R.O.C. has always had the facility of attracting the ire of the censors. Record-burner Steve Peters gets rattled when we show up at his presentations. We've bugged Jack Thompson by handing out dossiers (about how the Florida Bar Association has questioned his mental stability twice and other interesting factoids about the man) at an appearance at Kent State University. American Family Association representatives attack us by name on local TV. Supporters of the anti-rock road show Frontline Ministries (whose presentations we've 'dogged' on several occasions) besiege newspapers with anti-R.O.C. letters, one even suggesting we're in league with Ol Slew Foot himself.
But now the group which Dave Marsh has called "perhaps the largest and most dangerous censorship group today," Focus on The Family has turned it's attention to our humble organization! Is this like an academy award for anti-censorship activities, or what?
What was it a revolutionary Chinese war strategist once said about it being good when the enemy attacks you because it shows you've drawn a clear line of demarcation between yourself and the enemy?
The fun began in June when ROC co-editor Randy Payton received a call from Focus On The Family (FoF) vice president Paul Hetrick, stating how upset they were about a new release R.O.C. has sent out to several Ohio newspapers, radio and TV stations concerning the 7-UP boycott in which we refer to FoF as "promoting the flow of drugs into America's inner cities."
DOES THE F.O.F. 'PUSH' DRUGS?
We were referring of course to a notorious "Bringing Hope To The Inner City II" tape in which FoF honcho James Dobson interviews Pasadena Pastor John Perkins. Perkins gets even the usually cool-as-death-itself Dobson worked into a lather, about the possibilities of 'race wars' and other paranoid scenarios. But the clincher comes with this dialogue:
JP: I see the worst thing that I fear. I fear that we're gonna get a drug czar. We're gonna get a J. Edgar Hoover of drugs. That is gonna come. The drugs will come off the streets, we'll have another prohibition. We'll take the drugs off. The fear then is you're gonna have a generation of people there who are gonna get a 'leader, get a leader' and say "the problem is the society around us." And I think violence could become a reality. So I see......
Dobson (interrupts): Well I'm not sure if I understand that John. What your saying is, if we get tough on drugs and we get it off the streets we'll be worse off?
JP: We'll be worse off without a presence of Christians. That's what I'm saying. Unlessen we as Christians, what I'm saying now, unlessen we as Christians seize upon the opportunity, we have some time, as Christians to get into those communities and do the kind of creative evangelism that is necessary because we have until the drugs are removed. When the drugs are removed that vacuum is gonna be there, we will have been there and offer them an alternative.
Dobson: Without that you could have violence?
JP: Mass violence! When the drugs are gone the violence is coming. It will come......
Dobson (interrupts again in a panicky voice): It will come against the white community?
JP: It will come against the white community. Because this today, the drugs and welfare are the economic base of South Central L.A.
Dobson: And many other cities.
Despite the doctored transcripts submitted to R.O.C. by Paul Hetrick of said show, WE'VE GOT THE ACTUAL TAPE, GUYS; you trying to COVER YOUR TRACKS or what?
When the appeal of "bread and circuses" (today's welfare and soap operas?) began losing their hold over the masses, the powers-that-be historically look toward other means to control a population which might rise in opposition to their oppression. It's also instructive to recall how the British Empire flooded China with opium in the last century to make it's population easy to plunder and control. It's a policy as old as the hills and should come as no surprise that groups like FOF would be floating such strategies for 'dealing' with possibly insurgent minorities of the inner-cities. But at least be honest about it guys.
Anyway, we thought ROC readers might be interested in the inner paranoid and racist trains of thought from the leader of America's premier censorship group.
LETTER TO R.O.C. FROM FOCUS ON THE FAMILY
July 9, 1991
Mr. Randy Payton
"Rock Out Censorship"
320 South Cadiz St.
Jewett, OH 43986
Dear Mr. Payton:
This is another follow-up to our June 21, 1991 phone conversation. By now you should have received the issues of "Parental Guidance" and the audio cassette I sent you. You'll recall that I had called you to object to part of your recent press release concerning your national boycott against a soft drink manufacturer.
Specifically, your release falsely and maliciously asserts that "Focus On The Family" advocates maintaining a flow of drugs into America's inner cities." We have never advocated any such idea.
Paraphrasing our conversation, you said you'd been referencing a broadcast of our where Dr. John Perkins (of Harambee Christian Family Center in Pasadena, California) had been an interview guest--that comments made by Dr. Perkins and seemingly endorsed by Dr. Dobson were the basis for your (erroneous) assertion. As I told you, that is not what Dr. Perkins said.
I am enclosing transcripts of the recent two days of broadcasts featuring Dr. Perkins for your own review.
The misinformation that you have publicly disseminated about Focus On The Family needs to be cleared up. While you'd said you'd "consider" this during our phone conversation, I must now ask that you issue a correction and retraction immediately. This should be sent to the same media organizations that received your earlier mis-communication. Please send me a copy of your correction, and a list of the organizations receiving it, on or before July 22, 1991.
Failure to comply with this request will require further action on our part.
Paul L. Hetrick
R.O.C.'s REPLY TO FOCUS ON THE FAMILY'S THREAT
Mr. Paul L. Hetrick
Focus On The Family
801 Corporate Center Dr.
Pomona, CA 91768
Dear Mr. Hetrick,
As editor of THE ROC newspaper, I am responding to your letter of July 9, 1991 sent to my co-editor Randy Payton.
We did receive the "Parental Guidance" magazines and other material you sent. It all made very interesting reading and gave us an even more in-depth insight into what FOF is all about. Thanks.
It is my position and the position of R.O.C. that no "false" or "malicious" assertations were made by us in regards to your organization. We intend to stand by our claim that FOF does indeed "advocates maintaining a flow of drugs into America's inner cities." As for the written transcript of Dr. John Perkins' interview, it does not jive at all with the tape excerpt of the interview that was sent to us. Is FOF also in the practice of "doctoring" documents as well?
No Mr. Hetrick, R.O.C. will not be retracting anything. In fact, we will be running the tape transcribed in the next issue of our paper. It is our intention to expose FOF and your counterparts in the PMRC and the AFA for the treacherous pack of wolves that you are. Your threats of "further action" do not intimidate us the least bit at all.
As far as I'm concerned this closes the matter unless we come across another outlandish statement made by your group.