Letters to the Editor

From the week of March 21, 2002

Stiff Penalties

Boy toy:I was appalled by what I read in Julie Jargon's "Playtime Is Over," in the March 14 issue. I cannot believe that any psychologist could think it is appropriate to use adult sex toys with children in therapy!

It is not enough for the state to ban Dr. Dicke's use of dildos. He should be banned from seeing patients at all!

Jane Rodriguez
via the Internet

A survivor's story: I moved to the area a week ago and picked up a copy of Westword to get a better feel for Denver. I had no idea I would find a story in the publication that would affect me so profoundly.

I was deeply touched by Julie Jargon's in-depth look at a new child-abuse recovery technique. As a survivor of child abuse, I can honestly say that it would have changed my life had someone like Dr. John Dicke been around when I was trying to rebuild my loss of innocence. As it was, I was subjected to countless therapists who did nothing more than ask me to draw a few pictures and play some games. Because of this, I had to spend much more time than necessary in my young adulthood trying to understand what had happened to me.

Avoiding the reality of the situation is never helpful to the child or the parents. These children have seen much worse than a rubber dildo, much worse than any of these angry parents and social workers could ever even fathom. Thank God for people like Dr. Dicke, who have dedicated their lives to finding new and effective ways to heal hurt and damaged children. We need more doctors like him.

Jaime Case
Denver

False positives: I hope you have read some of the books by Dr. Stephen Ceci on the subject of interviewing children. Dr. Ceci is an expert in this field, and points out the many dangers in the type of sessions held by Dr. Dicke with this little boy. I once heard a policeman state that he believed that not less than 60 percent of the sexual-abuse claims against fathers in a divorce situation were fabricated to "get back" at the other parent. A sorry state of affairs that someone could use a child that way!

I believe that the type of highly suggestive, pushy sessions held by Dr. Dicke are very likely to result in false charges. Those who believe such highly suggestive sessions produce accurate results ignore the issue that, if nottrue, such claims end up harming these children for life. Many children (and their parents) involved in the infamous daycare cases of the 1980s and 1990s will firmly believe they were abused for the rest of their lives. And the teachers, even those now released, will suffer from the conviction of others that they were guilty. What a horrible result!

If you have never seen the work of O. Bikel done for PBS Frontline shows regarding so-called repressed memory and satanic ritual abuse therapy with adults and some of the daycare cases, you should review those tapes. They are appalling.

Judith G. McEntyre
Sanibel, Florida

Huevos sí, scrota no:People not specially trained in sexual anatomy or language should not attempt anatomical correctness in print; the results are apt to be laughable. I'm referring to Julie Jargon's genital jargon in "Playtime Is Over," where I chuckled over her description of a tiny dildo, complete with "two small scrota."

As an expert, I understand the anatomy and can handle the terminology: Julie, the scrotum is the sack which holds the testes of male animals. It is not another word for the testes themselves. A dildo with two scrotums, even wee ones, would be a four-balled winkie.

I've had my fill of pretentious women who don't know their vulva from a Kleenex dispenser who refer to it as their "vagina." I resent it keenly when they look over at the male parts and start giving them cute names. You gals may name your parts whatever you please ("down there" used to be common and was at least accurate), but please don't mistake our family jewels for the sack they come in. If you don't know what's what, ask somebody, or point.

Rick Warren, M.D.
via the Internet

Expert opinion:Seventy years ago, the so-called experts claimed that Nikola Tesla's ideas on AC current were pure bushwack and that he was a quack. Nowadays, without AC current, we would not have all the luxuries we enjoy. Fifty years ago, a scientist-psychologist by the name of Wilhelm Reich was working on ways to enhance and control weather. At the time, he was basically vilified as a heretic. In addition, his work on sexual repression and character analysis was also considered outlandish. His collected books, writings and even his laboratories were destroyed by U.S. government officials. He was thrown in prison, where he eventually died three years later.

This, believe it or not, was only about twelve years after WWII, during which only our enemies, the Germans, burned books and threw scientists in prison.

I guess my point in this letter is similar to what "expert" Amos Martinez says: Maybe one day Dr. Dicke's method will be cutting-edge, and his hearing will come down to a war of experts.

Bravo to you, Dr. Dicke. I wish you the best in your war against the New Inquisition. Too bad there are not more doctors like you. But wait -- that would then make you an "expert." Hmm. God bless America, land of the once free, home of the enslaved.

Jimi Cavaleri
Denver


Dillies Pickle

From Mork to dork:Gee, my fellow Boulderian Bart Windrum seemed a little testy in his March 14 letter. I thought Ms. Calhoun's February 28 "The Peter Principle" was a deft wrap-up of the whole El Dildo! business. He's completely right about the essential bogusness of the flag issue, however.

As for the penile puns, they're perhaps the most fun in the whole affair, allowing us to revisit briefly the unbridled ribaldry of childhood humor and use some difficult-to-fit-in material. I take modest pride in dubbing the theft of the crockery cockery a "dildo dido."

And as for El Dildo's fifteen minutes of infame, my colleagues and I, of Boulderia's Shadow Government here in our underground command center deep beneath Mork 'n' Mindy's house, have vowed it shall not perish! We have inaugurated an ongoing series of solemn civic awards, The Dillies (www.mondoboulder.com), to express our relief (that it was someone else caught being such a horse's ass) and gratitude (for a break from the endemic preaching and sermonizing) for Boulderians who make egregious fools of themselves in public.

Keep up the good work.

Peter Aretin
Boulder


The Turn of the Screw

Snow job:I have read Patricia Calhoun's columns for many years and want to say I have really enjoyed them. I am glad she has an interest in the Winter Park issue ("Schuss!" March 14). So do I. I ski there, and I love that mountain. And by the way, I love it the way it is.

Things are in a sad state these days. Pardon me for sounding like an old hippie, but twenty or so corporations seem to own everything. A right-wing conservative is running the country and using the patriotism hat to do everything from trash the environment to threaten Iraq with nuclear bombs. Not real smart.

Then, closer to home, there's all the growth here and the havoc it's wreaked on us all, with clogged roads, clogged lift lines, trophy homes and transplants everywhere. Not to mention the toll to our souls, those of us who love this place and loved it and lived here long ago. It makes you feel pretty helpless, especially when you realize the two senators from Colorado are Campbell and Allard.

I hope Westword continues to follow the Winter Park fiasco closely; I hadn't heard anything about it in a while. But with Vail Associates having a say in it all, how can this be expected to work out? Webb's bumbling legal team against VA's and Intrawest's? What a joke. Remember Pat Bowlen's legal team, for example, and how the city pretty much got screwed.

Anyway, keep up the good work and the whistle-blowing. It gives people like me a reason to believe that everything is not lost. At least, not quite yet.

Julie C. Meadows
via the Internet


Watching Your Wait

The joke's on us: Kyle Wagner's February 28 Bite column was slated for April 1, right?

Jeez, Kyle, what happened to personal etiquette? What moron would go to a busy restaurant and hog a table for three hours? A conceited moron, I would guess!

I like to sit in my favorite restaurants for hours...but I make sure it is when they are not busy, and I tip well. Anytime I discovered that I had been waiting in line for an hour while some dullards were conducting business at a table for hours, I would gladly join the restaurant management in heaving them out in the street.

Gus S. Calabrese
Denver

Editor's note: You're not alone, Gus. For more wait-watchers, see this week's Bite.


All Vets Are Off

We were soldiers:Nobody likes mistakes. I talked with Alan Prendergast about an error in "Badge Happy," in the March 14 issue.I am nota Vietnam veteran; I am a Vietnam-era veteran.

The error is easily explained. Alan had previously interviewed me and local folk artist Bill Potts, who is a friend and occupies one of my rental houses. Prendergast thought Potts and I knew one another from a Vietnam connection. Although Potts is a Vietnam veteran, he and I met at a Denver flea market in 1987.

The distinction between "Vietnam veteran" and "Vietnam-era veteran" is important to me and to most veterans of that difficult time. My Air Force tour of duty included basic training in Texas and technical school in Mississippi. Previous "ground radio" airmen went to Vietnam, but my "flight" split, and half entered telecommunications. My assignment was to Strategic Air Command (SAC) HQ, near Omaha, Nebraska (1969-1973).

It is important for me to respect those who actually went to Vietnam. I believe in correcting mistakes swiftly to move forward.

Steve Schweitzberger
Jefferson County

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