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The Dildo Dialogues

by DR. SUSAN BLOCK

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

U.S. Constitution: Fourth Amendment

On the night of February 26th, 2000, for the second time in less than two years, armed officers of the Los Angeles Police Department invaded my television studio on the night of a live broadcast.

Their excuse the first time? Looking for hookers. They had seen my TV show and heard reports of scantily clad ladies coming and going from my studio, so they figured I must be running a brothel. As those of you who know me know, though I believe that prostitution should be decriminalized, I don’t allow anything of that kind on my premises, which they saw clearly as soon as they got there.

Their excuse the second time? They were responding to an anonymous 911 call saying that four armed Hispanic men who had just robbed and kidnapped someone had somehow gotten into my studio through our steel-gated, double-locked front door.

The first time, when confronted by First Amendment Attorney Jeffrey Douglas and a camera crew from Channel 13/UPN-TV news who happened to be there that night shooting a news segment about my show, the officers quickly realized their mistake and left within a few minutes. The second time, they stayed and searched my studio for two and a half hours. Neither time was I or any of my staff or guests arrested or charged with any crime.

The second time was much more dramatic, not to mention dangerous. Yelling “SWAT! Police!” and threatening to break down the door, about 20 heavily armed LAPD officers, backed up by rifle-wielding marksmen and a beam-shining helicopter, swarmed into my private broadcast studio and art gallery and, once inside, made themselves at home for two and a half hours, delaying the live broadcast of my show, calling in more officers, intimidating and threatening my staff and guests, and searching the premises for hours without a warrant.

Are we outraged? Yes. Are we surprised? No. This kind of behavior is condoned by the city of Los Angeles and by it’s internationally notorious gangster police department.

As I told the officers both times, if they wanted to visit my TV show, they should have just called up and asked for an invitation. We’ve already had several police officers and their spouses as guests in our studio audience. But they didn’t call. They didn’t ask. They just barged in with their big guns, putting me, my staff and guests at high risk, disrupting our show, seriously tarnishing my reputation and just generally making big bullies of themselves, as the LAPD is so famous for around the world.

So in January, 2001, we filed a lawsuit against the LAPD. My original lawyer for this suit, Greg Smith, had approached me through his public relations representative when he heard about the police invasion on the news because, he said, he was impressed by the merits of my case and appalled by the warrantless entry and civil rights-abusive behavior of the LAPD officers. In June 2001, when Smith learned that the presiding judge would be the notoriously conservative United District Judge Manuel L. Real, he told me he thought we should drop the case because Judge Real was a “reactionary, sadistic, misogynist, police-loving maniac, and we could never get a fair trial.” When I replied that I did not wish to drop the case simply because we had drawn this judge, that justice could not be served in that way, Smith agreed to do his lawyerly duty and continue representing me.

Then, shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Smith informed me that there was no way we could win our suit in the ensuing conservative climate. I certainly did not feel that this was a valid or ethical reason to drop the case, and was shocked to hear a man who calls himself a civil rights attorney bringing it up as an excuse. I felt it was more important than ever to defend our Constitutional Rights against an aggressive and unscrupulous police force.

Unable to scare me into backing down from defending our civil liberties, Smith went to the Court of Judge Real, the guy he’d just called a monster, and meekly requested permission to withdraw from the case, falsely stating that I was “uncooperative.” Of course, the only way in which I was “uncooperative” was in not agreeing to drop the case just because we’d drawn a conservative judge and America had been attacked by terrorists.

I pleaded with the Judge to give me time to get another lawyer, but he refused. Though he was wrong to use it as an excuse to drop my suit, Smith was right about Judge Real being as reactionary as Jerry Falwell without the jolly disposition. Some of the folks in his courtroom swore he looked just like one of those withered Puritan Fathers pronouncing Hester Prynn an adulteror, or even the Devil Himself, as he ruled against me again and again.

And thus, I found myself forced into the odd position of playing the “Legally Blonde” nonconsensual pro per to my own case, without the benefit of a scripted happy ending, and with the heavy-duty weaknesses of zero experience and almost as little preparation (and in the midst of a real estate debacle indirectly related to this police intrusion. For more on that ongoing battle, click here) in front of the honorable, horrible Judge Manny Real.

I did get a bit of legalistic help and a lot of cheers of encouragement from some real lawyers, one of whom is quite famous in the field of civil rights law, all of whom shall remain nameless (for the time being).

Despite all these major drawbacks in my first pro per outing, I know I had the hearts of the jury members. This was not due to my lawyerly skills, of which I have next to none, but due to my opponents’ lack thereof, as well as the outrageousness of what had happened on the night of February 26, 2000. When LAPD Defense Attorney Don W. Vincent boldly tried to establish that one of my own cameramen made the call on the apparently phony 911 tape, even though his voice sounded nothing like the voice on the tape, some of the jury members looked my way with sympathy, while others could barely muffle their giggles.

When Vincent later tried to say that the presence on my set of a large fluffy pink penis-shaped pillow (pictured below) was sufficient grounds to conduct a warrantless search of my studio during a television show, a couple of the female jury members smiled at me like they wanted one too. You’ve heard of the Vagina Monologues? Well, this was the DiLDO DiALOGUES. What a farce! What a bogus excuse to search my premises without a warrant!

Big dildos and bogus excuses aside, Judge Real tossed my case out of his court before it even went to the jury. Pasty-white jowls quivering with repressed arousal and full-blown fury, bony finger crooked in my direction, he snarled that I was lucky I hadn’t been killed on the night of February 26, 2000! He was not about to allow that jury to deliberate on this case, knowing they would probably side with me against the LAPD and award me damages. Essentially, he said that because my broadcast studio and art gallery contained what he called “pornography” (which is perfectly legal to own and display privately in America), I had no rights. Therefore, after this three- day courtroom wrestling match that I was destined to lose (all my lawyer buddies were impressed that I had managed to “go” three days with the Tricky Dick of Federal Court), my case was dismissed.

Now, because I’m what some folks call “stubborn” about civil rights, my case is under appeal to the Ninth District Court. I am still in pro per, though at this point, I’ve had some preparation, and I have some other wonderful civil rights attorneys helping me.

Winning an appeal with the 9th District Court is ridiculously rare. Only something like 2% of appeals are granted. But, though it’s a long shot, I will not just “let it go.” Why? Because it is simply too serious a breach of my civil liberties and the rights of other Americans who are just trying to conduct perfectly legal, private business or pleasure, when police bust in, see an erotic object or photo, and use that as an excuse to turn the place upside down and possibly worse. So much for the First and Fourth Amendments in our Bill of Rights.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE BRIEF FOR MY APPEAL

As you’ll see, parts of my appeal brief (these are the parts with numbers preceding and following the letters RT) refer to the transcripts from the first case that Judge Real dismissed before the jury could deliberate on it. We had to pay over $2000 to the court reporters for those transcripts, and we will make copies of them available to those who really want them. We ask for a $250 donation per full copy of all the transcripts and the Excerpts of Record (court documents). If you are indigent and can’t give a donation, but would like to see the transcripts and/or the Excerpts of Record, or if you are a journalist writing about cases like this, please call Sabrina at 213.749.1330, and we will make a copy of the transcripts available to you.

As you’ll see if you read them, some parts of these transcripts are pretty exciting, others predictably boring as any courtroom proceeding. Others are really worthy of the name “The DiLDO DiALOGUES,” and others show me to be the na?ve, utterly unprepared nonconsensual pro per that I was. It’s a little embarrassing for me to share these transcripts with you, but it’s important for all of us to see just how our legal system functions, or dysfunctions, when an American citizen seeks redress for the gross violation of our civil rights.

NOW I NEED TO ASK FOR YOUR HELP.

For the past 15 years, the DR. SUSAN BLOCK Institute and The DR. SUSAN BLOCK Show have helped thousands of men and women to enhance their sexuality and improve their lives. We have made you think. We have made you laugh. We have made you come. We have dedicated ourselves to sex education and helping to bring people out of the Sexual Dark Ages when ignorance was prized and information was scarce. It’s been, and continues to be, an amazing and rewarding adventure for all of us here at the Institute. We are grateful, extremely grateful.

But even as we gain our rights to a better life, sexually and otherwise, there are venomous fundamentalist forces, from Islamist Ayatollahs to Christian Crusaders, working against us, operating out of fear that they are losing their grip on power. And they are! As science opens our minds and technology brings us closer together, the world is becoming freer and more accepting of human sexuality and all that goes along with it: diversity, women’s rights, peace, individualism, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

But there is always a backlash to growth, and so we encounter these fundamentalist forces that oppose humane evolution and freedom, feeding off the dark side of human nature. These are the power brokers and warmongers, the leaders of the world’s largest corporations, their political lackeys and presidential sons. These individuals and institutions no longer represent the people. They don’t even represent political interests. They just represent their own personal interests. We’re beginning to see what “Family Values” really means. It means money in the pockets of the Bush Family, the Rigas Family or whichever Family’s favorite son is spouting those political pieties at the moment.

The only thing these institutions and individuals have left to protect themselves against their continuing loss of power to women, minorities and ethical hedonists is war. Therefore, America has a war for everything. Now we’ve got the War on Iraq, which is part of the War on Terrorism (though nobody can point to a relationship between Saddam and Osama). We also have the War on Crime, which, though it’s put two million people in prison in this country, hasn’t kept us from having one of the highest crime rates in the world. It’s created a mammoth police state that can roam anywhere, search you at will, arrest you if it suits them, threaten you, beat you and shoot you for looking the wrong way. Or wearing a lot of jewelry. While one LAPD officer held a gun to my head, another told me I shouldn’t wear so much jewelry or it could be mistaken for a weapon which would mean they might shoot me. The policy of the Los Angeles Police Department is “SHOOT TO KILL.” Well, it is a war. Another American War on It’s Own People.

Then there’s the War on Drugs (while half our children are being drugged by government authorized drug pushers), and the War on Smoking (all the money won from the cigarette companies was stolen to cover government budget deficits). Topping it off is the War on Sex that justifies some 25 armed and dangerous police officers invading a peaceful, law-abiding television broadcast for no legal reason. What do all of these wars add up to? A War on the Constitution of the United States. A War on our Bill of Rights.

Of course, if you want to defend your rights in America, it now takes a military budget. Since most of us have been impoverished by the current American regime to the point that we can hardly make ends meet, and many of us are relegated to work we hate just to live and love a little, very few of us have the money or power to bite back.

But some of us can fight back. And if we fight together, we can fight harder and more effectively. We have the power to reach out to millions of people, we have the power to be independent of the system, we have the power to defend ourselves intellectually against the constant lies of a dying and broken bureaucracy that is now little more than a war machine. We have the power to say “STOP,” you’ve gone too far, you’ve stepped beyond your right, you are stepping on “MY” rights, you are stomping on “MY” Constitution. That I won’t allow. Not without a fight.

When police entered, occupied and searched “my” broadcast studios two years ago, like they enter dozens of homes, stop thousands of cars, invade billions of personal e-mails, find out what books people check out of libraries, arrest hundreds of citizens at will and simply terrorize others without answering to anyone, it reminded me of how precious is the light of our enlightened society, our society that holds up its Bill of Rights as a beacon of liberty to nations around the world, and how if we allow these police actions to continue and worsen without redress, we will find our brilliant, liberating light faded to a darkened bombed-out shell of what was once the most vibrant democracy in history.

The Constitution no longer protects us, because the judges are part of the police department (at least most of the judges are; there are some great ones). Judge Real is not the only Tricky Dick on the bench. Thus, there are only two things that protect us against this kind of insidious despotism: LAWYERS and MONEY (and yes, the two are symbiotically related), a very thin line between freedom and the gangsterism of our police force.

So, our lawyers need money. Not a lot of money. But still, they need more money than we have. Therefore we turn to you, the thousands of friends, fans, business associates, brothers and sisters, lovers and sinners that have been so giving and caring over the years. The people we’ve broken bread with, made love to, and those that we travel with along the same road, as well as those whom we’ve never met, but who know us through the Internet or HBO.

We are asking for your donations to help defend all of our rights against massive government intrusions in all of our lives. We are at the front lines of this battle every day. If one person loses their rights, we all lose our rights. People in government must understand that we may not all fight back, but some of us will. And if we don’t give up, we will win. You can donate through paypal by clicking here and scrolling down to the donate link at the bottom of the page.

You can also donate by calling our office anytime at 213.749.1330. Ask for Sabrina. Thank you for your donation. If you cannot afford to donate at this time, we understand. Then, please tell a friend who can. Please don’t put this off. We need your help NOW. Or, if you prefer, you can make your donation by joining us BACKSTAGE or calling our Telephone Sex Therapy service: 310.474.5353. Make giving a pleasure!

love & libert?, Susan Block, Ph.D.

DR. SUSAN BLOCK is a sex educator, host of The DR. SUSAN BLOCK Show and author of The 10 Commandments of Pleasure. Visit her website at http://www.drsusanblock.com.

If you’d like to contact DR. SUSAN BLOCK with questions, comments or contributions, please email liberties@blockbooks.com

 

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Susan Block, Ph.D., a.k.a. “Dr. Suzy,” is an internationally renowned LA sex therapist and author, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. Her newest book is The Bonobo Way: The Evolution of Peace through Pleasure. Visit her at http://DrSusanBlock.com. For speaking engagements, call 310-568-0066. Email your comments to her at liberties@blockbooks.com and you will get a reply.

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