Cable channel Puritan TV – set up only a few months ago by the League of Public Decency, a militant offshoot of Mary Whitehouse’s National Viewers and Listeners Association, to help promote their campaign for higher moral standards in the media – has been branded ‘depraved’ by TV watchdogs, and now faces closure. The station specialises in producing ‘morally adjusted’ versions of those mainstream programmes branded ‘immoral’ and ‘indecent’ by the League. Typical of its programming has been a version of Temptation Island, in which young couples are tempted into infidelity by beautiful, scantily-clad models. At the end of each edition the contestants make a video confession as to the extent of their temptation – they are then punished according to the manner of their ‘sins’. One young woman who admitted to having sexually fantasised about one of the male models was subjected to a bare-arsed spanking that left her cheeks glowing red, whilst a male contestant who confessed to kissing a female model found himself being rigorously horse whipped. In a similar vein, the station’s version of Big Brother featured ten contestants living together in a converted church under the scrutiny of TV cameras and being set tasks – such as not becoming sexually aroused by pornography – to test their moral fibre. Those failing the tasks would be dragged off to the ‘torture chamber’ by masked guards for punishment – one girl who failed the porn test when her erect nipples were spotted through the fabric of her T-shirt as she gazed at a naked photo of David Beckham, for instance, had her ‘impertinent’ breasts severely whipped. Other ‘sins’, such as breaking wind or leaving floaters in the toilet bowl, were also punished, with one contestant – a labourer from London – being forced to immerse his genitalia in a bucket of ice cold water for thirty minutes after being caught masturbating under the bed sheets one night. Doctors later said that he was lucky not to have lost both his testicles to frost bite. However, the station has been rocked by allegations in a Sunday newspaper that the guards and ‘torturers’ in the house had themselves derived perverse sexual gratification from their punishing of contestants. “When I was giving that blonde bird who flirted with the virginal lay preacher the cattle prod treatment, I had the biggest bonk on I’d ever experienced. I thought my trousers were going to burst,” Kirk Robbler, who worked on both series claimed in the article. “When the bulge in my pants was spotted, they dragged me off and gave me a bloody good thrashing – I enjoyed it so much I shot my load!” Indeed, according to the thirty-four year old former Guantanamo Bay jailer, the guard doling out his punishment himself became so aroused that a sadomasochist orgy ensued.

The League has, naturally, dismissed the claims as ‘outrageous’. “It is despicable that anyone should suggest that we’d employ anyone so depraved as to do the disgusting things described by the newspaper. Not that I’ve read it myself, of course. Those Sunday newspapers are nothing but filth, full of women showing their bits. But someone did describe to me the perverted acts they claimed to have engaged in,” said a spokesman for the League. “Obviously, I was appalled and couldn’t believe what I’d heard. I had to get him to repeat it. Three times. I was shocked and stunned – these are family programmes we’re making and to have them sullied by such lies is terrible.” Nevertheless, the Independent Television Commission (ITC) has condemned Puritan TV’s output, stating that it “presents sexual torture, degradation and humiliation in a highly salacious manner with the clear aim of titillating viewers”. The ITC has particularly objected to the programme Its a Sin!, in which viewers are invited to nominate someone of their acquaintance who has allegedly bullied, humiliated, cheated, robbed or otherwise mistreated them – this individual is then kidnapped off of the street and subjected to torture, (including the rack, hot irons and thumbscrews), until they confess to their supposed sins. They are then forced to apologise to their ‘victim’ and perform a penance, which can range from wearing sackcloth and ashes to being tarred and feathered. Many of the contestants on Puritan TV’s programmes have also complained, claiming that they were under the impression that they were to take part in normal reality TV shows, and were given no indication that physical punishment would be involved. Several are now threatening legal action. Nonetheless, the League of Public Decency – which gained notoriety for the attempted lynchings of several TV executives it accused of being pornographers, and its violent campaign to outlaw Father Christmas, which it considered to be a pagan symbol of commercialism – has vigourously defended it’s channel’s programming. “It is highly moral – those who sin are inevitably punished, whilst the righteous are rewarded”, says a spokesman, pointing out that the Bible is full of examples of God testing his servants’ faith by visiting appalling misfortunes, disasters and temptations upon them. “ We believe that the station is setting an excellent example for the youth of today”. The ITC disagrees, citing the recent case of a Macclesfield teenager who, inspired by Puritan TV, set up his own torture chamber in his parents’ garage and proceeded to subject neighbouring children to inquisitorial sessions as he sought to find out who had stolen his bicycle.

The threatened closure of its TV station is simply the latest blow to strike the League of Public Decency, which appears to be on the verge of collapse. The League’s leader, Ezekial Deacon – who once called for the destruction of the millennium Dome because it resembled a gigantic woman’s breast – has recently been accused of hypocrisy, after pornographic images were apparently found stored on the hard disc of his computer. Engineers repairing the computer at a branch of PC World were amazed to find several hundred images of naked women’s bodies the head of the late Mary Whitehouse placed on their shoulders. “These are some of the best faked celebrity nude photos we’ve ever seen”, said a PC World spokesman. “You can hardly see the join!” The pictures invariably unite the TV clean-up campaigner’s head with the body of a large breasted woman, often in an explicit lesbian encounter with other fake celebrity nudes, including Britney Spears, Barbara Windsor and Celine Dion. At least one picture shows her apparently taking it up the arse from the late Cardinal Hume. The most disturbing images show Whitehouse as a whip-cracking dominatrix subjugating none other than Deacon himself. The images of Deacon – in which he is frequently chained, being urinated on, or is dressed only in giant nappies – appear not to have been faked. Deacon has claimed that the pictures were planted on his computer as part of a conspiracy by gays, liberals and pornographers to discredit the League. His supporters say that it is unthinkable that Deacon could, in any way, be involved with pornography, pointing out that he is so moral that he will not allow any sexually suggestive objects in his home. Indeed, he once burned a pepper grinder he deemed too phallic and sealed up his letterbox claiming that it was an “obscene caricature of a woman’s vagina”. However, critics believe that this kind of behaviour simply confirms that Deacon is actually so sexually repressed that he can only gain sexual satisfaction through viewing obsessive scenarios of subjugation and punishment. “If he wasn’t a moral campaigner, he’d probably be stalking around Whitechapel murdering prostitutes, or at the very least, showing them his knob”, said one leading psychologist.