Indonesia Court Sentences Playboy Executive To Two Years in Jail for Indecency

Erwin Arnada, 47, former editor-in-chief of Playboy Indonesia, has begun a two-year sentence for publishing pictures of women in undergarments — photos that are less revealing than the standard ads found in the Subway.

The prosecution was pushed by the Islamic extremists who are increasingly controlling the courts and politics of that country.

The Court found Arnada guilty of violating indecency laws — overruling a 2007 acquittal by the South Jakarta District Court.

The Islamic Defenders’ Front celebrated the sentence as upholding Sharia principles and punishment for pornography which the group appears to define as most pictures short of a burqa.

Source: Guardian

12 thoughts on “Indonesia Court Sentences Playboy Executive To Two Years in Jail for Indecency”

  1. Isn’t it a little naive to not know the consequences of their actions in these repressive countries? It is regrettable, but not an international incident that deserves intervention… I hope.

  2. Well, money and power. Most of early religion was for men to dominate others, and particularly sexual access to women (those harems of thousands).

  3. Although most religions employ shame; the core of all religions is the promise of an afterlife of some sort, through reincarnation, Heaven, Valhalla or whatever.

    Once the afterlife is promised, payment for it can be extracted. Shame is really a secondary control mechanism, primarily used to control sexuality. Because when the afterlife is not enough motivation to secure compliance, permission to have sex is a strong contender.

    To me all of religion is exploitation for money. It is a pitiful irony that over 95% of people are so fearful of non-existence that they can be tricked into completely surrendering control of the one and only existence they actually have.

  4. Blouise, seconded, good posts. You are examining the crucial difference (at 3:48 and 6:18) between real, personal contrition and the mannered apportionment of shame/repentance as it is practiced by a cultural body. You take the thinkers approach and devised a moral system for yourself instead of electing the easier option of accepting the moral system various self-interested cultural groups want to hand you.

    Shame and the ‘sins’ that generate them are absolved with repentance so we’re routinely treated to the spectacle of various public absolution rituals by our political, business, entertainment and religious leaders (and wannabes) being caught, publicly repenting, being absolved and then going back to their previous life. Or a life altered somewhat but no less profitable and powerful. Probably as corrupt too 🙂

    I recall when I see such entertaining public redemption a story by Shaw I read about 40 years ago, “Mrs. Warren’s Profession”. Much of the work is lost in the vast memory-hole that is my mental data retrieval system but a quote and its context always comes to mind.

    Mrs. Warren is a prostitute or Madam and has made and still makes a good living for herself and her daughter in the profession. She is talking to her daughter about her daughters plans to marry and her daughter becomes aware of the source of the money that has provided for her well-being. Mrs. Warren is unrepentant at heart. The daughter say to the effect ‘Aren’t you ashamed of yourself’ and Mrs. Warren replies (and this is all I remember accurately) “It’s only good manners to be ashamed, it’s expected of a woman.”

    I’d rather have a simple ‘I’m sorry’ from a self-made moral person than the good manners of a Pope.

  5. anon nurse,

    Just a note to let you know I’m thinking of you and wish you well 🙂

  6. Jericho,

    I have managed to reject shame from the values clarification of my life. It is not shame that keeps me from stealing but rather the values judgement that what some one else has earned, I have no right to take. It is the values judgement that keeps me from stealing. Should I steal something then the emotion I experience is that of guilt for having violated a value I hold dear.

    Now, if I were starving and I steal a loaf of bread my guilt is somewhat modified but the values would not change in that as soon as I was able I would pay the person in order to assuage my guilt. Should I be caught that guilt would be exposed to the world but try as they might, I would not feel shame as I stole to assuage my hunger.

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is the best value to hold and covers almost every area of life. Therefore never would I attempt to shame another.

    What is that old story … the student asks the Rabbi, “Rabbi, which of the ten is the most important commandment?” The Rabbi responds, “The most important is not of the Ten … The most important is ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ … all the rest is commentary … go and study, my son.”

    This concept creates a very thin rulebook. 😉

  7. Meh; some religions do attach shame to sexuality, because they don’t want competition in the Spiritual Fulfilment business. But there have also been plenty of religions, especially early fertility cults, which hyped up sex big time. People want religion for a lot of reasons, most of all because we’re psychologically ill-equipped to deal with doubt, and religion is a free lifetime prescription of Doubt-Be-Gone. Which is why religions survive despite vast amounts of scientific evidence that their beliefs are nonsense. The scientific attitude demands that we doubt everything until it has survived all reasonable efforts to disprove it, and that is a very psychologically demanding thing to do.

  8. Blouise, thanks for the wise quote and insightful post.

    I’m afraid shame can’t be removed from the equation, unless you plan to have no values. Obviously some values should apply.

    Here’s mine:
    – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
    – The thicker the rulebook, the worse the organization
    – The most important thing is having your priorities straight
    – Keep thy religion to thyself

    If you breach these, I’m afraid I want to be ashamed of you 🙂

  9. “Shame is a violation of cultural or social values while guilt feelings arise from violations of one’s internal values.” (Ruth Benedict)

    Almost (and I stress the almost)every religion introduces shame into the culture in order that priests may control the population through unnecessary guilt. Remove shame from the equation and religion loses most of its power to coerce and guilt becomes values-oriented.

  10. If I might paraphrase Al:

    I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with these marvelous bodies has intended us to forego their enjoyment.

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