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“Frightening and high” is phony and false

By Nick Schager . . . According to Untouchable, there’s a reason most Americans think sex offenders, and pedophiles in particular, are incurable, and thus destined to relapse: 2002’s McKune v. Lile, in which Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in a plurality opinion that there was a “frightening and high risk of recidivism” for such predators, and that “the rate of recidivism of untreated offenders has been estimated to be as high as 80 percent.” That statement has since been used in numerous legal verdicts as well as to support countless pieces of state and local legislation aimed at curbing the rights of those found guilty of crimes against kids. In doing so, it’s become de facto common wisdom, almost universally accepted as a bedrock truth about individuals who possess child pornography or abuse (or have improper relations with) a minor.

The problem? The sole piece of evidence that led Justice Kennedy to make such a bold claim came from a 1986 Psychology Today article written by Ronald Longo, a counselor who ran a treatment program in an Oregon prison—and there was absolutely no statistical basis for his “80 percent” assertion. Moreover, Longo himself has since rejected that figure. . . .

The reason the aforementioned McKune v. Lile decision is so stunning is that, by all accounts, actual sex-offender recidivism rates are low. In three-year studies done by Connecticut, Alaska, Nebraska, Maine, New York and California, recidivism figures are generally less than 4 percent—hardly a “frightening and high” figure. Furthermore, most conclude that there’s no correlation between recidivism rates and geographic proximity, meaning that laws passed to keep registered sex offenders from living close to schools, playgrounds, or other kid-centric areas generally have no impact; if wrongdoers are likely to seek prey nearby, it’s often in their own homes, or in churches or educational settings, where they know their intended targets. If Untouchable is to be believed—and its statistical case appears reasonably solid—then that’s a forceful repudiation of how we think about, and treat, sex offenders.

Read the full piece here at the Daily Beast.

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Glen 1 day, 1 hour ago.

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  • #50899 Reply


    By Nick Schager . . . According to Untouchable, there’s a reason most Americans think sex offenders, and pedophiles in particular, are incurable, and
    [See the full post at: “Frightening and high” is phony and false]

  • #50904 Reply


    It’s unbelievable how false statements can be used to wreak peoples lives!! The justices Kennedy should have done his home work and not relied on one mans faulty opinion. This is crazy and should be corrected and that ruling whatever it was should be reversed!!!

  • #50905 Reply


    Good article Nick.

    Sadly, as a former employee of this once great nation, I’ve often times seen the use of many propagandized reports that were utilized by big brother to sway public oppinion, in an effort to better achieve the Orwellian PTB’s desired end result.

    About all we can do is keep chipping away at it’s false foundation, and thank you for doing so. Until the laws created using these false justifications, fall from their own ignorant weight, we can only press forward under these archaic constraints. While I have no faith in government, I do believe at some point those who have the capacity to reason outweigh those who follow government blindly. So…there’s that

    On the other hand, It’s been some time since Gundy appeared before SCOTUS, and still no court decision issued publicly. Wonder why?….my hopes are high, my expectations very low.

    But thank you Nick for writing this.



    • #50949 Reply



      Gundy was heard by SCOTUS just over three months ago (Oct 2, 2019) and the term still has months to go yet before it is done with it’s decision published.

      • #51056 Reply


        Agreed and understood. Yet, in the majority of cases heard the ruling is often issued by now is it not? Perhaps I’m incorrect and impatient but I expected a ruling relatively quickly.

        I was not optimistic that a positive ruling would be issued by SCOTUS regarding Gundy, but the more time passes increases my hopes (albeit, probably for no valid reason).

        What are your thoughts about the likely outcome? And thanks for responding.



  • #50944 Reply


    Luckily there has been significant amount of research and publications from our very own government refuting the above named comment and statement. Why is this not being published and argued in the courts is beyond me. Decades of research from our very own govt but no-one wants to take the time to read it.

    Do your homework. It is not 4% recidivism rate for crimes of sexual nature. It is 4% recidivism for any type of crime…. of the 4% who commit another crime, about 15% – 25% will be sexually related. Bringing the actual sexual recidivism rate to LESS THEN 1%

    Here read it for your self especially with regards to the “online garbage porn”: people who are forced to plea to possession of some illegal are the absolute lowest rate of any type of recidivism, especially sexually related. One last truth. People convicted of a VOILENT CRIME are 25 – 30% likely to commit a crime of sexual nature in the future…. and the general population at large for 1st time criminal offences is 4-5%. So anyone who has been convicted of sexually related offence is just as likely to commit a crime as everyone else who is walking the street and never committed a crime yet, or shall I say has not been caught yet….

    Think about it!

  • #50948 Reply


    Of course the people ignore the frighteningly high amount of gun violence present in our country. Far Far more folks have lives destroyed by murder by the offender unrelated to any sexual component. The people use their resources unwisely opting to focus on the sexual component. The right wing conservative has always embraced “illegal sex”. That way the can claim they do everything to make kids safer. The plain fact is many victims remain alive after the kidnapping, rape, or molestation. The murdered remain dead and quiet while victims outcry publicly demanding retributive justice and getting it in spades. If you raise victims you’ll soon find them. The people embraced the obvious ex post, and the will get what they asked for. The peoples claim to be them that abide by law, they’re no such thing. There is a law on Wisconsin books that uncovers me for registration obligation. Wis.stat.301.45 1g (a):
    “A person who was convicted on or after December 25, 1993 for a sec offense. ” (See wiki)
    So don’t even try to convince me our government operates under constitutional discipline. Shut it down and keep it shut! Americans shop Wal-Mart all you friggin want, sell out every American job. You really are a pathetic bunch and WE do not deserve Security NOR liberty. Sellouts!

    • #51057 Reply



      Agreed. There’s also a frightening and high opioid epidemic I’m told by the news (I believe there is actually). In fact, I’m told it’s so bad that we Americans are more likely to die from it then car accident. Yet…still…ive not witnessed one piece of legislation introduced that is requiring opioid pushers/dealers be registered.

  • #50954 Reply


    Is there anyway that reports that are recently done on recidivism be sent to this Supreme Court Justice Kennedy? He need to be made aware of the facts. He should also be made to correct his mistake with his report. The untouchables need to be accountable for there actions just like anyone else. I often wonder how our Sex laws got so bad. The people high up need to stop and look what they are doing. There are a lot of people who lives they are ruining. Not just the person who is convicted of a sex related crime. It hurts the family and friends. Shame on you Unjustice Kennedy!

    • #50967 Reply

      Registered notoffender

      Kennedy is not on the Supreme Court anymore,he is retired and has been replaced by Brett Kavanaugh

  • #50964 Reply


    I like NARSOL’s grassroots effort to speak out about this with their platform and thats not to say others in this effort are not exempt. Sure with all this rationality on this topic and yes their is also good that comes out of bad or should we say the ends don’t justify the means. Makes one’s understanding of who the “goast buster” really is in the political game of deception and true justice. Sure we could all talk about the LGBT movement or other things but the point is who’s treading water.

    One has to wonder if we all have the knowledge of the truth today. Even one wonders who has the evil conscience today. I even wonder if the experts know what they are doing to protect man’s free will agent of understanding and truth. Even one’s liberty. Yes, we all have a moral crisis on our hands or did government banish understanding because of a (because I said so) attitude, or is spanking today a proper use of one’s understanding with their kids banished today. One wonders who is abusing today. Inalienable rights well it seems to be a thing of the past today in government or it would seem. No wonder some football players didn’t salute the flag.

    Now here this sex registry comes along and is it no different today than the lady caught in adultry. While people have their view’s on this in different measure’s, we all still need justice in this type of propaganda injustice. Some people can’t even speak out about a lot of this social media hystera or are hustled into court induced with the facts but the burden of proof is slack beyond a show of a doubt in a lot of ways. I should hope government is not hiding things under the rug or letting those in power take pock shots at one another over this type of pawn game. Protecting and serving with a ruse is not protecting. I wonder if ” just the facts ma’am* means one is guilty by justifible killing.

    Their have been some good comments on here Glen’s, WC, Tim, and many othrers also a lotof the women, but the one thing that stands out the most is true justice for others and thats what any grassroots effort is all about. Human Justice is a bit better than man’s justice. Should we have rational law’s in this rationality to understand that we all have human right in this ordeal. Look at abortion or gun control and compare.

    I wonder who starts in this liberal or conservative treehouse of injustice/ justice today. I wonders who the Psychologist is today, or should we all take a back seat today. I wonder who’s thoughts and intents are we to understand today in American Justice. I even wonder if we stand up for self or others in this right or wrong mockery

  • #50943 Reply


    There is a short 7.5 minute video on YouTube entitled “Frightening and High: The Supreme Court’s Crucial Mistake About Sex Crime Statistics”. It can be viewed at:

    In this video segment, Robert Freeman-Longo, the fountainhead of this fictional recidivism rate comes out against his 1986 article in Psychology Today” being misused by the nation’s highest court.

    There’s also a very telling interview with a woman named Barbara Schwartz, who wrote the D.O.J.’s sex offender treatment manual the Supreme Court used as their basis for the McKune v. Lile ruling. She openly admits that she made up her own “program” and cited only 2 sources: Robert Freeman-Longo’s 1986 “Psychology Today” article and THE DICTIONARY. Of singular importance is the statement she made regarding the fact that multiple scientific peer-reviewed studies have been done that soundly refute the “frightening and high” myth and yet the courts uniformly ignore these newer scientific studies that have empirical scientific evidence to back them up in favor of the soundly refuted “frightening and high” narrative. One has to wonder why any court of law would show CALCULATED AND SYSTEMATIC DELIBERATE INDIFFERENCE to the factual studies that have been done in recent years. The only answer I can come up with is that the new studies, if recognized, would spell certain doom for large chunks of the sex offender registry. It may even spell doom for the scheme as a whole. One could only hope as much.

    This habitual defaulting back to a long-disproven LIE shows a disturbing fact that our courts are not basing decisions on the Constitution, but rather political and social popularity. Not only that, but I question a judge’s willingness to remain DISPASSIONATE AND OBJECTIVE when it comes to laws that affect rapists and child molesters. I think more judges than not picture the following in their minds when making a ruling:

    (1) What they would do if anyone raped their wife, daughter, sister, niece, etc or molested their child, grandchild, etc.
    (2) The negative response from the public at large if they ever handed down a ruling that would spell the death knell for the registry and its laundry list of draconian restrictions. Elected judges want to keep their seat on the bench. Some also have political aspirations for holding either state or federal office. Being known as the judge who shot down the registry lock, stock and barrel would NOT win any popularity points.

    The question every lawyer who challenges the sex offender registry and/or any one of a myriad of unconstitutional restrictions needs to ask is :

    WHY AM I NOT SERVING SUBPOENAS TO ROBERT FREEMAN-LONGO AND BARBARA SCHWARTZ SO THEY CAN DEBUNK THE LIE THEY HELPED TO CREATE? These 2 people should be hauled into court every single time a challenge is heard at any level!! They should have to tell in open court what they say on this video.

  • #51010 Reply

    Don’t tread on me

    I’m not asking for forgiveness. I’m not asking for understanding. I’m not asking for acceptance. I am demanding my rights be returned to me. I paid a price that was agreed upon to zero out my societal debt. If society can arbitrarily decide to deny anyone’s rights on a whim. We are all doomed. I am afraid I must insist my rights are returned

  • #51038 Reply

    Alice Chapman

    A new law is being introduced in SC that will limit places of employment for anyone on the sex offenders registry. This law is not very transparent as to what jobs are banned but can be used to ban any and all jobs. As a nation, we should want any one who has served their time in prison the opportunity to get employment and re-enter society. I understand there are a few on a registry that are dangerous yet all pay the price.

    • #51065 Reply



      It does not surprise me that SC would introduce such a law as you describe, sadly. Even more depressing, to date, I’m aware of no SC SO laws that have ever even reached SCOTUS for an opportunity to be over turned. It’s one of the toughest states to live in if you’re a registered citizen regardless of the how long ago your offense was or the severity of it.

      There have been some victories over the last two decades, but most of those victories in my view have merely resulted in more Draconian restrictions. For example, doe vs Alaska ultimately resulted in a literal “give the states an inch and they will ask for a mile”.

      There have been so many oppressive laws created since the Doe ruling, that most former offenders now need a team of attorneys to consult before even stepping out of their own yards; much less, visiting another state, or applying for employment.

      The states will simply keep continuing to add more and more restrictions until a truly landslide ruling comes that ends the entire scheme. Almost a century passed before Plessy vs. Ferguson became Brown. Several centuries passed even before Plessy. This is going to be a long, long winding road unless there is a monumental victory finding the registry unconstitutional. The false argument sustaining its existence so far has been basically, “The registry is not criminal nor is the intent of the registry to be punitive”. We desperately need a premier case before SCOTUS that finally obliterates that non-sense. I’m really hoping that case is on the horizon.

  • #51079 Reply


    I saw a story Today ( fri) claiming a Catholic Dioceses has now decided to post names of priest known to or have accusations ( not conviction) with kids and sex misconduct, ONLINE!

    These posts are unconscionable and unconstitutional as these lack due process. Any thoughts anyone?

    • #51126 Reply

      Registered notoffender

      Beats the registry

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