Publisher Robert Harrison's Statement About the Trial (Confidential, September 1957)
Hollywood vs. Confidential

A Publisher’s Statement:

California has accused us of a crime
   --the crime of telling the truth!

THAT THIS MAGAZINE IS UNDER ASSAULT in the California courts is, we assume, a fact known to most of our nine million readers. We have been indicted by a Los Angeles County grand jury on charges of:
        1. Conspiracy to publish criminal libel;
        2. Conspiracy to publish obscene and indecent material;
        3. Conspiracy to disseminate information about abortion;
        4. Conspiracy to disseminate information about male rejuvenation.
            A California Assistant Attorney General has stated to the press: “In my opinion CONFIDENTIAL is finished.”
            This is a determined effort, initiated by a segment of the motion picture industry, to get this magazine.
            We bold no secrets from our readers. In our first issue, nearly five years ago, we promised to “publish •• the facts” and “name the names.” We have kept that promise; and our readers have made us successful. We have the world’s largest newsstand sale. We sell more than three million copies per issue; and each copy, conservatively, is read by three adult, free Americans.
            Nine million Americans are worthy of respect. We respect them. Our success is due to their appreciation of our efforts to establish the truth and to maintain the right for them to hove the truth.
            We deal only in truth; and here—frank and honest—is the truth about this effort to ‘get” us.

                A precious and historic American principle is this: truth may he distasteful but truth can never he libelous.
                In an American courtroom, under the Stars-and-Stripes, thank God, truth stands as the unassailable shield against charges of libel.
                Our readers will note that nowhere in the California allegations are we charged with falsehood. We are charged only with telling the truth. We are prepared to prove the truth; and the hope of those who would “finish” us is that they can persuade an American jury that truth can he libelous
                We don’t believe they can do it

                We believe that the truths we have published- some of them unpleasant for certain people    have been in the public ihnterest and in the best traditions of American journalism.
                Not maliciously do we publish the truth about the homosexuality of a government official who held a position of high public trust. We don’t hate or despise such an official. We want only to keep faith with nine million Americans who are entitled to the truth.

Free Americans have the right to know how, at a time of great danger; scores of homosexuals - admittedly grave security risks - came to infest our State Department.
            Is an American jury going to “get” us for daring to tell that truth? ...  We don’t believe so.
            A portion of the motion picture industry has some political power because of dollar contributions. Why is this portion of the industry so anxious to “get” CONFIDENTAIL?
            Our readers know the answer, but we’ll state it briefly.
            “Hollywood” is in the business of lying. Falsehood is a stock in trade. They use vast press-agent organizations and advertising expenditures to “build up” their “stars.” They “glamorize” and distribute detailed - and often deliberately false - information about private lives.
            Because of advertising money, in these “build-ups” they have the cooperation of large segments of the daily press, many magazines, columnists, radio and TV. They have the cooperation of practically every medium except CONFIDENTIAL… They can’t “influence” us, so they want to “get” us.
            The trouble with their “build-ups” is that they create a phony atmosphere which spoils some of those who are “built-up,” From Fatty Arbuckle to Bergman-Rosellini, Hollywood has had trouble with its “spoiled darlings” who have decided that the rules for “ordinary” mortals don’t apply to them.
            Some of these spoiled people became Communists to show how big, bad, bold and unconventional they are, others have flaunted their sexual depravity.
            All we have done is “blow the whistle” on a few of these spoiled ones. We have given the truth to our readers who have wanted and were entitled to the truth.
            And for this, Hollywood wants to “get” CONFIDENTIAL.
            We know that an American jury will decide in our favor.

            WE ARE NOT GUILTY OF “CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE OBSCENE AND INDECENT H MATERIAL.” Since its inception, CONFIDENTIAL has gone through the United States mails, a privilege that is denied to publications which are obscene and indecent. When has truth become “obscene and indecent’?”
            Is the book, Peyton Place, obscene or indecent when it details one sexual intercourse after another?
            Is Reader’s Digest obscene and indecent when it instructs women in how best to experience the act of love?
            Is Hollywood being obscene and indecent when Baby Doll finds blessed release with the artful stranger in her husband’s absence?
            Obscenity and indecency depend on purpose. Our purpose has been to tell the truth.

WE ARE NOT GUILTY OF DISSEMINATING ILLEGAL INFORMATION ABOUT ABORTION.”  Instead, in our only article on this subject we exposed the practices of criminal abortionists and warned women of the horrible risks and dangers involved.
            And as to “male rejuvenation,” our interest has been the same as that of other American magazines. Science is seeking to prolong male potency; and we have tried only to report the developments.
            We do not underestimate this effort to “get” us. We concede that those who want to “finish” us are powerful and resourceful. They have some tricky arguments; they are artists in the old three-shell game.
            But we expect to survive. For we believe that even those Americans who may not like what we say will, nevertheless, defend our right to say it.
            We doubt that the time has arrived when Americans can be “gotten” for the crime of telling the truth.

                                                                                                                                         --- Robert Harrison