Joe Camel Comes Out of the Closet
The results are in, and behavior grooming works really well on kids, and not just selling cigarettes. Market research firm The Barna Group is about to release its study that found 39% of Generation Z kids (18-24 years old) report a sexual identity other than their actual biological sex.
This is up from less than 2% in 2010.
It's been four decades since such dramatic success in grooming new behavior.
Cigarette Companies Groomed Children
Without a doubt the Joe Camel cartoons were one of the most effective behavior grooming efforts in history. Joe was the dromedary Hugh Hefner, a "smooth character", often featured in a tuxedo surrounded by showgirls. In 1991 The Journal of the American Medical Association found that by age 6, as many children could recognize Joe Camel as Mickey Mouse.
In a ten year period between 1987 and 1997 the Camel cartoons groomed an estimated 9 million children and Camel's sales to children rose from only "$6 million to $476 million".
All was well until leaked internal R.J. Reynolds documents revealed the grooming plan, "The young adult market...represent[s] tomorrow's cigarette business...most smokers begin smoking regularly and select a usual brand at or before the age of 18." Children were targeted because they are particularly susceptible to influence at the age between childhood and adulthood, 11-12 years old.
Parents were outraged. The R.J. Reynolds CEO testified under oath that nicotine was not habit forming. They took out ads to debunk misinformation on smoking safety.
However despite the "debunking" in 1998 the major tobacco companies agreed to pay an eye watering $206 billion in damages.
A key element of the settlement was the banning of grooming child smoking behavior. The companies could not, "...take any action, directly or indirectly, to target Youth within any Settling State in the advertising, promotion or marketing of Tobacco Products, or take any action the primary purpose of which is to initiate, maintain or increase the incidence of Youth smoking within any Settling State."
However behavior grooming lived on in other products and eventually morphed into Sexual Grooming in child-centered institutions including the Catholic Church, Boy Scouts of America, and public schools.
Public Schools Sexually Groom Students
Following Covid mandated remote learning parents across the country began to discover that what they thought was going on in class was quite different from reality.
CAUTION: Really objectionable (Some browsers will block.)
Sexual Grooming material for 5th and 6th graders seemed to feature an inordinate amount of cartoons and comic strips for classes that supposedly taught literature. The cartoons often emphasized the "coolness" of sexual behavior and a variety of unconventional sexual identities.
Cool literary "heroes" held out as worthy of imitation were often engaged in unconventional and dangerous behavior. For example baseball hero, Glenn Burke, was lionized because he was black and preferred sex with men. The book left out the part where he left baseball as a crack addict and died of AIDS.
Parents complained and schools began public relations efforts to "debunk" misinformation on school Sexual Grooming.
School Boards began arresting parents who refused to stop asking questions. The wheels really came off after Loudon ISD Superintendent, Scott Ziegler, denied any sexual assaults had following school sponsored Sexual Grooming. Plumber Scott Smith, father of a 13 year old pointed out his daughter was raped in the girl's bathroom by a cross-dressing boy wearing a skirt.
The video arrest showing 3 officers driving to the floor, disrobing, and arresting Mr. Smith has been viewed 200,000 times. The incident so enraged the state that a dark-horse Republican candidate was elected Governor of Virginia, and at the conclusion of litigation, the plumber may own his very own school district.
Prior to Joe Camel there were no parent organizations calling for more cigarette sales to children. Parents didn't worry if their child smoked the wrong brand they wouldn't get into college. The true genius was the cigarette makers creating a market where there previously was none.
Similarly prior to the public school grooming push there were no torchlight vigils of parents calling for their children to be groomed for unconventional sexual behavior.
Like smoking, unconventional sexual behavior can lead to a variety of health and social issues immediately as well as later in life.
However let it never be said the government can't get anything done. Increasing youth sexual confusion from 2% to 39% is nothing to blow smoke at.
As always, if you know something, say something, and say it to: WHISTLEBLOWER@openrecords.org.