Allen Ginsberg

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Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg, American poet, famous more for his obscene writing and political views than any literary merit[1] was born June 3, 1926, in Newark, New Jersey. Along with others such as Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, he became part of what was dubbed the "Beat Generation" of writers. He is most famous for his long poem, "Howl," which drew national attention in 1956 when it was prosecuted on obscenity charges. He died on April 5, 1997, of liver cancer, a disease often associated with HIV infection. [2] [3] Ginsberg was a supporter of LGBT demands, and was an anti-war, anti-nuclear and environmental activist, and is known for his controversial behavior. He was a founding member of the notorious North American Man/Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA.[4]

Late in life Ginsberg became a student of the well-known Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa after a chance meeting in New York City in 1970.[5]

Clashes with Censors

He studied at Columbia University in the 1940s and moved to San Francisco in 1954.[6] Howl and Other Poems was published in 1956, and in May of that year, US Customs seized a shipment of the books as they were being sent from the printer (Villiers in London) to City Lights Books in San Francisco. After federal authorities declined Customs Chief Chester McPhee's urging to pursue obscenity charges, the matter was referred to the San Francisco Police Department, who arrested publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, charging him with publishing and selling an obscene and indecent book. The charge was rejected in October 1957 after a widely publicized trial when Judge Clayton Horn ruled that the book had redeeming social value.[7]

During the trial, Ginsberg was living in Paris with his on-off partner Peter Orlovsky. They were associated for forty years, until Ginsberg's death.[8] But like most such relationships, it was not exclusive. Both had many other partners, Orlovsky being bisexual while Ginsberg pursued boys.[9]

Mental Condition and History of Drug Abuse

Ginsberg was a lifelong user of recreational and psychedelic drugs such as cannabis, LSD, mescaline, and even laughing gas, which he used to get high. Partly as a result of this he spent eight months in a mental institution in Columbia.

Links with Pedophilia

Ginsberg was a founding member of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). Like many homosexuals, he was molested in his own childhood. In June 1977, during the Boston/Boise scandal, in which he supported the defendants, Ginsberg said on TV, “I had sex when I was 8 with a man in the back of my grandfather's candy store in Revere, and I turned out okay”. This is an example of the classic pattern of CSA > homosexuality > CSA > homosexuality etc.

On the subject of NAMBLA, Ginsberg wrote: “Attacks on NAMBLA stink of politics, witch hunting for profit, humorlessness, vanity, anger and ignorance...I’m a member of NAMBLA because I love boys too – everybody does, who has a little humanity.” The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review interviewed Ginsberg shortly before his death. Ginsberg said: "Like the whole labeling of pedophiles as 'child molesters.' Everybody likes little kids. All you've got to do is walk through the Vatican and see all the little statues of little prepubescents, pubescents, and postpubescents. Naked kids have been a staple of delight for centuries, for both parents and onlookers. So to label pedophilia as criminal is ridiculous."[10] So the denials he issued on other occasions must regarded as disingenuous.[11]

In the 1950s and 60s he lived in Paris and Morocco in the company of William Burroughs and other pedophile homosexuals, indulging in drugs and sexually exploiting the local boys. Both of them wrote extensively about this degenerate lifestyle and admitted in letters that they had exploited and abused boys in ways too revolting to detail here.[12]

Ginsberg wrote a lot of poems about homosexual activity with boys. He even wrote a poem called "Sweet Boy Give Me Your A**". In the 1960s Ginsberg bragged publicly about masturbating to images of young boys, and ran a help-wanted advert in the Barb for a personal assistant, providing a physical description of the kind of boy he wanted, which was meant to be funny. One acquaintance writes of him “Allen Ginsberg was a liar, pederast, child abuser, hypocrite, & thoroughly despicable person”, but not everybody liked him that much.[13]


His most famous works include:

See also NAMBLA, Burroughs


  10. "The Liberation is the Word" (Summer 1997).
  11. In "Thoughts on NAMBLA," Ginsberg claims his reasons for joining the organisation were academic: "NAMBLA's a forum for reform of those laws on youthful sexuality which members deem oppressive, (it is) a discussion society not a sex club. I joined NAMBLA in defense of free speech."Bill Morgan, ed., Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays 1952-1995. New York: HarperCollins (2000), ISBN 0-06-093081-0 (p.170)
  13. May 2001 Jacobs, Andrea (2002). "Allen Ginsberg's advocacy of pedophilia debated in community.". Intermountain Jewish News. Archived from the original on October 18, 2006. Retrieved June 21, 2008. Nick Benton's Gay Science No. 50: Our Gay Movement's Colossal Failure, 9/22/11 (Falls Church News Press).