• Dennis McCaslin

Like-minded authors should be a warning to parents about sexual abuse of children


In February of this year, Gabriel Matzneff, the French writer who wrote (and talked) openly for decades about engaging in pedophilia was charged in a Paris court with promoting the sexual abuse of children.

Up until weeks before the charges were filed against Matzneff, he was a celebrated writer, regarded by many as a distinguished writer.

Matzneff,, now shamed and criticized, has been the focus of multiple blog discussions in the River Valley.  One such blogger commented, “How anyone could have ever applauded and appreciated Matzneft’s writings is beyond me.” 

Another blogger commented, “This was in France.  What do we care?  We wouldn’t see this in America, let alone Arkansas.”

Dear, anonymous blogger, I beg to differ.

Have you ever heard of Donald Harington?  Harington was a fringe writer with a cult following and previous professor of history at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Before his passing in 2009, Harington authored just over a dozen books, many of them heavily laced with strong sexual themes involving incest or pedophilia.  Harington’s books, “Ekaterina,” and “Lightening Bug” are listed among some of the best-selling pedophilia books of all time.

According to Harington’s obituary, another novel, self-proclaimed to be the “riskiest ever” was entitled, “With.”

“With” is the story of a 7-year-old girl abducted by a retired police officer.  The officer takes the young girl to a remote cabin in Arkansas to make her his child bride. 

Hartington gave many interviews about the novel.  In one interview Harington admitted that he had crafted the novel “With” after the abduction of Morgan Nick.

This pedophilic novel was so popular that it required a second edition.

If that didn’t sink in, allow me to phrase it this way:  Harington’s pedophile infused novel was popular right here in the United States.  Right here in your own backyard of Arkansas.

Kim Willsher published an article in the Los Angeles Times about the French Writer, Gabriel Matzneff and they included a quote from the now disgraced author:

“When you publish something it is a public confession, he said.  “That’s what writers do, that’s why writers are the first to be shot because they leave written traces.  They write, they confess their sins.”

This quote is particularly chilling when you consider that when interviewed about his books, Donald Harington explained that all of his books had a common theme:  Harington always interjected people he knew, places he had seen, things he had done, ideas he felt were important, along with other small bits of truth into his writings.

Remember, most of his books are sexually charged with disturbing themes of incest and pedophilia. Several of his book covers and titles include a heart or a butterfly.


According to detailed information released by the FBI, pedophiles, and those who produce, distribute and trade child pornography, use various types of identification logos or symbols to recognize one another and to distinguish their sexual preferences.  Hearts and butterflies are among these symbols.


Furthermore, a quick search of Harington’s publishers includes a company called “Lake Union Publishing” that released numerous books with pedophilia themes.


Do these things make Donald Harington a pedophile? Certainly not.


However, it should make us take pause. After all, Harington, much like the French writer Matzneff before his fall from grace, has been held in high esteem as a writer. His works have been praised… even those with pedophilic themes.


Are we this blind as a society?


When there is smoke. There is fire. How long will we ignore it?


Matzneff wasn’t a “good guy” just because he was churning out published stories that were widely embraced. The power, money and glory he received merely covered up the truth: He was (and is) as child predator.


Harington has openly written about kidnapping and pedophilia -- and has even written about a child in our community -- Morgan Nick!


It’s almost as if everyone is looking the other way because, well, everyone else is. It’s time to speak up and demand some answers.


Why was Donald Harington receiving accolades and making money by writing about sex with children? There is no glory in that.


Why did we as a community allow it by embracing it? Most importantly, why was Harington allowed to go to his grave without being questioned for his motives in writing about pedophilia?


Who and what was Donald Harington?


Don’t you want to know?


Don’t we need to know?





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