Jefferson Poland

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John Jefferson Poland
BornJuly 12, 1942
Known forSexual Freedom League

John Jefferson Poland (July 12, 1942 - November 17, 2017) also known as Jay or JJ Poland, John Fuck Poland, and Tortuga Bi Liberty, was an activist, a convicted pedophile, and a co-founder of the Sexual Freedom League.

Early activism[edit]

Poland was a student at Florida State University and majored in Sociology. He was expelled from that university in 1960 for his integrationist work with the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE). He participated with the Freedom Riders in Florida and in June, 1961 was one of the "Tallahassee Ten" who were arrested for unlawful assembly at a segregated airport restaurant. A year later, he was involved in Ban the Bomb activities.[1][2]

Poland moved to California and worked as an agricultural labor organizer, renting a room in the home of Dolores Huerta. He worked with CORE to register black voters in Louisiana in the summer of 1963.[3]

Poland participated in one of the first known LGBT rights demonstrations in the United States. Poland, along with organizer Randy Wicker and several others, picketed the Whitehall Induction Center in New York City to protest the US military's exclusion of homosexuals from military service and the violation of confidentiality of gay men's draft records. Sources differ on the date of this demonstration, with some citing 1963 and others 1964.[4][5][6][7][8]

Sexual Freedom League[edit]

In 1963, Poland founded the Sexual Freedom League in New York City with Leo Koch.[9] He then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and focused his organizing efforts near the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University. Poland founded various chapters, including ones in the East Bay, San Francisco, Berkeley and San Diego. However, he did not run these organizations himself; he would found them and then turn them over to others. Poland was a graduate student at San Francisco State University.[10][11][12][13][14]

Poland, on August 25, 1965, conducted a "Nude Wade-in" he led with Ina Saslow and Shirley Einseidel at Aquatic Park, a public beach in San Francisco. This event was reported in the San Francisco Chronicle and Time. At least one UPI photo of this event is archived at the Library of Congress.[15][16][17][3][18][19][20]

Poland, calling himself "Jefferson Fuck Poland", had, in 1966, his name legally changed thereto and identifying as bisexual.[21]

While at San Francisco State University, Poland with Blair Paltridge, were connected with a magazine called Open Process. They were suspended for printing and writing obscene material in the November 14, 1967, issue of the magazine.[22][23][24]

Poland was a subject and contributor to the underground newspaper the Berkeley Barb.[25][26]

In 1968, Poland signed the "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.[27]

In May 1968, the Diggers theater group held an event they called the "Free City Convention," at the Fillmore West (then known as the Carousel Ballroom) when Poland held a sex orgy.[28]

Poland, after attempting to attend the Berkley City Council meeting of September 22, 1970, was arrested and later convicted of disturbing the peace and interfering with a police officer in the line of duty. He served 90 days at Santa Rita Rehabilitation Center near Dublin.[29]

Psychedelic Venus Church[edit]

In 1970, Poland founded the Psychedelic Venus Church (PsyVen or PVC), an offshoot of the Sexual Freedom League, with Mother Boats becoming President. He felt that the leadership of the Sexual Freedom League was becoming too "bourgeois". The (entheogenic) sacrament of the Psychedelic Venus Church was marijuana and, after lighting up, at each meeting a woman was chosen to be Venus. At the beginning of services, she was placed on an altar, candles were lit on each side of her, and her vulva was smeared with honey. Each of the males (and some women if so inclined) at the meeting licked the woman's vulva in order to honor the goddess Venus. Then the orgy began in earnest. Meetings continued in the San Francisco Bay Area until 1972.[30][31][32]

The Church had 700 members by 1971 but disbanded in 1973.[33]

Jefferson Poland Archive[edit]

Poland turned over his archives to the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley, where they are now available for public viewing by academic researchers.

Sex offense, flight, and name change[edit]

By 1980, Poland had moved to San Diego.

In 1983, Poland was charged with child molestation. Apparently, in 1980 a nudist couple had entrusted Poland with the care of their daughter while they were attending a swinger party while nude sunbathing on Black's Beach in La Jolla, a neighborhood of San Diego. Years later, the couple's daughter accused Poland of having performed cunnilingus on her while her parents were away.

Poland fled the country and he lived for five years as a fugitive in Australia. In 1988, he was extradited back to the U.S. By that time he had changed his name legally to "Clitlick." He pleaded guilty to CA Penal Code 288(a), "lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14 years of age," a felony. He served about nine months in San Diego County Jail.[34][35][36][37] He was monitored as a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.

Personal life and death[edit]

Poland moved back to San Francisco in the 1990s and lived near the Civic Center, San Francisco. He died at San Francisco General Hospital on November 17, 2017.[38]


  • Sex Marchers by Jefferson F. Poland and Sam Sloan (1968) ISBN 1881373053 published by Elysium Growth Press, 2nd Edition (2006) ISBN 0-923891-13-7 by Ishi Press
  • Second Bite of the Apple, The Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley, Collection number: BANC MSS 70/143 c
  • The Records of the San Francisco Sexual Freedom League by Jefferson F. Poland and Valerie Alison with preface by Herbert Gold, Olympia Press, 1971, ISBN 0700413200


  1. ^ "Sit-in at a Miami diner". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  2. ^ Dalzell, Tom (November 15, 2014). "Gone: Sexual Freedom League (And a Look at Body Freedom)". Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Sides 2009, Ch. 2.
  4. ^ Fletcher 1992, p. 67.
  5. ^ Hekma 2014, Ch. 13.
  6. ^ Grant 1995, p. 135.
  7. ^ Wilson, Erin Faith (June 25, 2015). "Beyond Stonewall: 9 Lesser-Known LGBT Uprisings". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  8. ^ Belonsky, Andrew (September 19, 2013). "Today in Gay History: The First Gay Protest".
  9. ^ Allyn 2000, p. 43-44.
  10. ^ Marinacci, Michael (July 1, 1998). "Sex, drugs and Hindu Godes: The story of the Psychedelic Venus Church". Archived from the original on February 3, 2003. Retrieved June 30, 2001.
  11. ^ Rorabaugh 2015, p. 110.
  12. ^ St. Clair, Katy (September 24, 2003). "Children of Om". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  13. ^ "Berkeley Historical Plaque Project - Sexual Freedom League". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  14. ^ Schaefer 2014, Ch. 1.
  15. ^ "Sexual Freedom League Collection at The Kinsey Institute". Retrieved July 27, 2007.
  16. ^ Hoffman 2015, p. 221.
  17. ^ "Nude bathers Ina Saslow, Shirley Einsiedel, and Jefferson, an official of the Sexual Freedom League, wade out of water as crowd gathers around them, Aquatic Park, San Francisco". Library of Congress - Research and Reference Services / UPI. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  18. ^ Barton, Ruth (February 2012). "Screening Irish-America: Representing Irish-America in Film and Television". Journal of American Studies. 46 (1): 259–260. doi:10.1017/S0021875811001630. ISSN 1469-5154.
  19. ^ "Students: The Free-Sex Movement". TIME. March 11, 1966. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  20. ^ "Time Mag (3/11/66): "Students: The Free-Sex Movement"". June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  21. ^ Allyn 2000, p. 53.
  22. ^ United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities (1967). Hearings. p. 2055.
  23. ^ ""Subversive Influences" - House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  24. ^ "American Civil Liberties Union News, volume xxxiii, number 1. January 1968. "ACLU Intervention and Concerns; Due Process at S. F. State College"". January 1, 1968. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  25. ^ "Chron buckles to sex group". June 23–29, 1967. p. 2. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  26. ^ "Women passive?". June 23–29, 1967. p. 2. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  27. ^ "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" January 30, 1968 New York Post
  28. ^ McNally, Dennis. "Fillmore West 1969 - The Complete Recordings (Grateful Dead record liner notes)". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  29. ^ Boats, Mother (November 13–19, 1970). "Fuck gets ninety days for democracy!". Berkeley Barb. p. 5. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  30. ^ The Records of the San Francisco Sexual Freedom League by Jefferson F. Poland and Valerie Alison with preface by Herbert Gold, Olympia Press, 1971
  31. ^ Clifton 2006, p. 148.
  32. ^ Holzer 2015, Ch. 3.
  33. ^ Kelly, Aidan (January 30, 2013). "A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, 1967-1973, Part II". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  34. ^ Craft, Nikki. "Jefferson Clitlick Freedom Poland: Convicted Naturist Pedophile". Retrieved July 27, 2007.
  35. ^ "California Megan's Law website". Archived from the original on August 1, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2007.
  36. ^ "View Case Detail". Retrieved June 29, 2016. Case number CR97508
  37. ^ "CA Codes (pen:281-289.6)". Archived from the original on May 12, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  38. ^ Imgur. "Death certificate of John Jefferson (Jay) Poland, 1942-2017". Imgur. Retrieved 2019-02-21.

Cited texts[edit]

  • Allyn, David (2000). Make love, not war: the sexual revolution, an unfettered history. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-03930-6. paperback ISBN 0415929423
  • Clifton, Chas (2006). Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Paganism in America. Rowman Altamira. ISBN 0759102015.
  • Fletcher, Lynne Yamaguchi (1992). The First Gay Pope and Other Records. Boston: Alyson Publications. ISBN 1-55583-206-7.
  • Grant, Linda (1995). Sexing the Millennium: Women and the Sexual Revolution. Grove Press. ISBN 0802133495. (reprint)
  • Hekma, G. (2014). Sexual Revolutions. Springer. ISBN 1137321466.
  • Hoffman, Brian (2015). Naked: A Cultural History of American Nudism. NYU Press. ISBN 0814790542.
  • Holzer, Hans (2015). Witches: True Encounters with Wicca, Covens, and Magick. Hachette Books.
  • Rorabaugh, W. J. (2015). American Hippies. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 1107049237.
  • Schaefer, Eric (2014). Sex Scene: Media and the Sexual Revolution. Duke University Press. ISBN 0822376806.
  • Sides, Josh (2009). Erotic City: Sexual Revolutions and the Making of Modern San Francisco. Oxford University Press. ISBN 019988854X.

External links[edit]