to oral sex and vaginal sex doesn’t mean automatic consent to anal sex as well.

So this is simple and straightforward common sense, stuff everyone should know already. It’s what I call sexual ethics, it’s based on the morality of everyone doing what they’re comfortable with and not doing what they’re not comfortable with, and what’s more not being pressurised into doing something that they do not want to do.

Yes, that all sounds great on paper, but is that really possible within an incestuous relationship, especially parent/offspring relationships?

I understand well the concerns that people have about parent/offspring relationships, they think that because we were raised by somebody, we can never give consent without there being some kind of pressure or duress, thus violating point 2 on the above list. I can see why people might think this, most people, even as adults do not like to let their parents down or upset them. The parent/offspring dynamic doesn’t just magically vanish because you’ve hit legal age. However, what must be understood is that there is a world of difference between the relationship you had with your parents as a child is radically different to the relationship you have with them as an independent adult.

When you are a child, your parents are legally responsible for looking after you, and making decisions for you. They provide your clothes, your food, your shelter… everything. This means that when you’re a child, your parents have an enormous amount of power over you.

Contrast that to the relationship you likely have with your parents as an adult, your parents do not make decisions for you, you buy your own stuff and rent or buy your own home, you’re responsible for yourself (at least this is what SHOULD happen in a normal healthy family). Your parents are now your peers, they’re more like older friends that you sometimes ask advice from. They typically have very little if any actual power over you, although they may retain some influence on you because you respect their opinions, this is normal and natural.

The question in peoples minds is this: is the residual influence enough to render true consent impossible? Well, no, and here is why: Most people have a sufficiently strong Westermarck Effect to say no to a parent that they aren’t interested in dating, AND in a situation where the parent has made their feelings clear, the offspring now has enormous power in their hands. Since even attempting to date a family member is illegal, the offspring who isn’t interested could land their parent in jail potentially. Adult offspring are therefore far from powerless and CAN say no if they want to. If one is able to say no, then one is also able to legitimately say yes.

But what of when the offspring is consenting, how do we know that it’s for real? Well first of all, the offspring who said yes clearly don’t have much of a Westermarck Effect, if they did, the answer wouldn’t have been yes would it? It’s also pretty difficult to argue dubious consent when the offspring is the one who initiated the relationship, as happens sometimes.

But what if the offspring were groomed to accept it once the age of consent has been reached?

I’m not saying it can’t happen or never happens, and when it does it’s a terrible thing, these are the sort of abuse stories we sometimes hear about on the news. They disturb us as much as they disturb regulars, because they are disturbing, unethical and immoral.

There is a world of difference between somebody being groomed to be their parents partner, and a relationship spontaneously and naturally occurring once the offspring is old enough. Anyone who grooms their children to become a sexual partner at any age is guilty of an offence. Such grooming is a form of brainwashing and it’s never acceptable.

However, what I am saying is that incest doesn’t need to include grooming. When there are two people in the same family, who happen to be parent and offspring, who happen to both lack Westermarck and be appealing to each other because they love each others personalities and have common interests, and then they fall in love… well then that’s where consensual incest happens.

Would legalization encourage grooming?

Some of the regulars reading this article may by now be beginning to realize that it is possible for consensual incest to happen, however they may still fear that if incest were to be legalized, then it may encourage more of the grooming type of activity. I disagree here, because whether or not somebody is going to engage in grooming depends on what kind of person they are, somebody who is amoral and unethical will violate the usual high standards for acceptable behavior regardless of the legislation. For the record, grooming, sexual harassment, stalking and similar crimes would all remain crimes regardless of whether incest is legal or not.

My point is that inappropriate and harmful behaviour is already illegal, there is no need legally, or morally to discriminate against innocent incest couples in order to prosecute people who commit such offences as grooming, sexual abuse or rape. Such behaviours are very wrong regardless of whether the victim and perpetrator are related or not.

So it IS possible to make consensual incest perfectly legal, while protecting vulnerable youngsters from abuse. Actually, it is beneficial all round to do so, as it enables our community to encourage victims of sexual abuse to come forward to the authorities and bring their abusers to justice. It also allows us to show young people what healthy consanguinamory looks like versus their experiences, so that they are going to be better able to judge whether or not they’ve been a victim of grooming, a kind of reality check. This is why it’s so vital that we expose grooming for the abusive practice that it is, and encourage victims to seek help.

Concerns over sex education and it’s possible impact on young people

Some regulars may be worried that if we’re legalized, then it would lead to young people being taught about us in sex education classes. Some may even be so paranoid as to fear that we’re trying to ‘turn our young people consang’ or some other such nonsense. I can assure you, if you’re a regular reading this, that is not our intention and we wouldn’t want that. Actually, anyone attempting such would be guilty of grooming and we reject that in all it’s forms.

What we want in the classroom is simply for teens to know that we exist, and the following:

  1. If the teen has feelings for a relative, then they are understood and accepted, there is nothing wrong with them and they need bear no shame.
  2. A short term crush on a relative as a teenager doesn’t necessarily mean that their adult orientation is going to be consanguinamory.
  3. If they do turn out to be consang as an adult, there is a community out here that cares about them and will accept them.
  4. Consanguinamory isn’t something one chooses, it’s something that occurs naturally. Some people just ARE consang, in the same way that gay people do not choose to be gay, they just are.
  5. Underage sex is to be discouraged, the age of consent protects young people from grooming and sexual abuse.
  6. If it’s their parent or another older relative they’re interested in, they must wait until they’re old enough before pursuing the matter, and that it would be wrong and inappropriate for their parents to accept any advances from them (or make any advances of their own) until they’re of age.
  7. That because of the social stigma, life isn’t easy for consang people. That in many countries people are thrown in jail for it.
  8. That if they’ve been abused by a relative, they should not fear to come forward about their abuse, because abuse is always wrong and never their fault.
  9. Education about the risks of consang pregnancy: cousins 4%, 2nd degree relatives around 7%, 1st degree relatives around 9%. Give them the information which they can mull over and thus make sensible choices as adults.

What such education would be aimed at doing, is helping consang teens to understand themselves, the minority to which they belong, and helping regular teens to understand them and accept them as part of normal life. It would also underscore the difference between abuse and consent, the importance of the age of consent, and encourage any victims of sexual abuse to come forward. This is by far a better approach than ignoring the issue of consanguinamory, as currently happens. These young people need to know this information, so that they can identify attempts at grooming them, in addition to feeling more ‘normal’ if they have any consang feelings themselves. As with all sex education, it’s explaining what’s healthy and what isn’t. In an educational classroom setting, this kind of teaching will be very beneficial to these young people.

What I am advocating here is the very opposite of grooming, it’s real unbiased raw data education. Present the information to the young people and allow them to think about it for themselves. Offer empathy and understanding to those who are consang, while vehemently opposing grooming or underage sex of any kind. We are not going to corrupt their morals, we are advocating a natural continuation of existing relationship ethics by applying them to consanguinamory too.

Conclusion

We take the protection of young people very seriously, we take any issues surrounding consent seriously, we advocate values and morals based on ethics which empower and support individual growth whilst protecting those who need protection. We do not seek to impose ourselves on society or make others consang, nor do we seek to redefine the function or structure of the family. We seek only understanding, empathy and acceptance, we seek the same rights everyone else has. We are not to be feared, and we want to build bridges with other communities for mutual benefit and support. We hear your concerns and we will listen and address your concerns, all we ask is that others do the same for us in return. You may not agree with everything I have said here, and if you don’t then you’re welcome to debate me or ask for clarification if there is anything you don’t understand. I am approachable, and I will always give an honest answer.

Computer Security Guide (basics) by Rainy

Okay folks, this article is pertenant to our people. As we all know, computer security is paramount to many of us, to reduce the risks of state snooping, as well as being hacked and so on. So our friend Rainy has written an article with some good advice on the subject, and she has kindly allowed me to copy and paste here for everyone to see.


 

Last Updated: April, 2017
Hiya everyone! hope everyone is doing well today!
Okay so this is what it says on the tin: keeping snoopers out of your business! Much of this isn’t news and leans towards “stating the obvious”, but hopefully some of it is helpful. A TL;DR is included at the bottom.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert! this is not a substitute for pen-testing! my experience comes from knowing people in the business, and personal research.
——–
The internet is a backchannel that wasn’t available for previous rights movements. So, our computer security is fairly important! including phones too, though this article focuses on computers (phone info may be added later).
Other things to consider though are analytics, surveillance, home security, and paper trails. Evidence is covered very well by Christine (Consanguinamory and the Police) and Jane Doe (the ten rules to keeping your relationship secret; No Comment). Thank you both very much for writing these articles!
First and Foremost
No security system is 100% secure, and that’s okay.
It’s all about balancing what you put in (time, money, energy), with what you get out (risk reduction, peace of mind)
Misused security systems won’t work very well.
Knowing what to expect or who might be looking for you helps.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Anonymity is the most powerful form of security.
Forethought, caution, and common sense go a looonnng way.
COMPUTER SECURITY
We can divide up into Hardware and Software attacks.
~~*//SOFTWARE\\*~~~
——–FIREWALL
Protection against software intrusion. Have a good firewall, and preferably more than one anti-malware program (they may not always play nice but it’s like a buddy system). If you can’t afford commercial software, ZoneAlarm makes a good free one, but be careful during the install screens where ZA often offers third-party software which is intrusive (opt-out). Comodo antivirus is also highly rated, but I felt their EULA/Privacy Policy/Terms of Service was unattractive (and so haven’t personally tried it); they offer considerably more third-party software. ZoneAlarm is easy to use, and comes with optional antivirus. Comodo better accommodates advanced users, and has a sandbox feature (programs run in a sandbox generally cannot affect your computer). Both have ‘stealth’ capability (appear offline to foreign computers).
——–ANTIVIRUS
Symantec’s Norton Antivirus is highly recommended as commercial antivirus, and it’s built on a solid engine. ClamWin (AKA ClamAV engine) is reliable freeware, and can be bundled with ClamSentinel (which is a system monitor of sorts). ClamSentinel may be too ‘enthusiastic’; if used, make sure to change settings to “Report Only” and not “Quarantine”. Otherwise, it may accidentally cripple software by wrongfully identifying files as bad and then isolating them. However, ClamSentinel tediously logs even minor system file changes, which can be helpful. ClamWin can also be adjusted to work with proxies (i.e. TOR Browser), though if you’d rather not do that, you can update your virus database manually via direct download from their server.
If you can set up your antivirus to automatically scan files that are downloaded, that helps!
——–BROWSER
For the browser, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox both perform admirably, but you have to go into the settings to optimize it for privacy. Other decent browsers are Epic and TOR (TOR is built on Firefox), though TOR may require some reading. Everything else… is best treated like someone can see everything you do.
If you can, set your browser to “Load HTTPS when possible”. HTTPS offers website authentification, whereas HTTP can’t protect your information from being intercepted & redirected.
——–PROXY, VPN, & IP-BLOCKERS
The proxy everyone knows is TOR, and I don’t know a better one. TOR isn’t intended for multimedia, it’s really designed to keep you anonymous. There’s a popular conception that TOR is used only by criminals, but that’s not true. Activists in Saudi Arabia and China use TOR, and first-world governments do too.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) isn’t a proxy, but isn’t bad to have either. There’s many out there, but in my experience, the free ones aren’t worth using, and commercial services (if you can afford one) aren’t always secure either. I think there are good ones, but I haven’t looked in a while.
An IP-Blocker is a program which blocks all signals originating from a specified IP. Typically, you feed it a list of IPs, like those used by federal agencies, invasive companies, and suspected attack sites. Because we can’t know all malicious IP addresses, IP-Blockers won’t stop everything. They may stop a third or some such like that. I’ve used Privoxy & Peerblocker, but that was a long time ago! I don’t know if they’ve improved or not. So, at your discretion.
——–EMAIL
For email, Proton Mail works great! requires no sign-up email, offers optional dual-password authentification, has a website which interfaces with TOR Browser, doesn’t keep records, offers two-way encryption for email, protected by Swiss Privacy Law, and has their facility in a secure location. Zoho Mail can people out of your inbox, and prevented NSA penetration some years back. However, Zoho recently changed their ‘Terms of Service’, so that files remain on their servers for 1 year after deletion. I feel they may have received pressure to do this, but regardless, I can’t recommend them for long-term use with sensitive information. I’ve heard many good things about Tutanota, but have no experience with it. Tutanota’s desirable features include end-to-end AES-256 and Open-Source code. There are also many “one-time use” email providers, who provide a temporary address for free, without asking for details.
——–SEARCH ENGINE
DuckDuckGo doesn’t keep data like Google or Bing (IPs, cookies, analytics, beacons, etc.). There’s also Startpage, which is decent as well. Gibiru bills itself as a privacy-oriented search engine, but isn’t up to DuckDuckGo’s standard. DuckDuckGo’s downside is what you might expect: it’s not as efficient as Google. It will find most things you want to find, and it can find some things that Google won’t. This is the engine I used when searching for an understanding community.
——–OPERATING SYSTEM (WINDOWS)
There’s not as much to be said about operating systems. Most people have experience with some form of Windows, or Mac OS. A great hurdle for Windows is also its greatest boon – popularity. This broad compatibility is what makes it so widely used, but the bigger they are the more attention they receive from snoopers. So, the largest amount of malware & penetration techniques are developed for it.
A particular problem comes with Windows 8 & 10. Both systems perform extensive data mining, which generates Microsoft income via third parties. This can be mitigated by adjusting settings, but not shut down. There are home-built programs which can be installed to further restrict invasive behavior & data upload, but I’m not aware of any that stop it altogether. Microsoft gives us assurances that they protect our data, but in light of past breaches (regardless of company), this seems unlikely. Furthermore, their data mining is especially vulnerable to certain (not necessarily difficult) computer attacks.
Unfortunately, MS support for Windows 7 ceased sometime last year. That being said, I recommend using Windows 7 64-bit if possible. Around half of MS users still do, and hardware/software advanced have not rendered Windows 7 obsolete. If you need a copy of Windows 7, utilities exist for downloading legal copies from Microsoft’s servers (activation keys must be provided by you). Windows 7 can legally be made to run without such a key for roughly one year, after which it’ll still function, but not as well. If you are worried about receiving operating systems from over the internet, that’s understandable. You can verify a file’s integrity with a hash checking program (see programs list below).
If you’d rather not use Windows 7, then I recommend Windows 10 over Windows 8. While invasive, they have made considerable progress regarding built-in firewalls, and Edge Browser also offers substantial security improvements.
——–OPERATING SYSTEM (OTW: OTHER THAN WINDOWS)
Feeling intrepid?
Mac OS is solid, though some of this is due to being comparatively smaller in customer base than Microsoft.
Another good choice is Linux, which comes in a (very!) wide variety of distributions, tailor-made to user bases (such as Scientific Linux). Less known malware than Mac OS, and Linux’s open-source code is fairly robust. The Linux community (and Debian in particular) is always working on new developments, so there’s no software or update shortage – though they may be unfamiliar programs to many.
Linux distributions are often not as straightforward as Mac or Windows, and some don’t have much of an interface. They do have some crossover with Windows programs, through the use of a software translation layer called WINE (Wine Is Not [an] Emulator), but while I was doing testing with them it still had a way to go and it probably still does. There’s also a piece of software called ndiswrapper (which allows use of certain Windows .dll files). Mac OS has a similar “emulation” program as well if I remember right, with similar success rate (I think it might also be WINE).
Ubuntu Linux is decent, especially version 16.04 (Xerial Xenus), and they have learned that their userbase does NOT want invasion of privacy. There’s also Tinfoil Hat Linux… if you want to go there. It does have some rather innovative features, though most are for disrupting EM sniffers & ‘Evil Maid’ attacks (when someone gets physical with your computer). Qubes Linux is also an interesting new distro, which partitions your computer into many smaller pieces. So, if invasive software gets in, it (for the most part) can’t escape its compartment.
If you feel you can’t remain in your country, then I recommend Tails Linux. Tails Linux is not for everyday use. You’d need a USB Flash Drive (2.0 or 3.0), which you install Tails on. Without getting detailed, Tails appears as a new computer every use, with a different location. You can’t save files or make permanent changes on a Tails installation, and it doesn’t run much software except for TOR Browser and a few simple things. I don’t think it’s very difficult to use, but that may just be my opinion! Tails can be carried on your person anywhere you go, since it isn’t dependent on a particular computer.
I’ve not tried Open BSD, but from what I’ve read, it’s also a very well-fortified (and stable) open-source operating system.
Beyond these, there is Solaris Trusted (Sun Microsystems), which has performed well in hackathons and corporate environments. And then XTS-400 (BAe), which isn’t really suited to the task at hand, but it is very secure and can run Linux applications too. It may not be available to the public. It’s military.
Side Note: Be careful about erasing Operating Systems from store-bought low-budget laptops! their hardware may require proprietary software that can’t be found elsewhere and can’t be backed-up. Linux’s community has been good about releasing open-source fixes for this, but that doesn’t mean they’ve covered them all.
——–BE PRUDENT!
Besides software, good protection against intrusion is “be careful what you download!”, including Flash and other net scripts which run automatically by default (can usually be turned off in browsers). These scripts aren’t often secure. Legit programs may also try working monitoring software into your computer for soooo many reasons; read their EULAs, Terms of Service, and Privacy Policies. If this is too daunting, that’s understandable. My experience tells me the longer it is, the more likely there’s something nasty in there.
Regarding software downloads, I use QuickHash. A hash is like a thumbprint; by comparing a known “Safe” hash to your hash, it proves whether a file has been tampered with or not. When comparing hashes, make sure to use SHA-256 where available; MD5 and SHA-1 are not hard to break.
Sometimes, companies won’t include notice of such software even in their legal documents. This is rare because people usually find out, resulting in legal repercussions. An example is Sony and Lenovo (Metrion in Europe), who tried this.
Also, I wouldn’t use public internet (especially public wifi) for sensitive information! some hotspots are secure, but most aren’t, and you can make a good illicit living stealing information from people who use those. This can be somewhat circumvented if you use end-to-end encryption, but if you don’t have to don’t chance it.
Oh, and set up a password on your wifi network if you use one. Direct cables would be better, and are more reliable, but aren’t always possible.
Mostly, software attacks won’t come from authorities, as they are more likely to gain knowledge of our relationships from friends, neighbors, or other family members. However, it’s still possible.
More likely would be vigilantes who don’t understand our position, random malware which lowers security performance, and opportunists who could use information for blackmail.
~~*//HARDWARE\\*~~~
Hardware attacks are different and, when concerning police, more likely. If police come with a warrant, in some regions (including but not limited to the UK) this allows them to force access to digital devices (including encrypted files) in the area covered by warrant; refusal is imprisonment. At this point, it’s nice to have them really clean beforehand!
——–CLEANING
As expected, clean your temp caches, cookies (if they are allowed), history, and so on. Windows often has hidden caches, you may have to dig for these. Their location varies from version to version; google is good help for finding all that as I don’t know all the specifics for all the versions (my apologies!). There are also some good programs out there to expedite the process (CCleaner). A note to CCleaner users, my sister recently ran some tests using recovery software, and even with a multi-pass erasure, files remained. She believes CCleaner may not be erasing the Cluster Tips, though that doesn’t quite explain it. Running this test yourself with similar software should show whether a similar problem exists on other computers.
——–WIPING
What gets deleted is still retrievable with the right software, and it isn’t hard to find nor hard to use. Installing a new operating system does not change this; old files from old systems linger on.
For this you need a wiping program. FileKiller and Eraser are good, and Eraser has a portable version (no installation required). Eraser may get stuck on 35-pass wipes, which is secure but slow… so far, no advice on fixing that!
Currently, 3 passes is solid and such data will be irretrievable, but years later we may be able to read it. So, for extra security, use 7 passes – make sure you get “Cluster Tips” (that’s a bit wordy to explain). Filekiller may not hit “Cluster Tips”, but Eraser definitely does. Both programs are freeware.
If you use a standard HDD, wiping free space permanently removes any files previously deleted but not wiped. If you use a Solid State HDD (also known as SSD), be sparing with the wipes, as that cuts down on their lifespan. Furthermore, SSDs do not need as much wiping (different data storage mechanism). This applies to thumb drives too, which use a Solid State medium. Also, wipers may not finish quickly depending on what you’re feeding the muffin monster! so don’t save it for last minute emergencies.
If you plan on donating, selling, or chucking your computer, use DBAN first. DBAN (Dariks Boot And Nuke) is a small program and easy to learn. It will take out everything short of the BIOS (UEFI on newer computers). Larger HDDs may need a day so be ready for that. DBAN requires an external medium (like a cheap thumb drive or CD) to work. It also works well if you know that your machine has been compromised by worms beyond repair; it is very reliable!
Be careful using DBAN on newer computers; some UEFIs are difficult to access, making OS reinstallation difficult. Also, be careful with laptops, as some (Acer I’m looking at you!) put proprietary fan-control software on the original OS that does not back-up when making the OS back-ups… so if you nuke it, that software’s gone for good and your fans won’t activate, rapidly leading to a burnt-out motherboard. If you’re not sure, check your model online regarding OS installations.
Aside, DBAN is good policy all around, because unwiped financial & personal information isn’t uncommon in identity theft.
——–ENCRYPTION
If you have files you can’t erase but might incriminate you, use encryption. TrueCrypt is very good but discontinued; successors include VeraCrypt and CipherShed. I prefer VeraCrypt, as they’ve addressed TrueCrypt’s vulnerabilities. Both are backwards-compatible with TrueCrypt files. TrueCrypt is still consider “mostly secure”, and definitely better than nothing!
VeraCrypt allows you to make “fake” passwords; if authorities pressure you to open files, you enter your fake, which reveals files you’ve pre-chosen different from what you’re really hiding. VeraCrypt comes with many different algorithms, and can optionally use a “Key” file that you select.There are many other good ones, and having more than one helps (different algorithms have different weakspots), especially a small-time home-brewed crypter. Those don’t have many known exploits!
But, don’t use two encryption programs on the same file! Sometimes this can work (VeraCrypt has multi-encryption stream options) but more commonly it causes blocks to form in the files and the right analysis (that’s a bit wordy to go into) can break the file like that.
A good password, at least 8-10 characters (more the merrier), alphanumeric, is important for the encryption to work properly. If you can’t remember the password, you *can* write it down on paper (better not to store it on a computer), but in a search/seizure that won’t last. There are memory techniques for passwords, but they may not work for everyone! Oh and make sure that it has AES-256 options (most AES-256 algorithms should be secure till maybe 2020). Like wiping, encrypting/decrypting takes time. This is worth keeping in mind for options that encrypt/decrypt your entire (non-Operating System) HDD volume when you power on/off your machine. Newer processors may have dedicated subroutines for AES services, which decreases your waiting time.
Some computers feature hardware encryption. This is generally a good thing, but don’t be misled and do some reading on the model first! some use weak encryption or (more commonly) poorly-implemented strong encryption which is easily bypassed.
A log-on password isn’t bad, but this isn’t a substitute for encryption, because there are very easy ways around log-on passwords. BIOS passwords are slightly trickier, but can also be bypassed.
——–STEGANOGRAPHY
If you can’t be caught with encryption, wipers, or other privacy-enabling programs, there’s steganography. Like hiding stuff in plain sight, you hide one file in another by turning the target file into a pattern and sewing that into a host file so that the code can’t be discerned on a glance. Steg programs are often illegal in such places too, so you may need to erase or hide it somewhere afterwards.
Mostly, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re in the UK or European Union where such laws are strong it might not be a bad idea for future consideration (better to have it and not need it than need it and be unable to access it anymore!).
Steganography’s main strength is no one knows what to look for, and so it passes under people’s noses. If you know a stegged file is on a computer, you can’t tell which one it is so you have to check everything. Besides being time consuming and really really annoying, most local precincts aren’t familiar with it.
Smaller target files steg better. Larger host files steg better.
Steganographic files *can* be detected with proper techniques, ESPECIALLY if your original file wasn’t encrypted. Encrypted files always look like noise, so you can steg them in all sorts of places without causing noticeable patterns in a host file, even when proper detection techniques are applied.
Hopefully this won’t be necessary! but seemed worth mentioning.
My sis recommends using OpenPuff. I don’t know where she found it.
——–EMERGENCIES
If your machine is *not* ready for police inspection, but there’s one at your door, then wiping and encryption aren’t options anymore (too slow).
Really there’s not many pleasant solutions for this! There are some fancy HDDs which use physical measures to self-destruct with a command (yes it’s very James Bond, very neat stuff), but that’s not exactly affordable. Safer than they sound though. You *can* use a microwave, but it’s dangerous, may destroy your microwave, and may not render your HDD fully unreadable. Solid State devices are even more robust against EM fields.
For bets degaussing, a much more powerful electromagnet is needed. They aren’t exactly affordable either, and likely won’t destroy Solid State media or RAM/ROM. In most cases your RAM isn’t a problem since it refreshes each reboot, but there’s a small window right after shutdown where it has data on it that can still be read.
Electronic devices are pretty robust in some ways; using a hammer will keep it from working on your machine, but won’t destroy your data. They are not as fragile as they might seem either.
There are chemical solutions too, which will very effectively destroy drive and data, but they’re dangerous and I can’t recommend that to anyone without experience working with chemicals!
Also, in the United States, if police have probable cause to believe there is evidence in a house or on a machine that is under immediate threat of destruction, they can search without a warrant. Warrantless searches of computer information also include US borders (though not often because they go through a lot of people every day), where they need “reasonable suspicion” that someone is a criminal in order to take a device in for deeper analysis.
——–LOCKS
Some tower cases have built-in locks to keep someone from taking stuff out, and some flash drives are encased in a locking mechanism (a cryptex).
Overall locks shouldn’t be relied on as they won’t hold up against a warrant, and once seized, they won’t bother picking them, they’ll use industrial cutting/drilling tools. Locks will still help against RAM-removal attacks (AKA Cold Boot Attack) due to RAM’s short-lived nature… but really cold boot attacks aren’t something you see municipal police do anyway!
If you feel you still want (or need) a lock, try finding an abloy lock. They are damn near impossible to pick!
These aren’t sufficient protection against social engineering, which (hopefully) we won’t encounter.
~~*//RESOURCES\\*~~
Many good freeware programs are available on Sourceforge ( https://sourceforge.net/ ); many are open-source, and all are put through scanning procedures to ensure they aren’t malware carriers. This isn’t perfect, people have broken into Sourceforge before, but it’s as common as any other net resource; make sure to scan your files. If you can’t find a file on Sourceforge, put its name in google and that will probably find it. Another website worth mentioning is Softpedia ( www.softpedia.com ). There may be links added later, if it is a problem! and as usual, be careful what you download.
Not all of these are necessary, but they’re helpful:
QuickHash Generates a file’s unique hashcode identifier. Can be used to ID altered files, including malware.
OpenPuff Steganographic “file hider”.
VeraCrypt Versatile encryption software. Basically next-gen TrueCrypt.
ZoneAlarm Freeware firewall, but be careful to avoid installing any third-party offers.
VirtualBox makes an “imaginary” sandbox computer on the HDD; resource demanding but useful for running tests & stuff
DBAN Dariks Boot And Nuke, for when you absolutely have to start from scratch
ClamWin clamwin is great, nice ^_^ simple, free
ClamSentinel system monitoring app, it can go a bit crazy “quarantining” things if you don’t make it relax
TheOnionRouter TOR; a proxy network. It *can* be broken, but that requires user error, integral malware, or mad dedication.
TOR Browser Works with TheOnionRouter
Eraser has a flash-drive standalone option, and very good options too
7-zip a nice versatile file-zipping program, has AES-256 options (but isn’t a dedicated encryptor)
CCleaner used to clean up “crumbs”, has some registry modification stuff too
Puppi Linux small easy CD-portable version of Linux, can serve as a boot disk
Tails Linux Flash drive installed version of Linux. Useful for absolute anonymity, when lives depend on it.
~~*//OTHER NOTEWORTHY THINGS\\*~~
okay about home security
Avoiding break-ins is especially desirable because any reported break-ins will get police attention (not reporting may be preferable in some cases). Furthermore, if you have a landlord and live in the United States, they can grant police access to your home without a warrant, and they have little reason not to. Police conduct such searches when no one’s home.
If there are things you need but shouldn’t have, purchase a small safe. Be careful, because they aren’t all quality made! You can stash a small safe in many places. A safe requires a warrant to force an owner to open it (if they have a warrant for a house, that also counts). Laws may vary from region to region. If possible, a safe with a built-in combination lock is good, as not only can you “accidentally forget” your combination, but they’re not as flaky as digital locks, and can’t be opened as easily as keyhole locks. Also, in the US, combination locks are in a murky area right now and enjoy some degree of protection, due to the US 5th Amendment. This may not last, but it doesn’t hurt!
onto surveillance
Street surveillance, invasion of privacy or not, is not likely to be problematic. Surveillance of your home is more concerning, but also not that likely. In the United States, it requires a warrant – though some jurisdictions skirt around that. In order for direct surveillance to be useful, it’s often more effort (time, money, energy) than most are willing or able to put in, especially when there’s more pressing police cases. Spying on conversations without planting anything isn’t impossible (laser microphones; not as
strange as it sounds!), but not likely something we’d encounter.
paper trails
Mainly, digital paper trails, which can connect the dots to find out who’s doing what on the net. This isn’t too much of a problem though, again because the effort needed to make most servers comply (as well as wading through data logs) doesn’t make it very appealing! and we should be protected under freedom of speech laws (where applicable). But anyways, better if we keep personal information quiet.
Most other physical paper trails aren’t much concern either, as long as you can keep up appearances accordingly. A decade ago I had done a lot of reading on birth certificates (looking for loopholes and stuff), but it wasn’t very promising and so most of it is all foggy now.
analytics
This one can really drive people crazy! thankfully analysts don’t run with local police departments often, and when they do it’s for higher-priority cases. Federal agencies have more, but again we’re not their priority. Building a profile isn’t easy; you can quickly narrow down a location/identity quite a bit, but there’s diminishing returns. Unless someone makes critical mistakes (like posting selfies), it takes time to get profiles just right. They’re not always accurate then, either.
Could this be a concern? maybe someday, but not anytime soon. By having prudence in what we keep to ourselves, we can screen out most snoopers. Past that, exhaustive effort is required to remove patterns, and (technically) it’s not possible to remove them all.
~~*//wrapping up!\\*~~
Hopefully this isn’t too intimidating, because most of this is “worst case scenario”. This is especially true because (with some pragmatism) there’s not really a lot of physical/digital data to hide. Anonymity has drawbacks, but also has advantages, and they’re not minor.
This is my second draft. If anyone has ideas to add/improve on, questions, details, or if a topic seems superfluous, please let me know! repeated scrutiny patches up holes… in particular, paperwork isn’t my strength, that was always my sister’s expertise. There’s still a lot she could teach me about that.
As for police, most aren’t inherently bad. They are very worn-down people, and they have a job to do, and they’re mostly indifferent (or hostile) to us. They prioritize rules and law. Yes, they will bend the rules. No, we shouldn’t trust them, they are not on our side. But, they are people, and some aren’t unsympathetic to us – mostly because they would rather deal with *real* criminals.
We can’t rely on or presume them to sympathise, even if they say they do. If you must interact with an officer, treat them politely. Cooperation is unwise, but cordial refusal and a sincere apology can help smooth things out. They don’t often get to see humanity’s decent side in their work.
Once, while talking about his work, a family member (homicide investigator) said “We only catch the dumb ones”. Hearing that was disheartening, and also slightly relieving. Much of my family is very attentive to detail, very old-fashioned, and not very forgiving. My sis and I always felt a sword of damocles; a “worst case scenario” always felt plausible.
But, if we let them silence us, then they win.
Totally not going to happen.
Very much love,
Be good and stay safe out there
and that’s all she wrote!
TOO LONG, DIDN’T READ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TL;DR
~some stuff about security:
No security system is 100% secure
All about balancing what you put in with what you get out
If you don’t use a system right, it won’t work
If you know what to expect or who might be looking for you, it helps
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link
Anonymity is the most powerful form of security
Forethought, caution, and common sense go a looonnng way
~some useful tips:
read Jane Doe’s articles”the Ten Rules to Keeping Your Relationship Secret” and “No Comment”
read Christine’s article “Consanguinamory and the Police”
fine tune for privacy either Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or TOR Browser
use Proton Mail
DuckDuckGo is a handy privacy-centric search engine
Be careful what you download (seriously)
keep temp files/cookies/history/etc clean
use Erasing (not ordinary deleting) with sensitive data
if you can’t erase incriminating data, encrypt it
don’t wait until the last minute to do either of these things, then it’s too late
know your local laws concerning your privacy rights and police rights
keep up appearances (this is worth repeating)
be very careful with police (this is worth repeating)
make some time to read the rest of this post
keep calm and carry on
~some handy programs:
QuickHash Generates a file’s unique hashcode identifier. Can be used to ID altered files, including malware.
OpenPuff Steganographic “file hider”.
VeraCrypt Versatile encryption software. Basically next-gen TrueCrypt.
ZoneAlarm Freeware firewall, but be careful to avoid installing any third-party offers.
VirtualBox makes an “imaginary” sandbox computer on the HDD; resource demanding but useful for running tests & stuff
DBAN Dariks Boot And Nuke, for when you absolutely have to start from scratch
ClamWin clamwin is great, nice ^_^ simple, free
ClamSentinel system monitoring app, it can go a bit crazy “quarantining” things if you don’t make it relax
TheOnionRouter TOR; a proxy network. It *can* be broken, but that requires user error, integral malware, or mad dedication.
TOR Browser Works with TheOnionRouter
Eraser has a flash-drive standalone option, and very good options too
7-zip a nice versatile file-zipping program, has AES-256 options (but isn’t a dedicated encryption program)
CCleaner used to clean up “crumbs”, has some registry modification stuff too
Puppi Linux small easy CD-portable version of Linux, can serve as a boot disk
Tails Linux Flash drive installed version of Linux. Useful for absolute anonymity, when lives depend on it.

So much ignorance…

Another day, another one for the pile of ignorant remarks. Today we focus on a short article that attacks incest in general, and father/daughter relationships specifically. Well, I take exception to that, because this woman clearly doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about, as you will soon see. Having actually been in a father/daughter relationship, I actually do. So let’s dive into the manure pile, shall we

Incest is a serious public health issue but it’s usually ignored in order to protect involved families.

Would that public health issue be the long discredited mutant babies argument by any chance?

Father and daughter incest is common in many African countries and as Allan Kimani, a counseling psychologist at Nairobi Counseling Services explains, many incest victims suffer from Stockholm Syndrome where they develop irrational empathy for their assailants.

That may be the case for sexual abuse cases where the daughter was underage or groomed, but you can’t categorize all father/daughter relationships as abusive. Many are not. Don’t believe me, click here.

“Whether the girl is a minor or an adult, consented or not, the girl remains a victim because the father has the upper hand in the illegitimate relationship”, says Kimani.

So according to this woman, a grown woman can’t consent to her father because he somehow still has power over her? That’s complete horse shit. If he has that kind of power, then he failed as a parent to raise her as an independant and functional adult.

And to suggest that a grown woman has no more power than a minor girl, is extraordianarily condescending and offensive. Of course it matters how old the woman is, is she a woman or a girl, there is a HUGE difference, women can consent, underage girls cannot. And to suggest that it doesn’t matter if she consented or not even when she is of legal age…. YES IT FUCKING WELL DOES. Either she is a grown woman with her own mind, or she is not. This is what I call weapons grade stupidity on part of the writer, she has no clue whatsoever, and it’s lazy and intellectually dishonest at best.

Also, ILLEGITIMATE relationship? There is nothing illegitimate about a consensual relationship between adults, no matter what their kinship is or is not.

Section 20 and 21 of the Sexual Offences Act stipulates that if two adults of close relation get involved in sex, the two are guilty of incest and can face a jail term of not less than ten years. Consequently, in the case of an adult daughter and the father, the two can be charged in court.

Which is outrageous. Neither of them should be charged with anything as they did nothing wrong. Banging people up for a decade for consensual sex is pretty extreme don’t you think.

Dr Kevin Wamula, a psychiatrist at Mathari Hospital points out that incest is more of a criminal than a mental illness. He however notes that in extreme cases between a father and daughter, mental evaluation is paramount. “The evaluation can determine whether any of the two is suffering from schizophrenia or any other mental illness,” he said.

Oh God, we’ve gone armchair psychologist now, have we? Incest is NOT a mental illness, it’s simply a type of relationship. Father/daughter relationships are NOT ‘extreme’, they can be really beautiful, mutually caring and loving. You can’t just chalk every instance of incest up as mental illness and you know it.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder which affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves.

It’s also completely irrelevant to the topic of consenting adults being persecuted for falling in love.

Dr. Wamula advises that should a person detect that they are sexually attracted to close relatives, they should seek either counseling or mental health services to prevent regrettable situations.

THIS makes me ANGRY. The mental health of consang people is usually fine thanks very much! People who are attracted to their relatives are NOT mentally ill, they are simply misunderstood. We do not need ‘help‘ we do not need ‘therapy’ we do not need any interference. Attitudes like this make my blood boil, and they strengthen my resolve to stamp out such bigotry and ignorance.

Scientifically, a baby conceived out of such a relationship is likely to inherit genetic defects and terminating the pregnancy would be the safer option.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Immediate family run a 9% risk of something, either major or minor going wrong. This means that 91% of babies are born free from any defect. It would be better if incest was legalized, and that such couples could get genetic counselling before deciding to have a baby, this way they can make the decision based on what’s lurking or not in their genes. For some couples it might be perfectly safe, and for others not.

I am absolutely disgusted by this article, it’s packed full of ignorance, prejudice and hate. It’s bigotted and it does not understand the issues at hand. One article at a time, we will fight with facts and with passion.

The morality of consanguinamorous reproduction

Ok guys, a while back I wrote an article called whether to have kids and how. In that article I outlined what reproductive choices are available to people and the pros and cons of each option. That said, there has been a bit of a debate on the forums about the morality of consang couples actually having genetic children of their own. I’m writing this article to explore different points of view. As always there is no simple answer to questions like these and it is for individuals to decide what is right for them. The very last thing we need to do is pour judgement upon each other on sensitive issues like this. God knows, we get enough of that shit from the rest of the world.

On what do we base our morality? This is a good question, and for many people there are multiple sources: society, religion, personal feelings, opinions of friends and family…etc. All of these things shape our perceptions of what is acceptable and what is not. However, since our community already bucks the status quo on what is considered moral and immoral, for us there must be something extra, some other source of morality. These sources are logic, compassion and empathy, they exist independantly of any of the above, and actually throws up some surprising results. Not just about this topic but about any other you wish to analyze.

Simply stated, for something to be considered immoral, it must necessarily cause avoidable harm to another human being. This harm need not be physical, it can be financial, mental or spiritual in nature. Our empathy and compassion tells us that harming other people is wrong, because we would not want this kind of thing done to ourselves.

So what does this have to do with reproduction by consanguinamory? Plenty, as you will soon see. Lets imagine a hypothetical boy called Steve, he is 8 years old and has a learning disability, and his parents are brother and sister. He is generally a happy child and is otherwise healthy.

Is it his parents fault that he is has a learning disability?

Steve could not be any different than he is. If his mother had conceived through a sperm bank or with another man in a different relationship, then Steve would never have been born, she would have given birth to a completely different person. This line of reasoning throws up another question.

Would it have been better for Steve if he had never been born?

Since he is in otherwise good health, and is a happy child… obviously not. His quality of life is good, even though he sometimes gets frustrated when he does not understand something.

Since we can determine that it is NOT better off for Steve to have never been born, we can also determine that he was not harmed by the fact of his conception.

Is it immoral to have a disabled child when such could have been prevented or at least the risks reduced?

While no pregnancies are risk-free, children born of incest are at a slightly elevated risk of having a disability. We must be honest here and take this question into serious consideration.

The only way for anybody to be 100% certain of not bringing a disabled child into the world is never having children. We also have to consider the morality of ANYONE at elevated risks having a child. For instance, if we were to determine that relatives should not reproduce because of the increased risk, then is it similarly immoral for a woman over 40 to get pregnant, or for a family where both husband and wife carry the genes for Tay Sachs or Huntingtons Disease? Some people would argue yes, however I disagree.

Is it morally okay to restrict peoples freedom of choice?

Undoubtedly, SOME restrictions on personal freedom are necessary to make the world a safer place. A good example of this would be the speed limit in residential areas, because a car racing around a housing estate at 60mph could potentially kill somebody. The minor inconvenience of arriving home slower than one would like is a small price to pay for communal safety.

That said, some restrictions on our freedoms aren’t so cut and dry as this. One of those freedoms is sexual and reproductive autonomy. What we should not do is go purely by logic and cut out the complexities of emotion and human relationships, to do so would be a denial of our humanity.

Firstly, and this is to make it extremely clear: Having sex and having a baby are two very different things, one may lead to the other, but certainly not always or even usually. Some couples cannot reproduce regardless of how much sex they may have, this would include homosexual relationships, relationships including women who are post menopausal, where a medical condition or medication prevents the possibility of a pregnancy…etc. Even in relationships where a pregnancy COULD happen, oftentimes it does not. Many people citing mutant babies as a reason to deny us our rights conveniently forget the highly effective and readily available forms of contraception available. Unless there is a medical reason not to, the contraceptive pill is a very good choice. So citing mutant babies as a reason to deny people the right of sexual autonomy is really a very bad argument indeed.

Another argument put forward is that the resulting child would end up being bullied because he or she was the product of incest. Yet this argument also falls flat on it’s face: the problem is that there are bullies who are not being appropriately reprimanded, not that the bullied child exists in the first place! Remove the stigma and deal with the bullies, don’t dare tell people that they can’t have kids because some other peoples kids are out of control! What sort of backwards argument is that anyway? Do we, as civillized human beings, cower down to such bullshit, or do we stand up and say that enough is enough? You cannot blame a consang couple for the fact that their child is being bullied, you place the blame where it belongs, with the bullies who are actually doing it. To do anything else is really a form of victim blaming, and that is never acceptable.

restricting peoples freedom based on harm which MIGHT occur, or on other peoples reactions to such freedom being exercised is a road to nowhere. It’s despotic, authoritarian and arbitrary, it is also hate and fear masquerading as social concen and science. It is not legitimate.

In all instances, freedom of choice is a precious thing which should be protected and defended to the utmost. If you are not allowed to choose the partner you want, and whether or not you want children, then can you really believe that you are a free person? I say not. I am not saying everyone must agree with everyone elses choices in life, that would be ridiculous, however they must agree that people should be free to make those choices. Restricting such freedom is highly immoral and is actually suppressing genuine diversity. It is up to each person to weigh up the pros and cons of any choice for themselves, they do not need a nanny state to make such choices for them. We are not children, and we will not be treated as such by our own governments.

Updates and reminders

Okay everyone, just a couple of important updates and reminders.

As we all know, our friend  Richard has made quite a few petitions for us to sign in order to get legislation changed in various places around the world. Thankfully he has provided me with a full list of his petitions very recently so I didn’t miss any out. If you haven’t signed them already, or aren’t sure if you got them all or not, then please visit my ongoing petitions page for the whole list.

On another note, The Consanguinamory Study is going to come to a close on May 25th, I would urge anyone who has experience of consanguinamory but hasn’t participated in this study yet to do so before the closing date as there is only a few weeks left for it to run.

What will it take?

What will it take for the world to change, for people to truly recognise us as equal human beings? How many more must suffer the injustice of having their family units ripped apart by a cold and inhumane system all because of who they love? How many more lynchmobs will attack or even kill innocent couples around the world? How many more will take their own lives because they cannot bear the shame they’re forced to endure? How many more chidren will be forced to bear a stigma associated with their parentage, told that they should never have existed in the first place? How many people will avoid seeking the medical or psychological help they need out of fear of being discovered? How many more will be incarcerated and abused simply because they hold a love that dare not speak it’s name?

We as a community suffer so much injustice, so much hate, and yet we endure, we do the best we can to protect ourselves by wrapping ourselves in a veil of secrecy. We are amazing, strong and beautiful people. We should be a beacon of shining light in the world, for the fire of our double-love can never be extinguished no matter how much water is thrown upon us.

We have sat back and watched LGBT people come forth and claim their birthright to be who they truly are, to have their love celebrated and recognized as it should be. Guess what folks, it’s OUR TURN now. How many more must suffer before enough of us answer to call to serve and defend our people? The world needs to relieved of it’s ignorance and fear, we need to show our true inner beauty to the world. What could possibly be more beautiful than two people literally being EVERYTHING to each other, friends, family, lovers and soulmates? Consanguinamory is the most beautiful, intense, powerful, deep and pure kind of love imaginable. It is the exact opposite of what the world believes about us.

All we’re asking for is the right to be treated the same as everyone else, the right not to be persecuted by the state or anyone else. Those of us on the frontlines are asking for all those who dare not ask, speaking out for the minority we belong to, whose voice is currently much too quiet. What will it take for that quiet voice that’s barely a whisper in the world to become the loud roar in needs to be to get the attention and respect it deserves? Yes, there is always risk involved in activism, but the cause is bigger than any of us, and you know what, the double-love we experience, that is what makes it all worthwhile. Not a single one of us should have to live in fear, and we will not rest until the cause of our enduring silence is removed: the unjust laws.

Yet there is something else I feel I must say: You cannot change the world while you still fear it. You cannot changed a closed mind if you’re worried about what that mind is thinking about you. Other peoples problems with us are not our problems, they’re their problems. A simple shift in perspective and all becomes clear. We’ve traditionally been a timid minority, but this is changing, as it must. We do not simply bow down to unfair and damaging laws and customs and obey them, and we’re under no moral obligation to do so, and doing so is actually keeping the injustice in place. Remember, it’s our time to shine.

An outrageous case of discrimination UPDATE 9: It’s finally over

Well guys, it’s been a whole year since we first heard of Monica and Caleb being persecuted in New Mexico simply for having a relationship. The case has now been to court, and there is both good news and bad news. The good news is that they aren’t in jail, the bad news is that they’re on probation and are not allowed to contact each other. Let’s dive into this brief article:

CLOVIS, NM (KETK)  – A 37-year-old woman and her 20-year-old biological son have pleaded guilty to a charge of incest.

Monica Mares and Caleb Peterson were confronted by a neighbor about their incestuous relationship in February of 2016, and police were called to the scene where the couple admitted they were sexually involved.

Their relationship shouldn’t have been anyones business but their own. A neighbor doing a thing like that is downright vindictive and nasty. Think about it for a moment, we have a loving couple who were bringing good into each others lives, and the law allows some outsider to totally destroy things on the basis of morality. The only immorality I see here is responding to such love with such hate. This is precisely the reason we need legislative changes to accommodate our community.

On Wednesday, jury selection began for the trial; the two accepted the plea agreements and were sentenced before the Honorable Drew D. Tatum. Both will spend a year and a half under supervised probation and are prohibited from contact with each other. Another year and a half will be served as unsupervised probation.

Not allowed to contact each other. That’s terrible. Imagine not being allowed to contact your partner by a court order. Since they did nothing wrong, this is both inhumane and unnecessary. It’s disgusting as a matter of fact. Being put on probation is still being treated as a criminal, these people are NOT criminals, they are a loving couple.

District Attorney Andrea Reeb prosecuted the cases for the State of New Mexico. Reeb explained to the Court that she felt probation was an appropriate resolution to the matters to as neither Defendant had a criminal record and putting them in prison would accomplish nothing. Reeb also stated that treatment was more important in these types of matters.

Treatment? Like what, conversion therapy? Because we all know how well that turned out for gay people don’t we. Again, this strikes at the heart of the problem in society, we are dehumanized, passed off as sick and mentally defective, and treated as criminals. The mental stability of consang people is just fine thank you very much. I find the very concept of such ‘treatment’ offensive, because there is nothing to treat. How dare anyone pass such a judgement, especially somebody in a courtroom whose speciality is the law, she isn’t a mental health professional so how can she even say that they need ‘treatment’? I’m nothing short of disgusted and I bet you are too.

I wish Monica and Caleb the very best, and hope that if they choose to get back together when their probation is up, they move someplace safe. This community will always be there for them, and anyone else who needs us. We will not stop until we have our equal rights, and when that happens, the world will be a better place. A mother and son having a relationship will not be something that even qualifies as news by that point.

Cristina Shy on Genetic Sexual Attraction

This amazing interview with my friend Cristina is now available, if you haven’t heard it already I would suggest you CLICK HERE and spare your ears for a little over half an hour, you’ll be glad you did. I would like to thank both Cristina and Michelle for producing this wonderful treat for us all… but that’s not all, next week she is going to be interviewing me too, and I’ll post a link to that one once it’s done and up.

I have created a permanent section for these interviews in Miscellaneous, where any such further materials may be added when new ones are created.