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Email Conversations

In the interest of showing the whole truth, we have dedicated this section to unedited copies of email conversations with Mr. Thompson. While we edit for length and readibility elsewhere on the site, here you can find the full texts. The only modifications we make to these letters is to hide the email address for spam's sake, and to hide the name of the participant at request.

We can only host conversations when we have permission. If you want the full text of your conversation with Mr. Thompson hosted here, contact us here.

Some of Mr. Thompson's conversations include long quotations from his open letters. We have removed these segments where noted, and the full texts of his open letters can be found here.

Table Of Contents

  1. Concerning Dean Walsh, National Institute on Media & Family
    1. Between Walsh and Thompson
    2. Letter to Senator Joe Lieberman
  2. With Marylin Dean
    1. I am Very Concerned
    2. Please report in your respective publications that arrests will be made...
    3. Death threats

Concerning Dean Walsh, National Institute on Media & Family

I. Between Walsh and Thompson

[source: Gamepolitics]
October 13, 2005

Jack Thompson
1172 South Dixie Highway
Suite 111
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Dear Mr. Thompson,

I founded the National Institute on Media and the Family ten years ago to engage in research and education about the effects of media on children's health and development. Our original premise that "media are powerful" has been validated scientifically and socially many times over. Our work has been cited by organizations around the world and our credibility has been well established.

One of the areas of greatest concern is the issue of violent media's effect on children. I know that you share that common concern and I am well aware that you have frequently cited me and our organization as a source of scientific information. However, over the past few months, I and members of my board have a growing concern that your use of our name, without our permission, has had a negative influence as we try to educate the public on this important issue.

Your commentary has included extreme hyperbole and your tactics have included personally attacking individuals for whom I have a great deal of respect. I believe that respect is essential in all our dealings, including respect for those with whom we disagree. Some of the people that you have publicly criticized are not only people of integrity, but are people who have worked to improve the lives of children.

Even though we have no formal relationship your use of my name and your inclusion of my name in correspondence have created the impression that we condone these tactics. We do not. The result is that our position and reputation as a research based, non-partisan, solution-focused organization has been jeopardized. Consequently, I ask that you cease using the Institute's or my name in any way that would give the impression that we support your efforts. I also ask that you remove the link to our website that appears on your site.

Sincerely,

David Walsh, PH.D.
[note: the two following letters are Thompson's reply to Mr. Walsh]

[source: Gamepolitcs]
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2005 6:01 PM

Dave, I received your letter today. A couple of clarifications, if I'm allowed to do that.

I have never given the impression that you are anything other than a remarkably talented and insightful professional who has been sounding the alarm for many years about the dangers of adult entertainment when consumed by kids. I started doing that in 1987. Not sure as to the precise date you started, but it has been a long time.

I have never said to anyone that you and I are in league with one another. I did recommend that 60 Minutes and Reader's Digest talk to you about the Alabama wrongful death case. I think it is fair to say you would not have been on those programs if I had not recommended you. I was happen to do it. As you recall, I got you the video gamer to sit with in Tuscaloosa to show the violent content of GTA: Vice City. I was happy to do it.

You will also recall that it was I that urged you to go forward on the "Hot Coffee mod" scandal. You repeatedly called me for legal advice and I freely gave it. As you know, I prepped Senator Clinton, per her staff's request, before she had her splendid "Hot Coffee" news conference. As you will recall, you called me to let me know you were on your way to Washington to do that press conference with her. I was happy for you.

I certainly did, however, lose respect for Senator Clinton when she decided, after that, to attend a fundraiser thrown for her by the video game industry and by ESA's Doug Lowenstein. To me, that was a sell-out for campaign cash. It may be that because you raise money for your organization you understand the needs of fundraising, but to take money from the ESA is to take blood money. The parents I represented in Paducah would not understand, nor do I. I note you send Doug Lowenstein, your letter to me. That is quite odd, given the things you have said to me about him in the past.

I am wondering just who, David, these people are whom I have criticized "who have worked to improve the lives of children." Do you have in mind the folks at Best Buy, one of whom you copied with your letter? I know you get money from people connected with these folks, David, but you do know that Best Buy is presently pre-selling, to adults and to children, the Columbine simulator game, Bully? You do know that, right, David? Of course you do. I told you Best Buy was doing that. So is the Target Corporation, whose Chairman Bob Ulrich you copy with your letter. I am wondering, David, what these men have to do to get on your bad side? Do they actually have to do the physical bullying of kids, as selling a bullying rehearsal trainer to kids is okay?

Finally, Dave, I understand that your letter is more about protecting your funding sources than criticizing me, so I understand what you felt you had to do. But there is something else here. Your role in this fight is indispensable - or I should say has been, as you maybe have decided to go a different route now - and I applaud you for what you have done.

But the thing that makes you feel uncomfortable with me is no so much that I have gone too far but that you have not gone far enough. The time for hand-wringing and trying to "persuade" the bad guys to stop being bad was over quite sometime ago. Now I understand the mindset of the upper Midwest, especially in the Twin Cities. Everybody likes to get along, assume that everyone "means well," and things will all just work out for the best in the end.

I know, and you know, if you are being honest, that that is not how the world works. Evil people sometimes have to be stopped, or at least their evil has to be stopped. You can cite all the studies and all the findings and keep giving your video game report card to Congress, and it will not matter unless somebody gets into the trenches and stops these people. While you have been giving report cards on a bunch of sociopaths, the violent games have been getting more violent.

Senator Lieberman, bless his heart, wants with Senator Clinton to fund a study with taxpayer dollars to find out if violence in entertainment really makes kids violent. That was decided years ago. It is a dodge from having to do something about the violence. The entire ESRB rating system is a joke. It is a tool for marketing violence to kids. It does not stop the sale of violence to kids. You know that. It would be better if we had no system, and then parents would not have been fooled for more than a decade into thinking that the system was actually protecting their kids.

Liberals, like you, love to label things and then think that the labeling has accomplished something. If that had been the case, then Churchill's calling Hitler a Nazi would have ended the war. But no, people like me had to get into the trenches and stop the Nazis. And there were always those tut-tutting back home about what a nasty business it is to stop the bad people, and can't we all just "get along."

Actually, Dave, and this is the point: We can't just all get along. You want to criticize retailers like Best Buy, while at the same time taking their money. That is what prompts your letter to me decrying my tactics and my hyperbole and so forth.

I have been dismayed by your being on both sides of the fence, because it undercuts your credibility.

Dave, it is laughable, it is absurd, that you have copied your email to Bill Gates, of all people. This is a guy whose Halo trained Malvo to kill in D.C. This is a guy who now has put all the Grand Theft Auto games on his XBox. This is a man who is going to release Bully when the coast is clear in the spring.

Gates is a man who wants to be on both sides of a fence. Sound familiar?

Regards, Jack Thompson
[source Gamepolitcs]
October 14, 2005

Dear Dave:

It is interesting that you sent your useful letter (useful to us) to Doug Lowenstein immediately after you received my request for an affidavit in Strickland v. Sony.

If you shared this confidential affidavit with Doug Lowenstein, or with anybody else, as you shared your letter with the video game industry, then you have a problem.

Unfortunately, Dave, you have opened up the issue of your organization's funding. Bad move.

You liked your collaboration with me when I got you on 60 Minutes, but not when it inconvenienced your cozy relationship with Best Buy and the rest of the video game industry.

You got some pretty bad legal advice in this, Dave, but that does not surprise. You're talking to attorney Elliott Kaplan, who sits on the Best Buy board.

Regards, Jack Thompson

II. Letter to Senator Joe Lieberman

[source: Gamepolitics]

Dear Senator Lieberman:

I received late last Thursday a remarkably false and hurtful letter from someone who is a friend of yours and who used to be a friend of mine, Dr. David Walsh of the National Institute on Media and the Family. Two people who got Walsh's letter are you and Doug Lowenstein of the ESA. Therein is the explanation of why it was really sent.

I have over the years repeatedly told Dr. Walsh of my admiration for his knowledge as to the harm caused by mature video games sold to minors. I have done nothing for years but praise him to others, especially those in the media. Dr. Walsh has gotten himself on plenty of prominent news shows about this issue on his own, but I got him on 60 Minutes this year and in Reader's Digest. Dave indicated that he was pleased that I did. Neither of us seeks the publicity for its own sake. We both care about the message. It will save lives.

The three of us, obviously, have shared this same concern about adult games sold to kids for a very long time. When you meet the bereaved families of these victims, they change your life forever, as did the families in Paducah whom I represented. Critics of the three of us don't understand our concern. They haven't met the victims.

The very day I sent Dave a draft of an affidavit for him to sign for our wrongful death case in Alabama, Dave, instead of calling me wrote this letter saying that I needed to stop suggesting publicly and otherwise that he endorses what I do. I have NEVER suggested such a thing, ever. Dave and I have joked about how he is the "good cop" on this issue, and I am the "bad cop."

But if Dave had a problem with my "tactics," I believe you and I both know, as people of faith, that the Biblical principle is that you go privately to the person with whom you have a disagreement and express the concern. Dave NEVER did that. Why?

You see, Senator, I am presently suing Best Buy and Target over Take-Two's planned release of Bully, a Columbine simulator in which you can bludgeon your classmates and teachers. I was on ABC World News Tonight and CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight about Bully and my lawsuit against these retailers. The stakes here are very high.

Dave's organization is funded by Target and Best Buy. Elliot Kaplan is a lawyer who defended Best Buy the last time I sued it successfully, and it is his foundation that, in Kaplan's words "has given millions of dollars to Dave Walsh." Kaplan is a director on the Board of Best Buy. You and I both learned to "follow the money" a long time ago. It can explain why friends write letters that have absolutely no basis in fact but which help those who fund them. Why else would Dave tell me publicly to stop doing something he could have asked me to do privately and which I have never done?

Dave copied you with that letter. He did that because he knew of my relationship with your office, how I have sat with your people the day we were both interviewed for Spencer Halpin's Moral Kombat documentary that is coming out this fall. I am deeply appreciative of your Chief of Staff's tremendous concern and interest in this issue. I have a lovely letter from you thanking me for my abiding involvement in this issue. Nobody here is saying you endorse my methods. You appreciate my concern.

Why did Dave Walsh send his letter to Doug Lowenstein - to make sure that it would be spread all over the world. That is precisely what has happened. You should hear the things Dave has said to me about Doug, about his prevarications. I think Doug is a liar. Dave is too nice a guy to say so publicly, but I am not. Doug Lowenstein, in my opinion, is personally responsible for a number of deaths. He is paid well to spin like the worst propagandists in history. I don't need to tell you the harm that propagandists can cause, the lives they can cost. The Third Reich was founded upon propaganda as surely as it was founded upon armaments. When Doug Lowenstein says the industry wants kids not to buy these games, he is lying. When he says there is no proof that these games hurt kids, he is lying. Dave would not say so. I say so. I'm not nice, and I don't pretend to be.

The reason Dave sent that letter is the same reason the Philadelphia law firm of Blank Rome has embarked on character assassination of me in our case in Alabama arising out of Take-Two's GTA games. Blank Rome has as one of its partners Barbara Comstock, the head of "opposition research" at the RNC. Blank Rome has unethically used her RNC techniques on me because they know they can't win this case, covered on 60 Minutes and in Reader's Digest on the merits, so they have cranked up their Swift Boat Vets approach and used it on me, with no facts to back them up. As Twain said, "A lie is half way around the world before the truth puts on its shoes." Dave Walsh's money people took a page out of the Blank Rome/RNC playbook. I am getting used to it. All it has accomplished is make me more determined to destroy the Take-Two's of the world, by God's grace.

Dave Walsh is a very nice man who blew this one. I happen to think there is room in the world for Dave's approach on games, but I also think somebody has to be willing to get in the trenches and slug it out with sociopaths. Take-Two's Mr. Houser proves in today's New York Times he is just such a sociopath.

With all respect, Dave's Annual Video Game Report Card has not slowed down Take-Two, has it? I have used lawsuits in the past to accomplish some very good things. I made enemies in the process. I am proud to count Doug Lowenstein as one of them.

I wish you all of God's best. I wish people like Take-Two all of Satan's worst. Dave Walsh would not say that, and that is part of his charm. Some of us were not called to be charming. I want to win this thing, not for my sake, but because lives are at stake.

That is what makes what Dave did so hurtful. Instead of calling me up and talking to me man to man, he wrote a letter to Doug Lowenstein.

Blessings, Jack Thompson

With Marylin Dean

[note: Mrs. Dean's first name is often misspelled in this conversation]

[source: forwarded to us by Mrs. Dean]

I. I am Very Concerned

[note: Mrs. Dean refers to the Sims 2 controversy. Please read our The Sims 2 article if you are unfamiliar with this subject.]

From: Marylan Dean
To: jackpeace@comcast.net
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2005 10:07 AM

Subject: I am Very Concerned

I just read Gamespot's article on Jack Thompson, and I am angry that Mr. Thompson does not have all his facts straight. Even after the update, he still believes the Sims 2 is a terrrible, terrible game. I want to reassure Mr. Thompson that the Sims 2 is a wonderful, non-violent game where I, as a 46-year old Christian woman, can not only play without being offended, but enjoy the official Sims2 website knowing how heavily patrolled it is to guard against inappropriate content. Both the website and the game are very family-oriented.

The above image is taken from the Sims2 on my game. I have removed the blur in my game, and this is how detailed Sims look when the blur is removed. This Sim is not modified in any way. I resent Mr. Thompson for attacking the only PC game I play, and I want to assure parents of gamers all around the world that this is simulated life without the real-life problems. The basic Sim theme is to build family dynamics.

Thank You,

Marilyn S Dean aka NoRealLife2
From: Jack Thompson
To: Marylan Dean ; ***
Cc: Curt Feldman ; Christian Svensson ; *** ; *** ; Seth Schiesel
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2005 10:59 AM

Subject: Re: I am Very Concerned [this email, below mine, is from an adult female gamer, for those getting this email]

Dear Marylan:

The picture you've sent [immediately below my letter] is objectionable for a 13 year old as far as I'm concerned, particularly since it is embedded in the Sims 2 game, unclockable easily with a simple cheat code that is being distributed by the New York Times!

You don't walk around nude in your home with the blinds open, do you, Marylan, or in front of 13 year olds? If you think the below okay for kids, then send me your address and I'll alert the authorities.

Many parents wouldn't want their kids playing this game at the age level of "T," with no ID check at the time of purchase, given the amount of reproductive activity in the game and the ability to remove "the blur." The problem, Marylan, is that there are a bunch of video game companies that are being deceptive, with the help of the ESRB, in slipping this into our homes with no adequate warning that they are doing so. Electronic Arts is in fact collaborating with the modders to put pubic hair, genitalia, nipples, etc. on the Sims 2 figures, including the children. The pedophiles out there love it, which is why the mods are all over the adult porn sites.

You aren't concerned about that, now are you Marylan? You cherish your "freedom" more than the innocence of other people's children, now don't you Marylan?

You don't want me to be the arbiter of moral in America? Fine, the vast majority of Americans don't want the ESA and ESRB to be the arbiter of morals either nor women who think nudity distributed to other people's kids is their business but stopping them is nobody's business, right Marylan?

We're going to have legislative hearings all over the place now, now that the ESRB was found to be totally inadequate to prevent the "Hot Coffee" fiasco. Let's decide, through a democratic process, whether the below hidden, embedded material is appropriate in a "T" game. I can abide the democratic conclusion on that, but I bet you cannot.

[note: the letter that follows can be found in our Open Letter Archive]

II. Please report in your respective publications that arrests will be made...

[note:It has been reported by several media that Mr. Thompson has received "death threats" by several angry gamers [1]. The following mail seems to be a reply from Thompson to one of those threats also mailed to various other people, including Mrs. Dean.]

From: Jack Thompson
To: Marylan Dean ; ***
Cc: Curt Feldman ; Christian Svensson ; *** ; *** ; Seth Schiesel
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2005 11:22 AM

Subject: Please report in your respective publications that arrests will be made...

----- Original Message -----

From: ***
To: <jackpeace@comcast.net>
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2005 8:28 AM

Subject: hello

> im going to kill you becauz you are a motherfucking asshole.
Links:

III. Death Threats

From: Jack Thompson
To: Marylan Dean ; ***
Cc: Curt Feldman ; Christian Svensson ; *** ; *** ; Seth Schiesel
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2005 11:49 AM
Subject: Death threats

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
305-666-4366
jackpeace@comcast.net

July 23, 2005

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. Via e-mail

The Honorable Joseph Lieberman
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. Via e-mail

Dear Senator Clinton and Senator Lieberman:

I have had a number of video gamers threaten to kill me in the last few days in the aftermath of the success against Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. This is noteworthy in a number of regards:

1. The people threatening to kill me so are doing so in the name of the First Amendment and “freedom of expression”—not mine, of course, just theirs. Don’t you love it?

2. The use of death threats in retaliation for my participation in the public square serves to prove, rather convincingly, that the violent video games are having the attitudinal effect that psychologists such as Dr. David Walsh and others who have testified before Congress say they have.

3. None of the “video game media” will report that the gamers are threatening to kill me, although I have asked them to report this phenomenon, as it reveals the validity of the above two points.

I would appreciate any help your respective offices could give me in persuading the FBI to act in response to these threats. I don’t think anyone should have to put up with such dangerous nonsense.

Regards, Jack Thompson

[Archive]
From: Marylan Dean
To: Jack Thompson ; esa@theesa.com
Cc: Curt Feldman ; Christian Svensson ;*** ; *** ; Seth Schiesel
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2005 4:14 PM

Dear Mr. Thompson:

It's no wonder you are recieving death threats, if you have responded to other people in the same manner you have responded to me. I am sorry you are so angry, I hope you can find peace. (I know when I get stressed out, I play The Sims 2.)

Also, I wish you would not send me any more e-mails that are threatning and/or contain vulgar language. Out of your four emails you sent me this morning, you, sir, have offended me more than any game.
From: Jack Thompson
To: Marylan Dean
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2005 3:22 PM

Subject: Re:

Oh, I'm not angry. I'm just very determined and successful against nitwits who have nothing better to do with their lives than play video games and corrupt other people's kids. you are so self-righteous, so sad, and so aimless.
From: Marylan Dean
To: Jack Thompson
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2005 4:27 PM

Subject: Re:

Wrongo, tiny one. You are very angry. I'm praying for you that you find peace.
From: Jack Thompson
To: Marylan Dean
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2005 3:51 PM

Subject: Re: Re:

Got it, honey. I'll pray you have no more children.



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