Book ban still in force

Hundreds of books and magazines on
communism, the occult, trade unions and erotica remain banned in the Cayman
Islands even though many have been out of print for decades and others are from
counties that no longer exist.

The importation of these
publications, under the Prohibited Publications Order of the Penal Code – last
revised more than a decade ago – carries a maximum penalty of three years in
jail and a $1,000 fine.

Although the law has not been
updated in 12 years and lists publications that are out of print or discontinued,
it is still being enforced by Customs and Excise officers.

“Once the law is on the books, it
will be enforced,” said assistant collector of Customs and Excise Trevor

However, “I cannot recall anyone at any recent time being arrested for the importation of these items,”
he added.

Among the out of print publications
are pulp fiction comic book called “Spicy Detective” which was last printed in
1940, and a book called “People of the World, Unite, For the Complete,
Thorough, Total and Resolute Prohibition and Destruction of Nuclear Weapons”
published in 1963 in China.

Publications relating to communism,
socialism and trade unionism are high on the list, with books and magazines
from China, Cuba and the now defunct USSR and Czechoslovakia being illegal to
import into Cayman. These include the “Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung” written
by the late Chinese leader Chairman Mao.

All publications by a variety of
trade unions and associations, including the International Organisation of
Journalists, the International Medical Association and the World Federation of
Teachers’ Union are banned under the Prohibited Publications Order.

The Hong Kong-based financial
magazine Far Eastern Economic Review, which closed down late last year, is also
on the list, despite having no Communist affiliations and being owned by Dow
Jones and later Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

The list also contains a variety of
books and magazines about magic, witchcraft and the occult, including “The
Magick of Chant-O-Matics” by Raymond Buckland and “Psychic Telemetry: New Key
to Health, Wealth and Perfect Living” by Robert A. Ferguson.

Several adult magazines including
Hustler, Eros, Hooker, Leg Show and Adult Cinema Review are on the list, although
Playboy and Penthouse are not. Madonna’s controversial book Sex published in
1992 is also banned.

The law bans a handful of religious
texts as well, including all publications by the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church
and a publication called “Muhammad Speaks”.

 For the full list of books Click Here .


  1. This is truly the island that time forgot!! Oh yeah it forgot to tell all of my backward countrymen to wake up and change the clocks ahead to the 21st century!!! How idiotic! Am I led to understand that it is illegal to import publications by the International Medical Association??? What about the International Journal of Medicine? Sounds like raid are due on some doctors’ homes and offices. Also, am I led to believe that if I went to and purchased a copy of The Art of War by Mao Tse-Tung and had it shipped to Cayman that I would be arrested, charged and fined??????? HUH what a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments are closed.