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Censor’s Ban on “Cradle of Filth” T-shirt

1 July 2008

Praise for Censor’s Ban on “Cradle of Filth” T-shirt

John Mills, President of the Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc, (SPCS) has hailed as “bold, morally courageous and legally sound”, the classification decision issued to him today by the Chief Censor’s Office, that permanently bans a T-shirt he argued was “grossly objectionable due to its obscene content” and “completely vilifies the central figure of Christianity”. The Censor’s Office agreed with Mr Mills, an elder at the Kapiti Christian Centre, that the T-shirt, worn and flaunted in a large public gathering on the Kapiti Coast and a part-image (censored) of which was published in the Kapiti Observer newspaper, should be classified “objectionable”.

The censor noted its sexually degrading image of a traditional Roman Catholic nun, and its grossly obscene and blasphemous language directed at the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is worshipped, adored. praised and revered as the central Person of Christianity. The use of vile Satanic imagery emblazoned on the T-shirt, including depictions of dripping blood, linked to the heavy metal band “Cradle of Filth” and lewd and inflammatory content directed at Christians, was also noted by the censors. (Mills praises the Kapiti-Observer for initially highlighting the nature of the offensive apparel).

In the classification decision (No. 800513) on the apparel entitled “Vestal Mastur#ation (Cradle of Filth)” dated 26 June 2008, signed by Ms Nicola McCully, the Deputy Chief Censor, it states:

“The injury to the public good that is likely to be caused by the availability of this T-shirt originates from the manner in which it associates an aggressive and misogynistic meaning of the “harsh, brutal and generally unacceptable” word c### with Jesus Christ, and depicts an image of a chaste woman engaging in sexual activity. A fair interpretation of the messages conveyed by this T-shirt is that Christians should be vilified for their religious beliefs, and that women, including chaste and celibate women, cannot stop themselves engaging in sexual activity…” (OFLC No. 800513)

John Mills points out that the Society itself was founded by a nun – the late Patricia Bartlett (d. 2000) - who regularly had to put up with anti-Christian vitriol from the Society’s detractors who promoted sexually offensive and degrading images of women (hard core pornography) that regularly represent them an inherently inferior.

Mills says “I am shocked that censors, in particular female censors like McCully, can allow truckloads of hard core porn to be classified for adult home entertainment use in New Zealand, ‘for sexual titillation purposes’, when they all know that research shows that such images, repeatedly viewed, fuel a misogynistic and sexually depraved mindset that produces the bad fruits of rape, incest, pedophilia and a host of other morally depraved vices.”


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