'Perversion for Profit': A 1960s Attack on the Rise of Pornography

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A campy propaganda film chronicles the evils that threaten our society.

Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, this 30-minute tirade against the smut industry is not just good for laughs. As Conor Friedersdorf explains in "Pornography 'Weakens our Resistance to the Communist Masters of Deceit,'" it's interesting to see how closely some of the rhetoric mirrors today's anti-porn crusaders: 

... watching the film today, there are several arguments that today's readers will find familiar. "You might ask yourself 'Why this sudden concern? Pornography and sex deviation have always been with mankind.' This is true," Putnam says. "But, now, consider another fact: never in the history of the world have the merchants of obscenity, the teachers of unnatural sex acts, had available to them the modern facilities for disseminating this filth. High-speed presses, rapid transportation, mass distribution: all have combined to put the vilest obscenity within reach of every man, woman, and child in the country."

Many today feel the same way about the Internet.

Read the full piece here

For more films from the Prelinger Archive, visit http://archive.org/details/prelinger.

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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