Thursday, October 22, 2009

AANR Throws "Naked Coffee Guy" Under the Bus

According to an article today in the Washington Examiner, AANR was contacted about the story of the man in Virginia who was arrested for being nude in his own home.
Carlyn Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the American Association for Nude Recreation, declined to comment on the specifics of the case. However, she said, "I'm nude when I'm in my home, but I also keep my drapes closed."

Hawkins said the association advocated naked responsibility.

"We don't want to offend anybody," she said. "We want to be accepted and we don't want any nudist to create any problems."
It's one thing for a blogger like me to comment on the case, but for a national organization to associate itself with this incident is simply terrible public relations. AANR should have simply declined all comments on the basis that the story was not directly related to nude recreation.

By making such an irresponsible statement, AANR has not only labeled Williamson a "nudist", they have also inferred that he is irresponsible, and a troublemaker, without knowing the full facts of the case.

Spokeswoman Hawkins, while technically correct in advising nudists to use discretion, should not be making public statements which perpetuate the notion that nudity is better when it's behind closed draperies and locked doors. Naturally, this does reinforce AANR's interests, which lie in landed clubs which charge admission, and activities which take place behind high fences with locked gates. One cannot state "we want to be accepted", and then advise those seeking acceptance to run and hide.

The Washington Examiner story also reports that police are distributing flyers in Williamson's neighborhood in an attempt to find more witnesses. This is a clear indication that authorities have a very weak case and need more evidence, even if they have to manufacture it.

Just imagine if this had been a woman nude in her kitchen making coffee, with a man outside her window peeking in. Does anyone think for one second that the woman would be the one arrested? No, the key to this case for the police is the 7 year-old child who allegedly saw the man nude in his window. It's always about protecting the children.

And Reason.com is reporting that a half-dozen cops barged into Williamson's home unannounced, entered his bedroom, and arrested him. Nude and dangerous!

It is also reported that the woman who made the complaint disputes the time of the incident, claiming it took place at 8:40 AM instead of 5:30. If that's true, would it not have much brighter outdoors, thus making it more difficult to see inside the house, even with the lights on in the kitchen? Nobody disputes that the woman and her child were on the man's property at the time of the alleged sighting.

I have no doubt that there will be more information coming out on this story in the next few days as police dig in to this man's background, and completely ruin his reputation in the neighborhood as they attempt to justify their overreaction and poor judgement in responding to the initial complaint.

12 comments:

thomas said...

Here is Carolyn Hawkins email address: pubaffairs@aanr.com

thomas said...

Last month, Fairfax County police charged Williamson with public swearing and intoxication. He was convicted of the charge Wednesday morning when he failed to appear in court.

Public Swearing? What kind of place is this?

Naturally Nude said...

I have never been really happy with AANR. They seem more concerned with their clubs than nudist rights. How come the media doesn't talk to The Naturist Society for comment?? I can understand if this guy was doing something lewd, BUT he was just nude.

Only when their clubs are threatened will AANR act.

Naturally Nude said...

PS> I'm removing the AANR links from my blog tonight in protest of their lame response to this and other situations.

Plus I'm a TNS member anyways.

Academic Naturist said...

I hate to point out the obvious, but NEITHER time makes any sense.

The child is at the age where they should be in school on a Monday. School grounds usually open at 7:30 to students, and classes start at 8.

If they were walking at 5:30, then school must've been 6 miles away (at 3 mph). No mother (with a reasonable income) would make her child walk that. They would drive.

If they were walking to the nearby bus stop, then that has to be the longest school bus route ever.

If they were walking by at 8:40, then they were quite late for school. They weren't going to a bus stop.

You bring up the issue of sunlight. I'm led to believe that it happened on October 19th, since the news stories on the 20th simply said "Monday". From what I can gather, it was clear and calm that morning. Overcast wouldn't be blocking the sunlight, and therefore it would be very difficult to see in the window.

I wish I could find the address so I could take a look at his neighborhood...

thomas said...

If you get arrested for Public Swearing you have probably made a cop mad. Wonder if the cop who arrested him for swearing is related to the woman in his yard who made the complaint?

Naturally Nude said...

Academic Naturist- I posted some video on my blog that gives you the view the women saw from outside the window.

Cedar Trails Retreat said...

Carolyn Hawkins could have stated AANR's position a little differently, I agree, but to state that they only have their clubs in mind is false. They work hard with law enforcement and the National Parks service to keep nudism open at public beachs. They just happen to be careful with defending individuals until they have all of the facts. I have worked both with the NAC and AANR in the state of Ohio. Both need to be supported.

Nudiarist said...

CTR,

I am a member of both AANR and TNS. Yes, AANR has a government affairs team, and perhaps they are well-intentioned, but in the case of San Onofre, I believe they have done more harm than good by not backing the NAC lawsuit.

What irritates me to no end is the poor public relations skills exhibited by so many in the nudist community. Carlyn Hawkins simply should have refused comment on the basis that the story of the man arrested for being nude in his kitchen was unrelated to nude recreation. Now when anyone Googles "nudist" or "AANR" for news, they will get the story about a man arrested for indecent exposure.

There's some sort of political struggle going on between AANR and TNS that is not beneficial to nudists and naturists. I agree with you that we need BOTH organizations to be healthy, but when AANR organizes a skinny-dip event and refuses to invite TNS to share in the event, and when they undermine the NAC's efforts at San Onofre, one has to wonder if the motivation is simply to push TNS and the NAC over the cliff.

A TNS member who works closely with the NAC once told me, "NAC has extended the hand of friendship and partnership on more than one occasion. It has been bitten or ignored repeatedly."

It makes absolutely no sense that such a small subsection of society, nudists and naturists, can allow themselves to be split on issues of a common interest, simply because the organizations in which they place their trust and money are having a schoolyard brawl.

Academic Naturist said...

"TNS member who works closely with NAC"? I've heard similar statements from multiple NAC and TNS representatives. It's not just one person's opinion, it's a general consensus.

Mark said...

It's hypocritical of TNS bloggers to say that "...we need BOTH organizations to be healthy..." and then do all you can to drive a wedge between them. Plus your reasons are flimsy and outdated.

1. Since we don't know if this "coffee guy" is a nudist or not, it's unfair to accuse AANR of "throwing him under the bus."
Yes--why DIDN'T the media ask TNS about this. They should have. But it's awfully petty to take your frustration out on AANR for someone else's decision. And what is TNS doing for this guy if he's such a fine upstanding nudist? Funny how there's no mention of that.

2. AANR does have beach groups, and is doing great work to protect nudist rights at beaches. I know because I have volunteered on these projects for years. You'd know too if you got any of your opinions from someone outside of TNS.

3. The World Record Skinny Dip was an AANR-specific event.
Since TNS seems to hate resorts so much (except when they need a place to hold a conference), why would they want to be invited to an event which was designed to promote resorts?

I see alot of people lamenting the fighting between AANR and TNS, but all they do is point fingers. If this fighting is so bad, then get up and DO something about it. But I don't think that's what you want.

If you want to keep TNS & AANR apart, at least be honest with your readers and provide solid reasoning, not cut & paste hearsay.

Nudiarist said...

Mark,

First you say that I'm driving a wedge between AANR and TNS, and then you acknowledge that they are fighting. I don't have any power to set these national organizations against each other, they've done it by themselves.

And how do you know the media didn't contact TNS about naked coffee guy? Maybe, just maybe, they had the common sense to keep their mouths shut on the issue until the time comes that it is a clear nudist or naturist issue.

I fully understand that AANR has done some good work on some beach issues, but this has always been a Naturist Society issue. At San Onofre, AANR sat on the sidelines while the NAC did all the fighting for naturist rights.

You say that TNS "hates" resorts - well, they have over 250 organizations in their network, many of them landed clubs like Sunsport in Florida, where the winter gathering will be held this year. The reason TNS likes to have their gatherings at venues which cater mostly to textile events is to gain more widespread acceptance. It's something that Lee Baxandall advocated, and he's 100% correct in his assessment that naturists and nudists will never be understood by the majority of people if they keep hiding behind their own fences.

TNS has put its hand out to AANR many times, yet AANR has somehow made the decision in the past couple of years that they are the only "credible" voice for nude recreation, and that means working against TNS and the NAC.

I absolutely do want people to take action. I have urged my readers time and time again to join the national organizations and their local groups and work for change.

I am a member of TNS and AANR, am a full member at a landed AANR resort, and a contributor to NAC. I am also probably the most prolific writer on naturist issues on the Internet. If everyone did half as much, nudism and naturism would become mainstream.