[ Chad Varah; Samaritans ] Telephone Masturbators and the "Brenda" System of befriending them. ['Samaritan Handbook No. 2 by Chad Varah']

Chad Varah [The Samaritans; Befrienders International; The Mithras Charitable Trust; masturbation; nuisance calls]
Publication details: 
Published by Befrienders International | St. Stephen Walbrook | London EC4N 8BN. [Printed by Joseph Wones Limited, London NW10 7XU.] [1976]
SKU: 20907

128pp., 8vo. Substantial stapled pamphlet. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. A seminal work in the field of nuisance calling. The cover carries an incongruous photograph of an attractive young woman looking determinedly upwards; on the back cover are copies of six relevant cartoons (i.e. attractive young woman to man in bed with her: '”You'll have to go now, Harry. I'm expecting an obscene phone call.”'). 'Brenda Callers' is the phrase used by Varah to refer to 'sexually demanding callers', and 'Brenda Volunteers' is his name for 'volunteers who are willing to try to answer them constructively, under supervision'. Divided into fifteen sections, followed by seven appendices, indicating that the author has pretty much milked the subject dry. Section titles: 'Why the Telephone?', 'Random Calls, 'Brenda Callers', 'Application of Samaritan Principles', 'How to Set Up a Brenda System', 'Group Meetings', 'Comparative Statistics', 'Categories of Brenda Callers', 'Code Letters', 'Some Case Histories of the '70s', 'Some Dialogues', 'Earliest Brenda Dialogues Circulated', 'Brenda Speaks for Herself', 'Taking a New Brenda Call', 'Some Thoughts on Talking to Masturbating Callers'. Also seven appendices: 'Introduction given by the present writer to volunteers in the London Branch during the '50s', 'Summary of talk by the present writer to the International Association for Suicide Prevention in Amsterdam, 1973', 'Summary of talk by the present writer to the International Association for Suicide Prevention in Jerusalem, 1975', 'Introduction to workshop on “sexual needs” conducted by the present writer at a Congress of the International Federation of Telephone Emergency Services, Berlin, 1975', 'Minutes of two Brenda meetings of the London Branch', 'A note on a mention of the subject by Lester & Brockopp', 'Transcript of Tape of Part of a Talk y Chad Varah'. On the penultimate page, with a facsimile of Varah's signature is a 'Warning – Restricted Circulation | “Telephone Masturbators and the Brenda System of Befriending Them” | is a “house” publication designed for volunteers and psychiatric consultants at Branches of The Samaritans and of other telephone emergency services. It is not intended for the general public, and those who receive copies are urged to see that they do not fall into unauthorised hands.' Varah concludes his introduction ('Why the Telephone?'): 'Everywhere in the world where telephone emergency services exist, the problem of the sexually aggressive or sexually demanding call has to be faced and tackled. It will not simply go away: […] The present writer, having been responsible for initiating suicide prevention and crisis intervention by the advertised offer of an emergency telephone, feels some responsibility for sharing with other such services the results of 22 years of research into one of the unforseen [sic] consequences of founding The Samaritans.' No other copy of this title found on either OCLC WorldCat or on COPAC. There is however a copy (only one) of a 1977 abridged (64pp.) second edition by Varah with a similar title, 'Telephone Masturbators and How to Befriend Them'.