Moral Panics and Folk Devils: the origin story of the “Mineola Swingers Club”/ Kindergarten Strip Show, and “the usual suspects.”

I touched on “Moral Panics and Folk Devils” a little bit in this piece here, where a genuine targeted individual was concerned that I might be “anti-semitic” and did not want to be tarnished by association with such a bias. In that piece, I did my best to reasure the target that I am not anti-semitic, but that I also have a strong bias against certain wealthy Jews of various kinds who are plainly bizarre and distorted people.

Related Story: Non-orthodox Jewish billionaire Bill Gross uses noise harassment to gain a real estate advantage, just like many other non-orthodox christians have done throughout history.

And, many neocon’s and other Jews use their many proxies for stalking to gain political advantage, and I fond that reprehensible too. But no more or less reprehensible than other cultures and religions that use stalking for identical reasons.

Everywhere there are lies and deception, you find good “christians*” or other right wing religionists waging a PR campaign of one kind or another, and the Mineola Texas “swingers club-child sex ring-kindergarten strip club” was no different. Except–we can easily trace the origins of a moral panic in its details.

Like the Devil itself, ultra-right religion is always morphing and changing its name and face–its hard to pin down, and it lurks everywhere, especially wherever children can be manipulated or exploited. And the Mineola case is that to be certain.

The Texas Monthly has waged a several decades long battle to wrest the truth out of the cold dead hands of the living Baptists in that area, and has had great success revealing the evil beneath these liars and their religion.

In so doing, they went right to the source of the moral panic that was known as the Mineola Kindergarten Strip Club, a total confabulation from the twosted minds of some very sick people, who exploit children in ways that are not obvious: in one case alone, a scoundrel gained hundreds of thousands of dollars after her lies caused children to be ripped from their loving fathers–and that liar has yet to be prosecuted, hunted down, and punished in any way.

The Texas Monthly went to the newspapers, and found that before children were ripped from their homes, and exploited for profit in the state foster care system, it was a little news story that raised the call to arms against sexual liberty, in a morally bankrupt area of the country. BUt let’s have the TM tell it, from 2009:

The Swingers Club

Michael Hall
By Michael Hall, April 2009

On August 11, 2004, readers of the Mineola Monitor, a weekly newspaper that serves much of Wood County, in East Texas, sat down to a familiar front page. “Area schools begin ’04 year next week,” one headline announced; “28th Annual Hay Show samples to be collected,” declared another. A photograph showed locals eating hot dogs at the Humble Baptist Church. “They braved the heat to enjoy music and good old-fashioned neighborly conversation,” read the caption.

Then Mineolans turned the page. Above the Community Calendar and next to the letters to the editor, they came to a story titled “Sex in the City,” in which regular columnist Gary Edwards revealed that a club for “swingers and swappers” was operating in town. The club was called the Retreat. There were twelve rooms, two hot tubs, a karaoke machine, a stereo, a big-screen TV, a sex swing—and a lot of beds. “We’ll do the operators of the facility a favor and we won’t say where it’s located for now,” Edwards wrote. “If they just move quietly out into the country . . . we’ll try and forget they’ve infiltrated our town with their set of moral standards.”

Swingers clubs are legal in Texas as long as no one is soliciting or paying for sex, and until Edwards’s column, the Retreat had been something of an open secret. It was located next door to the Monitor offices, in the former Mineola General Hospital, and its membership included locals as well as people from Tyler, Dallas, and Louisiana. The proprietors, Russ and Sherry Adams, lived just up the road in Quitman. On an average Friday they would host anywhere from fifteen to thirty swingers, most of whom the couple knew (the Adamses insist that the Retreat was not a club but an “on-premises party house”). “If we didn’t know them,” Russ told me, “they had to be known by other couples before they were invited to party.” Sherry would provide a snack buffet in the evening and then make breakfast burritos Saturday and Sunday mornings. “There are probably two hundred swingers within fifty miles of here,” Russ said. “It’s a lifestyle is all it is.”

Not, however, a lifestyle shared by the majority of the citizens of Mineola, a quiet town that’s home to 5,600 souls and a large number of antiques stores and Baptist churches. Edwards’s column about the swingers inspired more reader response than anything he’d ever written, and by early September, the party house was shuttered.

Things returned to normal, for about nine months. Then, on June 22, 2005, a woman named Margie Cantrell, who had moved to Mineola from California the previous year, showed up at the police station with a shocking story about the Retreat. Margie and her husband, John, were career foster parents who, after arriving in Mineola, had taken in four new kids. As Margie explained to the on-duty officer, one of her new foster daughters, eight-year-old Sheryl, had told her that she and Harlan, her six-year-old brother, had been forced to perform sex shows at the swingers club. (The names of all the children in this story have been changed.) The police couldn’t find any evidence or other witnesses, though, and the investigation was dropped.

UNTIL…. “The stories got uglier: The kids had been taught “sexual dancing,” and they had been forced to have sex with each other at a “sex kindergarten.”

….follow the links! Connect the dots!

*christians come in all shapes and sizes, but all can easily be broken into two basic categories: fundies and vangies v people of private beliefs. The former category are radical, deceptive, murderous, and often are who “gang stalkers” are, while the latter could be said to be “everyday christians” who d not participate in, or wage moral panics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s