To the Editor,

A few weeks ago our company, Zia Record Exchange, ran an ad in your publication for our jewelry and accessory sale. Apparently this ad offended a few of the people in the community. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone we may have offended. We sincerely did not intend to do anything more than bring people in to the stores to check out our accessories.

Mailbag Zia's marketing strategy is to be a little bit crazy and have some fun while differentiating ourselves from our stale, corporate competitors. Our ads are designed to stand out and be different. We get most of the pictures for our ads from old magazines. In this case, our artists came up with the headline "gals love guys who accessorize" first. They then began the search for an eye-catching, appropriate picture. When they found the African gentleman in his tribal jewelry, it fit perfectly because it stood out and featured noticeable jewelry. No one even gave a second thought to the skin color of the individual. Once completed, the ad ran through at least four proofs, and at no time did any of us think the ad would possibly offend anyone.

Zia Record Exchange values every customer, regardless of who they are or what lifestyle they have chosen. In fact, we consider ourselves to be as open-minded as any business in the state. We would never do anything to deliberately offend anyone. We are truly sorry that somehow, in this case, we did just that. I can assure you that we'll take a harder look at our ads in the future.

--Steve Wiley

Zia Record Exchange

Detailed Innuendo

To the Editor,

J.E. Relly's article on juvenile sex-offenders was detailed, well researched, and well written ("Sexual Hell," Tucson Weekly, March 21). It was also, unfortunately, filled with innuendo, unattributed quotes and unsupported insinuation. As a retired therapist who admitted well over 400 patients to in-patient care over a five-year period just prior to leaving the field, I have a few observations.

1. Youthful sex-offenders are the second most difficult client population (adult sex offenders are the most difficult). With the State of Arizona's lack of commitment and funding, it is astonishing that any meaningful program exists at all. We have abandoned our community obligation to care for one another in favor of getting another $10 tax cut.

2. Allegations of Satanic ritual have never been substantiated in a court of law or any FBI report that I am aware of. Unless you believe the entire court system is run by Satanists (a claim I've heard made, by the way), this ought to make any reporter think twice about reporting such claims from unnamed former employees of a treatment facility. This is especially true when in the same article the reporter documents repeated cases of false reporting by clients for motives as trivial as getting a friend transferred to a location "closer to his parents." Offenders know how to manipulate others, including therapists. Often, reports of "Satanic ritual" are attempts to gain sympathy and deny responsibility on the part of the client for his behavior.

3. There is no clear clinical evidence the absence or presence of "pornography" (whatever that may mean) in a home leads children to become sex offenders. Clinically valid links do seem to exist between having a parent who was abused and the likelihood of being abused, yet that's at least equally true in strict Christian homes as it is in any other home--many would argue that more abuse (and a greater likelihood of sexual deviance) occur in the homes of avowed fundamentalists (regardless of sect affiliation) than in other segments of the general population.

4. The fundamental question of having any part of the mental health process run as a for-profit enterprise is never addressed. As an entrepreneur, I believe the market has its place. I also believe there are areas where it does not--areas where profit and quality are not synonyms. That does not mean public facilities are better, just that profit is not always the only yardstick we ought to use. What happened, for example, to the idea that non-profits were appropriate ways to deliver health care?

There are other questionable areas in the presentation of the article, such as the final question asked by Captain Marty Cramer of the Pima County Sheriff's Department being used to sensationalize the article, but this letter is already long enough.

--Paul Amyx

J.E. Relly replies: I'd like to respond to your reference to my article as filled with "innuendo, unattributed quotes, and unsupported insinuation." The material I covered straddled a subject many were not willing to discuss. In the dozens of interviews I conducted, six people wanted to remain anonymous. Every sentence in my piece is backed by public records, taped interviews or studies. The reader is at liberty to choose whether to believe statements by attributed and unattributed sources.

Whether juvenile sex offender's allegations of family Satanic ritualistic practices are bogus, I can only say, yes, a polygraph test of each claimant would have been ideal. (Incidentally, the state spends $3,600 a year conducting polygraphs on juvenile sex offenders--confidential information that remains in the medical record.)

Obviously, kids who molest children are disturbed, whatever their story.

You wrote, "There is no clear evidence that the absence or presence of 'pornography' (whatever that may mean) in a home leads children to become sex offenders."

Indeed, there have been few studies on juvenile sex offenders in general; only 73 articles appear in the psychological and psychiatric literature. I refer you to a 1995 study by Ford and Linney with three types of offender groups in a juvenile correctional facility like the one in Catalina. The sex offenders reported exposure to hardcore, sexually explicit material 42 percent of the time, while only 29 percent of violent and status offenders reported it. In the Becker and Stein study in 1991, the sex offenders were also self-reporting when the researchers found no connection between hardcore porn and juvenile sex offenses.

Speaking of insinuation, I wouldn't mind seeing the citations on your references to "...many would argue that more abuse occurs in the homes of avowed fundamentalists than in other segments of the population."

And yes, I applaud more discussion on the impact of for-profit enterprise on state-funded mental health care.

By the way, Paul, how's your "poly-fidelity" movement going?

No Problem

To the Editor,

I am submitting a guest column for your consideration. Your recent article about the PCC teacher who drank beer before class inspired me ("Don't Pay The Two Bucks," TW, March 20). If you don't care to print the whole thing as a column, then I don't mind if you chop off a piece to use just as a letter to the editor. Of course, you may not want to use it at all. In that case, you are a swine, and I would like for you to print this as a letter to the editor. That way, I can show my friends how I called you a name and you printed it.

If you can't say something pretty, don't say anything at all.

--Daniel W. Leach

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