David Harten Watson
Controversial romance: False, defamatory, and libelous claims about my protagonist, Pran Gilamondson
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Below is a statement from the protagonist of Fortress of Gold and Magic Teacher's Son, Pran Gilamondson:
I, Pran Gilamondson, must rebut the false, defamatory, and libelous claim that I (Pran Gilamondson) am a pedophile who engaged in "pedophile type encounters." I am now reviewing my legal options to get these false, defamatory, and libelous statements about me taken down from the website where they were anonymously posted. The anonymous person lied about the age of my two love interests -- they're both over seventeen, not twelve as the reviewer falsely claimed -- and also lied about my age (I'm sixteen, not seventeen as they claimed)! How can I possibly be a "pedophile" when both of my love interests are older than me? That's absurd, false, defamatory, and libelous, so I am reviewing my legal options (any lawyers reading this? If so, please read to the end).
In total, the anonymous Internet troll posted six lies about me (6, count 'em) in just four sentences in their false, defamatory, and libelous online post.
The first two lies were
(1) My age (I'm 16, not 17)
(2) The age of my love interests, who are both 17 or older, and since I'm 16, I can't possibly be a "pedophile" for falling in love with people older than me, so it is libelous to claim that I am.
(3) The third lie claims that we were sexually "fooling around" when all we ever did was kiss, hold hands, and hug. It does not matter how old you are to kiss, hold hands and hug (rumor has it that some parents have even been known to hug their children, LOL). We never saw each other nude, and we frankly never even commented on the other person's body, because we are attracted to each other for their personality and their face, not their body! It is a tame, chaste romance, a sweet, innocent romance, not sexual, and anyone who claims otherwise is lying. Who knows where it will lead in the future, but so far it has always been a sweet innocent, nonsexual love.
(4) The fourth lie, and the most defamatory and libelous, calls my holding hands and kissing my love interest "pedophile encounters", when in fact we were both over age 16, the age of consent is 16 in the state where we kissed, so we were both above the age of consent, the other person is older than me (not younger, older!) and again, we never did more than kiss, which is not illegal no matter how old you are!
(Are any lawyers out there reading this so far? Keep reading please, so you can tell me if I have a legal case to have these false, defamatory, and libelous comments removed from the Internet, or if my status makes me unable to do so).
(5) The fifth lie, which is a real whopper, is that in the documentary written about my adventures on Earth (Fortress of Gold, Book 2 of the Magicians Gold series), the romance "was not needed to further the plot or for character development." On the contrary, the romance was ESSENTIAL to the plot and the character development! It's a sweet and innocent first-love and coming-of-age story, as described in the editorial review by Reader's Favorite (a coveted five-star review). Without the romance, Fortress of Gold would just be a simple heist story, plus magic. Without the romance, both of the main characters would be flat characters, without the kind of emotions and feelings you'd expect in a young-adult coming-of-age story, which is also a story of first love, in all its confusing and complicated forms.
6) The sixth lie is that the five false statements above somehow make Fortress of Gold "Inappropriate for young adult readers" (False, it's suitable for ages 13 and up, perhaps younger).
As for the ages of the characters involved in the romance in Fortress of Gold, it's the same age difference as in the Twilight books, which were runaway bestsellers, and the Twilight movies, which were blockbuster Hollywood movies!
Let's compare Twilight to Fortress of Gold, point by point, shall we?
(SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU DON'T WANT TO FIND OUT WHO FALLS IN LOVE WITH WHOM IN Fortress of Gold, THEN ONLY READ THE "Twilight" DESCRIPTIONS BELOW, NOT THE "Fortress of Gold" DESCRIPTIONS BELOW)
1) TWILIGHT: A love triangle between a 17-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy and an eternally-young vampire who is over a century old.
FORTRESS OF GOLD: A love triangle between a 17-year-old girl, a 16-year-old boy, and an eternally-young Magician who is over a century old. Sounds similar so far? Exactly!
2) TWILIGHT: The century-old vampire stalks the teenage girl wherever she goes, sneaks into her bedroom while she's sleeping to spy on her while she sleeps, manipulates her, physically abuses her, regularly contemplates killing her, and threatens her that he'll most likely kill her if he stays in the same school as her (that would be a "red-flag alert" in any high school these days). Bella thinks, Oh that's okay, Edward, I will just internalize your abuse as my fault. After all, you're a man so you must be right.
FORTRESS OF GOLD: Each character in the relationship cares about the other's feelings more than their own, and would never do anything to hurt the other emotionally, even if it costs them their own happiness. There is no stalking, no physical abuse, no threats to kill the other person, and no manipulating the other person.
3) TWILIGHT: the century-old vampire has wild, furniture-breaking, bedroom-destroying sex with the seventeen-year-old girl. As soon as Jacob turns sixteen, he runs around half-naked all the time, even in the movies, and yet nobody minded an underage boy running around topless (except my fellow Mormons, but that’s another story. The Twilight author is also Mormon, as am I).
FORTRESS OF GOLD: There is absolutely no sex, only hand-holding, hugging, and kissing. Nobody gets naked, and nobody even wants to see the other naked. Nobody comments on anyone's body. It's a chaste romance, except for the kissing and hugging.
4) TWILIGHT: A sixteen-year-old boy (Jacob Black) falls in love at first sight with a newborn baby girl (Renesmee) and decides he's going to marry her, on the very day she was born! Yes, Jacob saw a newborn baby and immediately decided he was going to marry her. Did any reviewers call that a "pedophile type encounter"? Why not? "Because it's a werewolf thing," Twilight fans will tell you. Okay, that's fair, considering Twilight is fantasy, but Twilight is also billed as young-adult fantasy, and doesn't that sound like too much of a pedophile theme for a young-adult novel, having, a sixteen-year-old propose marriage to a newborn baby girl on the day she was born? Thank God there's nothing like that in Fortress of Gold, or it might be controversial! Oh wait, Fortress of Gold is controversial now, because of an anonymous online troll's lies.
FORTRESS OF GOLD: A sixteen-year-old boy (Pran) finally admits to himself that he and Jelal fell in love almost at first sight way back in the first novel, Magic Teacher's Son. However, both of them are over sixteen, so what's the big deal, their gender? Come on, on Earth it's the year 2019 for Pete's sake, so join the 21st century, don't be a homophobic bigot. Did you know that LGBT teenagers are committing suicide almost every day in America due to such bigotry? It's sad that the Kingdom of Eldor is more tolerant in their early 19th century, agrarian world than America is in its 21st century, cosmopolitan world.
5) TWILIGHT: Purely heterosexual romance, although it's an abusive relationship between a stalker and his victim, whom he is constantly thinking about murdering.
FORTRESS OF GOLD: A mixture of heterosexual romance and gay romance, none of it abusive, as the protagonist (Pran) discovers that he's either bisexual or bi-romantic in this sweet, innocent, coming-of-age, first-love, young-adult fantasy novel. The other teenage characters are mercifully understanding and accepting about Pran having romantic feelings towards both a girl and a boy. One adult character is not quite as quick to catch on to what's happening, but he soon overcomes his shock and comes to accept it as well.
Below are some comments from my author, David Harten Watson, who wrote the two documentary novels about me (Pran Gilamondson). Dave says,
"One lesson teenagers can learn from the novel Fortress of Gold is that being true to yourself and coming out as a teen doesn't have to be a life-shattering, or worse yet, life-ending experience. This lesson be beneficial, even therapeutic to today's LGBT teens, who have a high suicide rate. It's a lesson that is vital for LGBT teens in my own church, the LDS (Mormon) Church, because LGBT Mormon teens are suffering from an epidemic of suicide that was addressed by the HBO documentary by Dan Reynolds (lead singer of Imagine Dragons) titled Believer.
"I should not have to apologize for allowing the characters in Fortress of Gold to make their own decisions and choose to love whomever they choose. I did not plan the gay romance (I planned for Pran, the 16-year-old boy to end up with Vitina, the 17-year-old girl), but once the romance between Pran and Jelal happened, I realized it was true to both boys' nature, that this is what would make them happy. Everyone deserves a chance at happiness, even fictional characters, and the only chance for both Pran and Jelal to be happy was for the two boys to come to accept the love that they so clearly felt for each other ever since the first novel, Magic Teacher's Son. Go back and re-read the first novel, Magic Teacher's Son, and it will become clear that Pran and Jelal always loved each other, but Pran was unwilling to admit it, even to himself, until Jelal gave him the opportunity to express his true feelings. The relationship between Pran and Jelal is true love, there is nothing sexual about it, and I refuse to apologize for it!
"Even though the age difference is the same in the Twilight series as it is in Fortress of Gold, I've never heard anyone call the romance in Twilight "pedophile type encounters" not even when the century-old vampire in the Twilight novels had wild, furniture-breaking, bedroom-wrecking sex with the teenage protagonist, unlike Fortress of Gold, in which they merely kiss! Also, in the Twilight series Edward was a creepy, misogynistic, abusive stalker who not only followed Bella around surreptitiously, but even sneaked into the teenage girl's bedroom to watch her while she slept, and Jacob Black, when he was sixteen years old, ran around half-naked all the time. None of my characters are stalkers like Edward, or exhibitionists like Jacob, or misogynistic abusers like Edward, so a movie version of Fortress of Gold would be rated PG.
"Note: I happened to like the Twilight novels and movies, so I am not saying any of this to denigrate the Twilight series, just to point out that Fortress of Gold is better for young audiences than the Twilight series is. Fortress of Gold is much more innocent, tamer, less risqué, less violent, less abusive to women, and less misogynistic than the Twilight series, by any measure! The main difference is that Twilight had a heterosexual romance, and Fortress of Gold has both heterosexual and gay romance, and a diverse cast of characters including a gay character, a bisexual character, and heterosexual characters, as well as people of color, disabled American veterans, and people from other cultures, nations, and kingdoms."
BELOW IS PRAN SPEAKING AGAIN:
Now here's a link to the false, defamatory, and libelous online post about me, Pran Gilamondson, that used six lies to falsely claim that my first true love, my love for Jelal, who is actually older than me, somehow makes me a "pedophile." Please go to this web page and counter that anonymous post about me with the truth! Read the book about me, Fortress of Gold, judge for yourself, and counter this libelous troll's lies with the truth! https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R7YNYQ63I0IEB/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1683131355
Compare that false, defamatory, lying review to the review by Reader's Favorite, which recognized that the love story in Fortress of Gold is a sweet and innocent romance, so Reader's Favorite said so in their 5-star review, which you can read here: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/fortress-of-gold?fbclid=IwAR2UDV0va63jsfToEs4iPwPHZbBEvSJ0c0jnWiNfiOD4GrNHIFlUmDSwTOc