Adam & Eve Founder Phil Harvey Marks Half-Century Pioneering Business of Pleasure

Adam & Eve Founder Phil Harvey Marks Half-Century Pioneering Business of Pleasure

Through its websites, mail-order catalogs and ever-growing chain of franchise stores — which reportedly experienced a record-breaking year despite the pandemic — Adam & Eve’s unique and unrivaled multiplatform marketing approach has made it arguably the most successful retail distributor of sex-related merchandise for the past half-century.

That success did not come easily, without trials and tribulations. From its modest beginnings in 1972 in the back of a Chapel Hill restaurant as a mail-order operation for condom sales. Adam & Eve’s parent company PHE, named for founder Phil Harvey, has come a very long way.

The origin story of this particular Adam and Eve begins neither in The Garden of Eden nor in North Carolina but rather in India, however unlikely that may seem. Born in Illinois and growing up in Connecticut, there’s still a trace of midwestern twang in Harvey’s drily witty account of the path from idealistic Harvard grad class of ’61 to CARE volunteer in South Asia.

“The army came in between,” Harvey, who gives interviews in a casual ensemble of shirt, trousers and baseball cap, explains, “which is kind of important to the way I felt about the world. I think it solidified to some extent my interest in living and working in a country with a different culture and a different religion. CARE had a lot of postings. They tended to hire Americans for overseas posts.

“My feeling was that India was a real possibility and that was exactly what I wanted. It’s almost halfway around the world. It’s certainly not the U.S. It’s a different culture with many different languages, a different religion and a lot of people there speak English.”

Noting the enormous changes in India’s economy since that time, the India Harvey experienced was “very, very poor.” Probably the biggest surprise was the exclusive status of foreigners. Foreigners were considered privileged. You had to have servants because you were supposed to provide jobs when you could afford it. It was really rather pleasant. I had a swimming pool and a small but very nice apartment with a cook who slept in the hallway. I handled all the CARE shipments through the port. It was hard work but very exciting.”

The program in which he participated concentrated on feeding school children and much as he found that satisfying, the analytical thinking that would serve him well over the coming years both as a philanthropist and an executive recognized an inherent flaw in the methodology.

“We were feeding more and more school children and every year we got more and more behind. It became clearer and clearer to me that family planning, which was already the subject of lively discussion at the time, was necessary for people to take control over the number of children they want.”

While Harvey enthusiastically joined “the lively discussion” over how a contraception-based approach could lift a poor country out of privation, the logistical challenge of doing so on such a massive scale called for unconventional thinking.

“The idea, the system, the approach which we came to call ‘social marketing’ involved using commercial infrastructure to promote and sell subsidized contraceptives to very, very large numbers of people without depending on hospitals, clinics and doctors. Social marketing involves a specific product. The idea was to make it possible for people to have a very low cost, high-quality, convenient contraceptive that everyone could afford and then advertise the hell out of it. The magic here is that we simply became another consumer good heavily advertised, and therefore welcomed among retailers who made a little profit off of every sale, giving people incentive just through the normal course of business.”

Seeing the immediate impact of making condoms available through “tens of thousands and then hundreds of thousands of little stores that sell bidi and cigarettes” left Harvey “completely sold” on the social marketing concept. He brought it back with him to the University of North Carolina on a Ford Foundation grant to pursue a master’s degree in family planning administration, or as Harvey describes it, “to become an instant expert in a field where there were no experts.”

It was there he met Tim Black, a British doctor and fellow family planning advocate who would become Harvey’s partner in his first attempt at social marketing contraception here in the U.S.

“As soon as we started talking to each other we were absolutely a team,” Harvey recalls. “Tim kept saying ‘we’re selling enterprise to enterprise using commercial techniques. The U.S. government ought to love it.’ Well, the U.S. government didn’t like it all that much. A lot of lawyers told us we should be very careful because we could go to jail for five years under this statute which dated from 1872. But we decided that if we were going to end up in jail for selling condoms to college students, many of whom were getting pregnant at the time without wanting to be, we’d get pretty good publicity at the very least.”

It’s hard to believe in this day and age that selling condoms by mail was, in effect, an act of civil disobedience. The Comstock Law, (named for self-styled anti-vice crusader Anthony Comstock, a uniquely reactionary figure in America’s long struggle to overcome its puritan heritage) forbade interstate sales of contraceptives. Though seldom enforced, it remained a federal statute under which prosecution was theoretically possible.

Nevertheless, they went forward, creating a company that would later be called Adam & Eve in 1969 to socially market condoms through ads in campus newspapers.

Very much as the social marketing model would have predicted, sales of condoms to college students were brisk when promoted with clever tags like “Sex is Your Business (Birth Control is Ours).”

“The economics quickly became clear,” Harvey remembers. “Neither one of us had any business training but we could see that there was more money coming in than going out. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that this could be the basis of a viable business. If we could build it and make some profit, we could use it to finance our overseas programs.”

The building process took some time. It was nearly a decade before the company could at least partially liberate Harvey’s programs from donor funding.

“We spent a lot of time dealing with donors, something neither Tim nor I was very good at.”

There was a steep learning curve in the practice of mail order, but the underlying principles were fairly simple. Harvey read up on the subject, concluding that “the basic message was you had to come up with a catalog or other offerings so the people who buy your advertised products will come back for other purchases in order to have a viable business over the long term.”

Ken Lassiter, an affable, self-described “country boy” who worked his way up from warehouse stock clerk to his current position as Adam & Eve’s ecommerce merchandising manager, characterizes the response to some of the company’s early attempts at mail-order retailing as mixed at best.

“We sold camping equipment and knives and model kits. We sold Indiana Jones hats and jackets. We got a kick out of having these things in the warehouse. We purchased some of that stock ourselves. Some of the employees even modeled the jackets for the catalog.”

Safe to say this merchandise didn’t exactly fire up consumer interest, but the effort yielded valuable insights.

“Lingerie did produce some response,” Harvey found, “but the non-sexual stuff didn’t interest anyone at all. It had no below-the-belt appeal as we called it. But anything that did have below-the-belt appeal sold very well. If we put in a book that had some nudity, it flew off the shelves. We gradually realized what we had was a business focused on sex and sexuality, which both Tim and I thought was fine. If that’s what condom buyers want to buy, that’s what we’re happy to provide.”

This was during the height of the phone-sex era and the company even operated a number of profitable “hot-talk” lines.

“Nothing had the same response as the adult material,” Lassiter recollects. “When the VHS boom hit, business exploded. If my memory serves correctly, some of those tapes we sold for $75. The company growth was astounding.”

Reflecting on the era, Harvey said, “There was a time when if you wanted to see porn, even high-class porn, you had to go to a theater. When the videocassette came along, it revolutionized the entire pornography market. It was the video cassette that really made our business take off.”

Flying smoothly along thereafter into the mid-80s, Adam & Eve was a happy shop under Harvey’s casual management style, which Ken Lassiter came to know well.

“He treated everybody the same whether they cleaned the bathrooms or worked in management. He gave respect to everybody. He never held you to doing things his way. He’d come in every couple of weeks, look at some charts, sit in on some meetings, sit down and have lunch with the employees. He had an open mind and gave everybody an opportunity to have input. We were like a family. Phil gave us a sense that we were part of something bigger, that we were doing something good in the world.”

Bob Christian, who would later come to be in charge of the company’s video production operations, gives a telling description of his first visit to Harvey’s office.

“Phil was low-key, humble, unassuming and friendly. His was the smallest office in the building and it had no windows. It was literally a former large closet. He explained that he was in Washington, D.C. much of his time and saw no reason to occupy prime real estate when people who work at the company every day should have the best spots.”

Under Harvey’s aspirational leadership, the company grew rapidly. Morale was high and the mood optimistic. Adult merchandising seemed to offer new opportunities for expansion every day.

The Seige of Adam & Eve

With opportunity comes risk. Anthony Comstock may have been long gone, but his malign influence proved to have a life of its own.

Even as the VCR revolution brought adult entertainment into the living room, powerful forces were marshaling to push back against it. Living in Ronald Reagan’s America was a rude awakening for the burgeoning adult video trade. Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese was the point-man for a broad prosecutorial assault on the industry already underway even before Meese’s hand-picked commission of anti-porn zealots released its infamous report in July 1986.

When Adam & Eve began selling adult videos through their catalog in 1980, Harvey was aware there was some legal exposure in the company’s trade but could not have anticipated the ferocity with which the authorities would come after his business and the eight-year, $3 million battle to defend his First Amendment rights.

“We were new to the game and pretty naive,” he explains. “We sold some movies at the time that we wouldn’t sell today. We didn’t have a very good screening system. We didn’t have a review process to evaluate the content.

It could be said that the strict and detailed code of standards and practices covering all products sold by Adam & Eve was to an extent forged in the crucible of the company’s epic struggle with the federal government, beginning May 29, 1986 with the raid on the firm’s headquarters in Carrboro, North Carolina by 37 officers from a variety of state and federal agencies. Armed and bearing warrants, they herded the employees into the warehouse while they surveyed the premises.

Before the day was over, 118 employees had been searched, questioned, photographed and issued subpoenas. File cabinets were wheeled out. Computer records were seized. Clearly unaware that PHE’s home base engaged exclusively in sales, agents demanded to see “where the videos are shot.” To their evident disappointment, they were informed that no production occurred on the premises. At the end of the day, they left without making a single arrest, but this was only the opening salvo in a much wider conflict.

An accomplished writer of both fiction and non-fiction in addition to his other talents, Harvey gives a gripping account of the ensuing conflict in his 2001 book “The Government vs. Erotica: The Siege of Adam & Eve.” In New York at the time when the warrant was served, he flew down to find that the company offices resembled a battlefield.

“I felt as though I had been shoved off the bank of a river into swirling water with very little to do but hang on, look for help and grab on to anything that floated.”

Nevertheless, going under was the last thing he had in mind.

“Could we carry on?” he writes. “Our lawyers had been reassuring that we could not be closed down without a trial; that official suspicion of obscenity did not permit the prior restraint of materials like videos, books and magazines if they had not been found obscene through due process of law. If we could staff our company, we could probably stay open, which would provide the funds we needed to defend ourselves.”

T o those who have encountered the sharp end of government power, Harvey’s concern that his employees might not return was entirely realistic.

“The following morning,” Harvey writes, “nearly every one of our employees showed up for work. Not only were they there, they were angry. ‘What right have they got to do that to us?’ ‘No one was breaking any laws!’ ‘Haven’t they heard of the First Amendment?’ ‘Who the hell do they think they are?’ I grinned from ear to ear, but partly from embarrassment. I had greatly underestimated these fine people. They didn’t like being pushed around by a bunch of bullies any more than I did, and they weren’t going to take it lying down.”

The bond of loyalty between Harvey and those who worked for/with him had withstood its first test as it would others to come.

Harvey fully expected to be indicted under federal laws prohibiting the distribution of obscene materials. Rarely does such a show of force like what had been staged fail to result in eventual prosecution. Particularly troubling had been the presence of agents from the Utah State Bureau of Investigation during the raid. It’s a long trip from Salt Lake to Carrboro. What had brought them all that way?

In fact, their presence was indicative of a multi-state prosecution strategy intended to compel those indicted on obscenity charges to defend themselves in venues all over the country wherever their products had been sold. It was a ruinously expensive struggle that could and did drive companies shipping sexually explicit materials interstate to bankruptcy. This kind of “venue shopping” for juries likely to be hostile to pornographers is as devastatingly effective as it is legally questionable.

The architect of this approach was Brent Ward, a lifetime anti-porn crusader who happened to be based in Utah, a fact not one bit more coincidental than it seems in explaining the presence of a Utah badge among the raiding party. Ward called his legal vendetta “Project Post Porn,” a rather ominous double-entendre. It was aimed at mail-order distributors of adult content, but the real implication was clear enough. Ward intended to end interstate sales of such merchandise once and for all.

His clever whack-a-mole game was not entirely popular with all branches of federal law enforcement. Interestingly, the FBI, which had already given Adam & Eve a discreet look-over and found nothing meriting action, had declined to participate in the Carboro raid, leaving the task to postal inspectors.

Not knowing where the federal case, if there was one, might ultimately be filed, Harvey elected to build his defense close to home first with the unexpected choice of Chapel Hill-based David Rudolph as the company’s chief counsel. Rudolph was highly regarded for his work in criminal law but had never tried an obscenity case before. Neither had Wade Smith, who would defend Harvey personally, nor had Joe Cheshire, acting as the company’s co-counsel. But all were familiar local faces in the region with impressive legal track records.

For Rudolph, it was the beginning of a long relationship with Harvey and his company. Accustomed to dealing with flamboyant high-profile criminal defendants, Rudolph was surprised by his first meeting with Harvey.

“He wasn’t what I expected, as you can imagine,” Rudolph recalls. “He was very bookish, slight, understated, obviously very smart. His politics were aligned with my own. I was impressed. As putative defendants go, he was certainly on the attractive side, part of an all-star group of defendants.”

Rudolph proved a quick study when it came to obscenity law: “In an obscenity case, the facts don’t matter much. The way the defendants present themselves doesn’t matter much. It always boils down to the material and the arguments. It’s show-the-movies-and-decide.”

It would come down to exactly that after an excruciating three-month wait. Weary of the U.S. Department of Justice’s dilatory duck-wrangling, the District Attorney in neighboring Alamance County secured a nine-count indictment against Harvey, figuring that a finding there would pave the way for proceedings in other jurisdictions. In some respects, overeager prosecutor George Hunt played into Harvey’s inclination to contain the case locally.

Understanding that jury selection might be the decisive phase of the trial, Rudolph and the other members of the team conducted surveys and did focus groups to take the temperature of potential jurors on adult content.

“What we found out,” Rudolph recalls, “is that it is a very religious community. Over 60 percent of the people we surveyed went to church more than twice a week. That ended up being the cut-off for us. Two or more times a week we might challenge.”

Even with excellent representation and solid advance work, the outcome was in no way guaranteed. The consequences not only for himself and his company but for his employees as well weighed heavily on Harvey, who entertained the prospect of cutting a deal with the prosecution that would have meant shutting down Adam & Eve for good. But if convicted on all counts, Harvey may have been looking at a 45-year maximum sentence in addition to ruinous fines. All the choices were unattractive.

Ultimately, the decision to give up without a fight was the most unattractive. This would be a consistent theme in Harvey’s engagements with ever-larger units of government. Characterizing himself as “a First Amendment absolutist,” Harvey repeatedly elected to repose his trust in the common sense of ordinary citizens who would view his products from the jury box. Harvey’s description of watching his company’s videos in open court gives a sense of how severely that faith was tested.

Half an Hour With Vanessa Del Rio

“It wasn’t by accident that the video featuring Vanessa del Rio was chosen by the prosecution to begin the screenings,” he later wrote. “In this tape, she is lust personified; she epitomizes the kind of sexual performance that sexologist Marty Klein has described as especially threatening to the establishment because it demonstrates how women can be lusty without being bad.

“In these clips the performer’s olive-skinned body, round buttocks, full red lips, pendulous breasts and slick pudenda are accompanied by the depiction of an unbridled, even aggressive sexual appetite. The video shows her having sex with a series of men, most of whom she easily bests in acrobatics, enthusiasm and pure heat.”

If the visual elements were shocking to the sensibilities of a small-town jury, the raw language and orgasmic screaming certainly would have been no less so. As Harvey observes in his trial notes, “30 minutes of Vanessa is a long time.”

The rest of the videos might have been a bit tamer but no less literal in their rendering of sexual congress. Trying to divine the jury’s response to what it saw and heard was like consulting the Sphinx.

The outcome suggests the prosecution overplayed its hand, particularly by relying heavily on the testimony of the reverend Gregory Barkman, ideological heir to Anthony Comstock. Harvey’s counsel suspected Barkman, a local minister of particularly rigid moral beliefs who found sin everywhere he looked, might be more off-putting to jurors than del Rio’s dirty talk.

Barkman did not disappoint, castigating all who worked for Adam & Eve as “unfit citizens.” It was a jeremiad too far.

After one hour of deliberation the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. In post-trial interviews the jurors did indeed seem more offended by Barkman’s arrogant self-righteousness than by anything they saw on the big TV monitors. One juror characterized him as “the biggest hypocrite there is to say such things. As a Christian and a Baptist, it was awful.”

It was a hard-won and deeply satisfying victory. Just as Rudolph had predicted, it came down to showing the movies and letting the citizens decide. Harvey’s trust in the common sense and common decency of the common people had been validated.

In a charming regional locution, Ken Lassiter describes the response of the employees to the verdict as “pure jubilation.”

Hold the Champagne

This should have been the end of Adam & Eve’s legal problems, but it was only the beginning. The jubilation was greatly deflated when, on the very day of the verdict, U.S. attorney Sam Currin announced that regardless of the acquittal in Alamance County “It’s still full-steam ahead as far as our federal investigation of Adam & Eve is concerned.”

If anything, the humiliating defeat of the initial prosecution had reinvigorated the feds’ appetite for making an example of Harvey, who found himself under simultaneous grand jury investigations in Utah, Kentucky and North Carolina.

This time Harvey didn’t wait for them to come and get him. In a bold counterstroke, he sued the federal government for using multiple prosecutions to abridge his First Amendment rights.

He won that one too. When his suit finally made its way to the bench of U.S. District Court Judge Joyce Hens Green in July of 1990, she ruled that the government was attempting to suppress “constitutionally protected activities through the use of harassment.” She also enjoined the Justice Department from prosecuting Harvey in more than one district at a time.

When the intrepid porn busters of the National Obscenity Enforcement Unit, tasked with the implementation of Project Post Porn, found themselves limited to pursuing Harvey in only one court, they made the obvious choice. He was indicted on obscenity charges in Utah, even though the company had redlined shipping its products to the state four years earlier.

In the next round of this legal triathlon, the stakes would be even higher.

While Harvey and his legal team may have had their suspicions about the seeming coordination among federal prosecutors pursuing pornographers in different jurisdictions, they hadn’t yet heard of Project Post Porn and were unaware of the existential threat it represented – until the Utah indictments. Once again, Harvey faced the choice between committing to another long, costly and exhausting conflict or what would amount to a negotiated surrender.

Says Rudolph, “We fought the case in Alamance right from the start. There wasn’t any question about that. It was when the feds came in and started indicting, especially in Utah, that we started saying ‘what the fuck is going on here?’ We realized that there was going to be a coordinated strategy. They were indicting this person in this jurisdiction and that company in that jurisdiction and the goal posts were always moving in terms of what they wanted to settle the case. It was clear to me that settling in Utah would not be the be-all and end-all of this case. We’d heard that companies were going out of business. Phil had a very successful company making significant profits. If Phil Harvey wasn’t going to fight Project Post Porn, who else could? There was literally no one else in that industry who could have done it.”

At that point the prosecution’s offer on the table had escalated to a $750,000 fine. Taking that deal, as Rudolph realized, would embolden the opposition further. This led to what became known as Rudolph’s “outburst” during a meeting to consider further negotiations.

“Dave Rudolph suddenly stood up and said, ‘Goddammit, we’re talking about the First Amendment here!’” Harvey writes. “He looked at me. ‘If you don’t stop the government, who will? Every time we agree to a fine, they raise the ante. If we agree to these guilty pleas and escalating fines, there’ll be no end to it.’ He was addressing everyone now. ‘Someone’s got to take a stand. If not PHE, who will?’”

Harvey describes this as “a defining moment.”

“It was becoming more and more clear that a guilty plea on our part would lead to the annihilation of one company after another. But on this day, Dave had reached his limit. There was just too much at stake.”

There would be no deal, and no easy win for Project Post Porn. Once again, despite the very real risks, Harvey elected to go to trial. This time the outcome was quicker and more definitive. Siding with Judge Green, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the Utah charges with prejudice on May 26, 1992, almost six years to the day after the Carrboro raid, citing “substantial evidence” that the Justice Department had “used repeated criminal prosecutions to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights.”

It wasn’t quite the final skirmish in a war that had gone on much longer than anyone expected. The gumshoes paid another call at Adam & Eve’s warehouse, confiscating a list of customers, resulting at last in a guilty plea from Harvey – for a misdemeanor charge of violating postal regulations as a result of using the wrong size typeface on his envelopes. The plea bargain came with a $250,000 fine (that’s a whole lot of postage stamps) but it was the government’s last shot.

It would be difficult to overstate the significance of Harvey’s victory over Project Post Porn.

As Rudolph describes it: “We put a stake into the multiple prosecution strategy. We have memos that Brent Ward, whose idea I think it was, wrote to Ed Meese saying, ‘We can drive them out of business, indict them in multiple successive jurisdictions, apply the law so they won’t be able to operate.’ This was a clear strategy designed not so much to win as to drive companies out of business. It was a strategy of attrition intended to run defendants out of money. Judge Green’s injunction was the death knell for Project Post Porn. All of a sudden they couldn’t just indict people willy-nilly in multiple jurisdictions.”

The nationwide trade in sexually explicit products would not be what it is today if Phil Harvey had capitulated or lost in court. Instead he secured durable protection for Adam & Eve and other sellers of erotica to operate with relative confidence in most of the country. There are still states, including Utah, where the risk of isolated obscenity prosecutions remains, but the threat of ruinous sweeping attacks on multiple fronts simultaneously had been vanquished.

The Price of Victory

In the protracted legal process, expensive lessons had been learned. Harvey very much took to heart Rudolph’s contention that obscenity cases were ultimately about the material. Adam & Eve, though found not guilty, had lost some of its innocence. It would never again be naive to the risks of distributing potentially toxic content, even if that content was constitutionally kosher. Going forward, the company would set its own boundaries around what was acceptable in the depiction of sex well inside the legal parameters of protected speech.

“Our lawyers said we needed a much more rigorous review process. That process was greatly strengthened. In the beginning of establishing the new standards we had to have a ‘pass’ signature from two independent, certified sex educator-therapists. Now we have a unified standard supervised by a sex therapist. Our lawyers said if we wanted to avoid getting into the mess we’d been through again this was a good way to avoid it.”

Sex educator Lloyd Sinclair, who Harvey describes as “one of my favorite people in the world,” took charge of the review system, which he would oversee for a number of years, and for him it all came down to consent. In a letter he wrote to Harvey during the legal maneuvering, he made it clear that, generally speaking, “non-violent, non-coercive sexual depictions, regardless of their explicitness, are not harmful to normal adult viewers.” To this broad principle he carved out an exception.

“However, when violence or coercion is depicted with sexual content, some negative effects are seen in some viewers.”

According to Harvey: “Lloyd was particularly concerned about so-called positive outcome rape scenarios likely to encourage unscrupulous men to keep on fucking after the woman says no. We must not and will not do anything to encourage this. A sex scene with a rape in which the woman ends up enjoying it, I would consider potentially harmful.”

How strictly did Sinclair construct the concept of consent?

“On one occasion when I was in North Carolina and he was giving demonstrations of things that would pass muster and things that would not,” Harvey recalls. “There was one scene in which a delightful lady was fellating her husband in bed in the morning when he was asleep. Lloyd said, ‘no consent, can’t do it.’ I said ‘Come on, Lloyd, for God’s sake surely consent can be implied here!’”

Sinclair didn’t waver: “Nope. No consent, can’t do it.”

There would be no more nonconsensual scenes and, at the time, no material with S & M, although Harvey points out by way of how the company’s standards have evolved along with community standards to a degree “we do sell some S & M now, as long as it’s consensual.” In short, nothing the company sold could be accused of eroticizing harm.

This would be further extended to exclude a number of sexual practices that, while benign in themselves, might be offensive on other grounds. “In the early days,” he says, “Our lawyers wanted us to avoid gay sex. No homosexuality. That changed, of course, as the world changed.” The company now operates a separate website, AdamMale.com, geared to the gay market.

While there have been modifications to the specifics of the product vetting process, the system itself has remained robust.

Harvey admits that “a lot of people now think it’s too robust.” Even he has occasionally found it so: “there was a period of about six months when we couldn’t sell anything in which the actors had tattoos. Well that couldn’t last. There were arguments over scenes that were dark, ominous and threatening. I’d say that was art. Nothing wrong with that.”

Harvey himself, who outspokenly maintains that a pleasurable sex life is a basic human right, did not adopt these tough measures out of personal prudery. Far from it. The imposition of such strict internal review simply protected his ability to sell sexually explicit images of any kind. It was an approach that would reverberate indirectly through the products of other companies.

Adam & Eve’s mail-order catalog, with its muscular mailing list, had become a retail powerhouse to which other companies sought entry for their own video titles. If they wanted in, the price of admission included adherence to the Adam & Eve rules. Asked if this made his firm a gatekeeper of sorts, Harvey somewhat ruefully admits that this is “the downside” of its success. It wasn’t a role he relished. If left up to him, “I would only draw the line at kiddie porn and non-consensual activity.”

Many would probably be surprised to know that Harvey enjoys a cordial and mutually supportive relationship with legendary gonzo producer/director John Stagliano, who has also gone a few rounds with the government over what the public should be allowed to see. Fellow libertarians and supporters of The Cato Institute, their political views are as similar as their products are different.

“Stagliano’s material, leading to his own clash with the authorities, involves some very weird and strange sex practices that the feds thought a jury would be offended by,” Harvey said. Nevertheless, asked if Adam & Eve would sell Stagliano’s work, he cautiously answers: “I personally would carry some of it if it were clearly non-coercive and clearly showed weird, bizarre sexual practices enjoyed by people who wanted to do them. But it wouldn’t get through our internal system.”

T o some extent the issue of acceptable video content has receded in importance as Adam & Eve has moved away from selling videos to concentrate on retailing sex toys, the demand for which has exploded during the pandemic. According to Ken Lassiter, toy sales are up 100 percent over last year.

Of course, the company has standards for those too. All toys sold under the Adam & Eve banner must be manufactured using body-safe components and while they do sell some basic, 101-level bondage gear, none of it is likely to endanger the consumer.

Adam & Eve Goes to the Movies

Adam & Eve hasn’t completely abandoned marketing erotica and is unlikely to do so, given the power of the company’s brand identity when attached to explicit sexual depictions, particularly those sharing a certain perspective on erotica established in the earliest days of PHE’s video presentations.

“We still sell DVDs in the print catalog and offer streaming videos on our VOD site and a membership site called Adam & Eve TV, for reasons I’ve never completely understood,” Harvey says with a dry chuckle. “We are still very much in the business of selling and promoting erotic visual material.”

The lateral diversification from retailing erotica to actually creating it didn’t happen overnight. It wasn’t until the company was out from under the dark cloud of legal jeopardy that it took the first cautious steps into video production, initially in partnership with companies including Vivid Entertainment and Wicked Pictures, whose titles were already sold in the Adam & Eve catalog.

Not surprisingly, PHE’s initial foray into producing on its own was a pair of sex education tapes that would establish a durable template for another kind of social marketing. Its first solo titles were “Nina Hartley’s Guide to Oral Sex” and “Nina Hartley’s Guide to Anal Sex,” released in 1998. The fit could not have been more seamless.

Such programs were virtually prosecution-proof under the obscenity standard established by the Supreme Court in Miller vs. California. In order to be deemed obscene, the work taken as a whole had to lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. By those criteria, sex education videos were clearly protected speech.

And Nina Hartley, already an extremely popular performer with a large following, was an obvious choice with a background that included a nursing degree and an established reputation as an articulate advocate for sexual learning. The Nina Hartley Guides series that began with those first two releases would ultimately come to comprise 40 installments and sell nearly a million units. The first of them continues to sell through Adam & Eve’s catalog today. As Hartley observes, “someone turns 18 every day and needs to learn how to give a good blowjob.”

Clearly, independent production was a logical path for a company already prospering in video retail sales. Harvey would guide PHE along that path, but always at some distance. Never a micro-manager and comfortable delegating responsibility for various aspects of the firm’s operations, Harvey was eager to redirect his attention to his primary focus on family planning.

While Harvey increasingly devoted his energies to his broader mission, someone with the right sensibilities and the right skills had to mind the store when it came to Adam & Eve’s expanding video production operations. In Bob Christian he found the man for the job by a seemingly unlikely confluence of circumstances.

Continuing his business’s established practice of diversification, Harvey had acquired a company that sold vitamins for which Christian had been working.

Coming onboard in 1986 with the memory of Harvey’s epic legal struggles still fresh, Christian – a personable, avuncular corporate executive with a fluffy white beard and the winning smile of a natural negotiator – was not without some concerns.

Describing a moment on a plane before formally joining the company, Christian recalls: “I looked around and wondered if this was a mistake – was I going to enter a sleazy world? Then I realized that my job would help people with their sexual health, and everyone on the plane cared about that. With PHE, I would be helping potentially everyone on the plane, and everywhere.”

A common thread running through conversations with PHE employees is the extent to which Harvey’s sense of mission disarms hesitations about the specific nature of PHE’s operations.

One of Christian’s favorite stories, dating from the era when the company still operated phone-sex lines, concerns the manager for the division "who found religion and explained to Phil that she needed to quit her job because phone sex was too dirty. Phil pointed out to her that phone sex performs a valuable service for mental health, sexual health and well-being and that it is actually the safest form of sex imaginable with zero chance of disease transmission or pregnancy. The manager stayed with PHE for another 15 years or so.”

In keeping with Harvey’s adaptive management style, he didn’t silo personnel in whatever their original positions might have been. Though Christian had started out on the sales side of the company, Harvey eventually tapped him to oversee video operations.

Christian’s a bit tongue-in-cheek when talking about his qualifications as a producer.

“I do have the artistic and creative side of me. In high school I was in charge of stage productions. I was the lighting guy. I was the sound guy. I was the curtain guy. It was actually a gig. Our high school was quite advanced and when Broadway shows would come touring, they’d pay me $500 for a show. I was also an actor in high school.”

Ironically, he played Judge Hawthorne, “the hanging judge” as he puts it, in “The Crucible.”

Taking the helm of Adam & Eve’s production division “wasn’t all that much of a stretch,” Christian remembers. “I was more of an executive producer. There was always someone a little more hands-on at the creative side. But I got to think about the process and have some input in it, to ask for a few things my way here and there. It was fun.”

Christian’s own instinctively favorable perception of the company’s intentions was validated by the early choice of Nina Hartley’s educational tapes as production properties. They were the first programs to go out the door for wholesale, as well as through the established direct marketing channels.

Next came Candida Royalle’s Femme Productions titles. Once again, the choice was consistent not only with Harvey’s ideals but also with his eye for properties consistent with the tastes of Adam & Eve’s viewers.

Says Christian, “We perceived that our largest customer base was couples or partner-oriented and that was an influence in the choices we made.”

If Nina Hartley’s educational videos appealed to the curiosity of women and couples regarding the specifics of pleasurable sex, Candida Royalle’s story-driven features spoke to their appetite for sexual entertainment set within a believable world of natural eroticism between partners. Critical of standard scenes ending in an external ejaculation, Royalle's films were not “goal-oriented” towards a final “cum shot"; instead, her films placed sexual activity within the broader context of women's emotional and social lives.

Though not a conscious goal at the time, a collateral accomplishment for which PHE isn’t often recognized was its inclusion of women’s perspectives in the content mix through the support of women directors. Christian proudly reels off the roster of women with directing credits on Adam & Eve projects: “Names coming to mind include Jamye Waxman, Tristan Taormino, Stormy Daniels, Kayden Kross, Skye Blue, Kelly Holland and Kay Brandt. We never set out to open doors for women per se and Phil never said: ‘open doors for women’. We just sought the best directors for various projects and genres. We’ve always operated with the belief that men and women share much of the same mindset when it comes to erotic content.”

Looking at the industry today, again there’s evidence of the company’s broad influence. Says Christian, “Industry-wide I think women are clearly established as part of the community. Just look in a copy of XBIZ and see all the women directors, and women owners of studios and cam companies.”

Christian, who recently retired after almost 30 years maintaining Adam & Eve’s movie production machinery, reflects on the profound changes that have occurred. “The business model is disrupted,” he agrees, by the glut of free porn on the internet. DVD sales, which powered the mighty engine of ambitious features, have plummeted as the easy, anonymous access to hardcore content has ballooned. Christian and Harvey agree there’s still demand for X-rated through-line stories told with high production values. But the small-transaction model on which profitable web content providers depend makes big pictures harder to finance and harder to justify in terms of R.O.I.

“Adam & Eve Pictures is still making features, just not as many, nor with the higher budgets. But we know that customers do still enjoy feature stories and we are making them and streaming them on our Adam & Eve sites for VOD and membership,” Christian concludes.

But his nostalgia for “walking down the red carpet,” which he describes as the most fun part of producing, is shared by many in an era of reduced expectations for any given title.

Harvey, a theater buff himself who put in a cameo appearance as a wartime president in the 2006 period piece “Tailgunners,” and has been known to do some serious stage acting (when not otherwise occupied with his philanthropic and political causes, his ongoing business ventures, his prolific authorship of fiction and non-fiction books and the occasional fishing trip) recognizes the ongoing appeal of lavishly staged presentations. He points out that the catalog still sells “a few copies of ‘Pirates,’” the 2005 mega-hit made on a rumored seven-digit budget.

How to recover that kind of investment through streaming video remains an unsolved mystery. Asked if a high-end platform like Netflix for high-production-value erotica could succeed, Harvey agrees it might be possible, but with other revenue streams continuing to keep PHE comfortably afloat in a sea of liquidity, a massive investment in an untried market does not align with the fundamentally practical and unsentimental approach he brings to all his ventures.

From his early experiences as a family planning activist he derived important lessons about the economies of scale. Small amounts of money spread out over a wider base can produce large or even spectacular results, especially when allocated with an instinct for diversification.

Build It and They Will Come

Adam & Eve’s move from strictly mail-order sales into brick-and-mortar stores was logical but not instantly successful, beginning in 1998 with four company-owned locations in close proximity to the corporate offices that didn’t generate a lot of buzz, or business.

David Keegan, the genial, mustachioed general manager at Adam & Eve Franchise Corporation (AEFC), describes the growing pains afflicting those early efforts.

“The first stores didn’t work out quite as well as expected. The company didn’t have the retail experience to run a store profitably. They had trouble with inventory. They had trouble with merchandising. They knew how to do things really, really well inside their warehouse, inside their facilities, but they didn’t feel they had the strength and abilities to run a brick-and-mortar store because they’d never done that. They didn’t have the retail experience to run a retail store.

“So at that point, [PHE, Inc. President] David Groves and Bob Christian and Phil Harvey said ‘Let's franchise it. Let’s use entrepreneurs to grow our business and grow our name and spread our brand.’ They used the word ‘entrepreneurs’ because they believed those people would invest more time, effort and energy to run our stores than a corporate employee would. They’re in it to win it.”

Those wins, however, were attainable only with the continued support of the parent corporation.

“In the beginning of our franchise foray we’d open up the store, give them the name and that was sort of it. I came in to put some standard systems and programs and an operations manual in place to give some structure to the franchising effort, which really had none at the time, and grow it into a major force within Adam & Eve.

“The first thing I did when I hit the ground was visit every single store,” says Keegan, who was recruited from General Nutrition Centers in 2009 to bring his extensive background in franchising to the operation. It gives some idea of Keegan’s capacity for heavy lifting that he describes this nationwide odyssey of visiting Adam & Eve stores, as making port calls at “only” 21 locations spread out over the entire country from Idaho to Texas “and everywhere in between.”

His mission was to “put some structure to the operation and “grow it into a major force within Adam & Eve.”

Good-humored, bespectacled and mustachioed, under Keegan’s supervision, AEFC has grown from those original 21 franchises into the current 85. “All things start and end with me when it comes to franchising,” Keegan says, fully acknowledging the vital roles played by his colleagues in keeping the wheels turning. “My main job is to create programs and systems with my team’s help that will enhance the operators’ chances at being successful.”

PHE’s effectiveness at doing so is all the more impressive when viewed from the historical perspective of the firm’s earliest forays into direct retail, beginning with four company-owned stores in 1998. No corporation can be all things to all customers. Too much vertical integration carries the opportunity cost and capital exsanguination inherent in trying.

Very much in keeping with PHE’s established policy of working in partnership with independent entrepreneurs, franchising locations to individual owners was a logical way to deliver the parent company’s merchandise to walk-in consumers. It did so while outsourcing the expense and management responsibilities of daily store operations to the franchisees.

How well? The exact numbers are closely held, but Keegan estimates store sales overall stack up to about $57 million a year. That’s a tall stack from which the company enjoys a healthy return. At a time when brick-and-mortar retail overall is struggling to keep its doors open, Adam & Eve locations have enjoyed steadily rising trendlines in store visits and purchases. The all-important Black Friday number for 2020, down by half for most retailers, was up 17 percent for Adam & Eve.

None of this happened by accident. PHE’s brick-and-mortar success was built on a sturdy foundation of practical experience and strategic thinking. Selling products for which there is a durable demand helps too.

“What we sell is enjoyment, it’s wellness, it’s health,” Keegan says. In every way that’s a view shared throughout all of PHE’s operations. The idea of a pleasurable sex life as a basic human right is pervasive throughout the company’s activities, including in its relations with its franchisees and their retail purchasers.

Keegan was instrumental in putting systems in place to maximize the value of the brand identity for the benefit of both the franchisees and the company. “Unlike a lot of other franchising companies we don’t force [our systems] on individual operators,” he said. “Our approach is more open-ended. Sometimes that works really well and sometimes it doesn’t work as well as it should. Entrepreneurial spirits want to do everything their way and sometimes that is not good for the brand.”

But first, while developing the support mechanisms to assist those entrepreneurial spirits, he had to recruit them. Recognizing early on the importance of advertising to get prospective operators, Keegan acted on it. However, getting operators to sign on wouldn’t guarantee their success or the success of the franchising venture overall. Brand identity requires a model. That model was still under construction when Keegan came on-board. He gives much credit to business consultant Chad Jenny in drawing the blueprints for it.

“Chad and I went out eight years ago and started looking at clothing stores to see what we could adapt from them. We incorporated our colors – red, black and white – into the model. We used very good fixtures and lighting and so on. We’re always tweaking it. We use input from our operators based on their experience to enhance the look of the stores. It’s an ongoing process of evolution.”

Because of the breadth of the franchise’s range of merchandise, Keegan welcomes the growing availability of sexually oriented products, as they have grown more acceptable through mainstream channels like Spencer’s, Walgreens and Amazon.

Looking toward the future, Keegan sees not only continuing demand but expansion into new markets in the U.S. and even abroad. Europe has had upscale erotic retail stores for years, going back to those founded by German sex pioneer Beate Uhse. The demand for quality adult products sold in appealing surroundings is already large and growing in Japan and Korea. Keegan sees possibilities in parts of South America where disposable income is rising.

Adam & Eve has taken its first steps into worldwide marketing with the acquisition of Australia’s Excite Group in a career capstone deal engineered by Bob Christian. It will now be selling pleasure products online “down under,” so to speak.

There are no Adam & Eve stores there as of yet, though Keegan makes no secret of wanting to see locations open up in that part of the world, pointing out that “we already have a warehouse there,” so the beachhead has been established.

It’s a development Phil Harvey finds encouraging as well.

"With the addition of a major erotic products company on the other side of the world, Adam & Eve has become truly international. We soon expect to be selling a growing number of toys and accoutrements for better sex on all continents — except perhaps Antarctica!" he said in a recent interview.

While enthusiastic about the prospects, Keegan is very much a realist, seeing the presence of Adam & Eve stores on foreign soil as “still a couple of years down the road.”

“My goal is to have 400 stores in the U.S. We know that there’s a population of 225,000 you need in order to operate a store so I need four hundred stores.”

If anyone is going to help Keegan realize that projection, it’s Chad Jenny, the store system’s powerhouse national business consultant who serves as the company’s most direct liaison with its network of franchisees. His portfolio in that position contains enough duties, specialties and abilities for an entire corporation, ranging from product buying to employee training to event planning to website tech support. His personable, relaxed presence and easy candor reveal much about his pivotal role in keeping the stores running smoothly and maximizing their profitability.

Jenny began his 13-year tenure at PHE managing the customer call center, a critical nexus in the company’s mail-order division. The job positioned him ideally for a transition to ground-level retail. “I started to really learn the product side of the business, becoming very familiar with all the manufacturers, the brands, the products they put out and where the product came from. I figured out the logistics of it all and who the players were,” Jenny explains.

Three years later he was traveling the country in support of the first 36 companies holding the Adam & Eve franchise. Though the job description included the word “regional,” “the region was everywhere.” He’s helped expand the definition of “regional” since, projecting that the chain will hit a hundred outlets by the end of 2021.

Jenny also notes that walk-in business has skyrocketed during the pandemic, agreeing with Ken Lassiter that the combination of enforced proximity and leisure time it’s imposed on couples has created space in their lives for more sexual exploration. Buoyant and optimistic by nature, he believes 30 percent of new walk-ins will stick.

“We may have awakened something in their spirit that makes them want to continue to experiment and to explore these new means of pleasure and intimacy and communication,” he says, “and paired with the involvement of new erotic technology, like app toys, the current situation may prove the catalyst of a revolution in the industry.”

Jenny, who takes the broad view of things even as he sorts out a swarm of details, is aware, like Keegan, that large mainstream retailers are eyeing the same dynamics, possibly making for new challenges from unexpected quarters.

“You have to be ready to fight for your place at the table,” he cautions. “No one's going to give it to you. Just like we had to fight for our right to exist when the government didn't want us around. We proved to be a necessity of society. Necessities of societies become necessities of business.”

He sees Adam & Eve as having provided a “soft landing” for first-time adult product buyers “for 50 years,” a function that will help “bridge the gap” between mainstream and sexually oriented retail as that market base expands.

Through the company’s franchise ownership opportunities, Adam & Eve also is making adult retail more accessible for entrepreneurs; which Jenny says loops right back to the company’s founding ideas about social marketing, even when it comes to brick-and-mortar retail.

“That's why he started this part of the company with franchising. He wanted to give every man or woman who wanted to join the industry an opportunity. Now they have an entrance to it.”

In the brick-and-mortar stores, the core principles around which Phil Harvey built the brand remain consistent just as they do throughout the entire company’s operations.

Adam & Eve, which began its foray into video production with educational titles, will always have a mission to inform its customers even when the primary objective of a particular product is to entertain them.

“We know that erotic material influences behavior in certain positive ways,” Harvey maintains confidently, “because sex therapists prescribe it. If it encourages people to try sexual activities that they might not otherwise try, it’s educational. I think it generally improves the sex lives of people who watch it. Even if it gives men an erection and helps with masturbation, that’s good too. There are no negatives in these things.”

Mr. Harvey Goes Back to Washington

Even during his protracted battle with the Justice Department, Harvey had pursued a challenge to the Reagan administration’s policy of denying government funds to NGOs performing or promoting abortion services. While keeping an eye on his company’s operations – dropping in for monthly updates – he has always returned to Washington where there was and is much work to be done securing reproductive rights and providing the direct assistance needed for their exercise.

In 1989, he founded DKT International, to which he still donates approximately $2 million a year from his Adam & Eve earnings. The organization’s mission, powered by the social marketing techniques Harvey and Tim Black pioneered, remains the expansion of family planning through the provision of contraception and abortion worldwide.

Harvey retired as DKT president in 2013 after 24 years. While staying on as chairman of its board of directors and an advisory presence, he handed off daily operations to Ken Purdy, a second-generation social activist who grew up dining at a family table once belonging to legendary birth control advocate Margaret Sanger. Purdy’s affiliation with DKT began when, as part of an HIV-mitigation effort for sex workers in Ethiopia, he approached the organization about obtaining a thousand condoms to distribute to the program’s clients.

“I was about 30 back then and a thousand condoms was a lot of condoms,” Purdy said. “I was kind of sheepish about it. No country wants to admit that it’s got tens of thousands of sex workers, so you can’t exactly go to the minister of health and make that kind of request. But DKT said, ‘Sure, no problem,’ and gave me a thousand condoms.”

Aware that Purdy had spent a lot of time in Indonesia, Harvey hired him to help expand the foundation’s operations in Asia after what Purdy describes as “a full-throated debate about the best way to change the world.”

According to Purdy, Harvey still maintains an office at DKT, acting as “an extra set of eyes and ears and contributing a lot of wisdom he has to share.” With the help of “a lot of Phil’s personal wealth over the years,” DKT has grown to become a highly successful organization, Purdy says.

Charity Navigator, a non-partisan, non-profit service that rates philanthropic organizations based on the percentage of their donations that actually goes toward their goals as opposed to operating expenses and fundraising, gives the characteristically pragmatic DKT three out of a possible four stars based on an impressive 96 percent pass-through of revenues to program implementation.

Reflecting Harvey’s no-nonsense approach to the allocation of resources, Purdy describes DKT’s operations as running “lean and mean. We get a lot done efficiently.” Clearly, the social marketing approach works well there too. By Purdy’s estimate, DKT today is 70 percent self-supporting from the sale of its contraceptives.

Remarkably, in 2019, DKT provided over 800 million condoms, 93 million cycles of oral contraceptives, 30 million injectable contraceptives and 3 million IUDs.

Like all of Harvey’s endeavors, DKT does not shy away from controversy. On its website it stakes out an unwavering position on reproductive choice: “DKT believes that women have a right to safe abortion and is committed to both preventing unsafe abortions and providing safe abortions where it is not restricted. DKT has become a major provider of safe abortion services and technology, as well as abortion education.”

Harvey picks his battles carefully, then fights them with everything he’s got. Not surprisingly, he tends to win them. Even the prospect of a fearsomely anti-choice Supreme Court that might reverse Roe v. Wade, handing the anti-choice forces their long-sought goal, doesn’t intimidate him.

Asked about how the future of reproductive choice in America looks today, Harvey sees the prospects as “pretty good.”

“I think perhaps we’ve made too much of Roe v. Wade and politicized it unnecessarily. Ruth Bader Ginsberg herself said she regretted it to some extent because it’s become such a political football,” he says with characteristic directness.

Projecting that abortion would probably become illegal in 30 states, the reversal would result in women having to travel farther to get a legal abortion, “but that’s already happening now.” Pointing to existing laws meant to chip away at Roe v. Wade, he looks to personal rather than judicial remedies and individual choices rather than political mandates.

“Telemedicine is coming along pretty well and medical abortion drugs are extremely effective and extremely safe and widely used around the world. More and more ways are going to be found to let women self-induce an abortion. These phenomena will play a bigger role.”

While certainly Harvey’s support for reproductive choice and improving the status of women worldwide tracks smoothly with the views of self-identified progressives, he’s not unaware that his unwavering defense of untrammeled free speech strikes sparks with many of them.

“In terms of free speech in general and erotic material specifically there’s much more danger coming from the woke culture than from the evangelical culture. We have a democratic president coming up. The suppression of speech on campus is widespread. I do see a greater censorship danger coming from the left than from the right in the next decade. If they’re coming after 230 (referring to Section 230, commonly known as the Communications Decency Act that immunizes Internet providers from legal actions arising out of the content posted on their platforms) that’s very, very serious.”

Not that all resistance from erotica’s traditional enemies has or will fade away.

“There are some threads that are simply constant,” Harvey says, pointing to revenge porn laws “being written right now, a lot of them very broadly – not requiring intent to harm, not requiring knowledge and so on” as “illustrations of the general distress that sex causes to legislators and to some of their constituents.”

He sees that same dynamic at work in the trendy obsession with sex trafficking, “which turns out to be about five percent of what everybody says it is.”

Harvey’s vision is crystal clear when it comes to the predictable resistance to any form of sexual expression:

“Some of this stuff is just a natural part of the fight for freedom overall. Freedom has to be fought for year after year after year. There is no turning the corner. There is no end to it. The same is true of the apprehension and fear that people have around sex and sexuality. Sex makes us scared.”

There is, at the heart of Harvey’s libertarianism a certain faith in the basic decency of human nature. Chris Purdy sums it up well: “He fundamentally believes that people want to do good for others. He grants them a tremendous amount of trust that they will do the right thing. Sometimes that trust has been broken and it’s been heartbreaking to him but one of the most important things about Phil is that the definition of grit is being able to continue doing what you think is right even when circumstances have shown you otherwise.”

Asked if he agrees with that assessment, Harvey’s response is characteristically idealistic but tempered by experience. His worldview is as unorthodox by libertarian opinions as by more conventional political metrics.

“Yes, but,” he says, “the existence of state actors for settling disputes has been a major factor in the massive reduction of violence that the human species has undergone in the past several hundred years. Without those actors my answer would be a qualified no. We need government to prevent the violence committed by some persons on others. Most libertarians agree that we have to have police. ‘Lord of the Flies’ might be correct in that respect.”

Asked what remains on his bucket list, Harvey’s answer suggests he’s far from done fighting for things in which he believes:

“I’d like to take some steps that make the world a little freer. I think the world has seen now how to make people richer. We’ve seen it in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Peru, to a considerable extent in India. Simple free markets, whether you have political freedom or not, invariably produce prosperity but that doesn’t necessarily make people any freer. It makes people economically freer, which is a whole lot better than not being free at all.”

Individual freedom remains Harvey’s highest priority.

The Liberty Project, founded by Harvey in 1997 as an offshoot of DKT, lobbies and litigates for individual rights and opposes intrusions on them such as the costly and futile War on Drugs, mass incarceration, discrimination against immigrants, punitive treatment of the indigent and confiscatory forfeiture laws.

“I think there are more things that we can do to promulgate freedom, which is the fundamental libertarian objective. I’d like to make some contributions to that. The Liberty Project is a step in that direction. I’ve still got work to do and if I didn’t, I’d go crazy.”

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