If so, is that a more serious sin than the orgy with five women?
What would the Torah say?
What would Jesus do?
What does this mean for the Jews?
LONDON — Few scandals in recent years have provoked as much anger and dismay across Europe as the saga of Max Mosley, the overseer of grand prix motor racing who made tabloid news last weekend in a front-page exposé and accompanying Web video showing him in a sadomasochistic orgy with five supposed prostitutes in a London sex “dungeon.”
But beyond the licentiousness of the episode, it was the suggestion of Nazi undertones in the role-playing during the session in a basement in London’s fashionable Chelsea district that led to demands for Mr. Mosley’s resignation as president of the Paris-based Federation Internationale de l’Automobile. Known as the F.I.A., it is the international governing body of motor sports, and has presided over the expansion of Formula One racing into one of the world’s richest sports.
Family history has added to the notoriety: Mr. Mosley, 67, is the younger son of Britain’s 1930s fascist leader, Sir Oswald Mosley, and the society beauty Diana Mitford, whose secret wedding in Berlin in October 1936 was held at the home of the Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels and included Hitler as a guest of honor.
The tabloid newspaper that broke the story of Mr. Mosley’s Chelsea session, The News of the World, described it as “a depraved Nazi sadomasochistic orgy,” and said Mr. Mosley had paid the equivalent of $5,000 in cash for the five-hour session.
In a video the paper posted on the Internet but later removed, two of the women wore black-and-white striped robes in the style of prisoners’ uniforms. The video showed Mr. Mosley counting in German — “Eins! Zwei! Drei! Vier! Funf!” — as he used a leather strap to lash one of the women.
“She needs more of ze punishment!” he cried in German-accented English. One woman appeared to search his hair for lice while another called off items on an inspection list. Mr. Mosley, naked, was bound face-down and lashed more than 20 times.
Mr. Mosley has acknowledged participating in the session. But he has denied that the role-playing had a Nazi motif, and announced Friday that he had filed a lawsuit against the newspaper, claiming “unlimited damages” for invasion of privacy.
In a letter on Saturday to the head of Germany’s motoring federation, he renewed his insistence that the Chelsea session was a private matter, and added, in a reference to the F.I.A.’s role in promoting road safety around the world: “Had I been caught driving excessively fast on a public road or over the alcohol limit, I would have resigned the same day. As it is, the scandal paper obtained by illegal means pictures of something I did in private, which, although unacceptable to some people, was harmless and completely legal.”
He has refused to resign his F.I.A. post, appealing to the federation’s global network of motoring organizations for support. But denunciations have cascaded from much of the racing world, from Jewish groups, and from F.I.A.-affiliated motoring organizations around the world, including the American Automobile Association, which said in a statement on Saturday that Mr. Mosley, as F.I.A. chief, needed to set “the highest standards of ethical behavior” if he was to represent millions of motorists worldwide. It added: “It would be in the best interest of all concerned if he were to step down.”
Perhaps more significantly, calls for his resignation have come from four major car companies, each of which owns or substantially controls grand prix racing teams: BMW, Daimler Benz, Honda and Toyota.
For the world of Formula One, which attracts a global audience of tens of millions of television viewers, the scandal has come at a bad time. It is still reeling from the enmities sown last year when Mr. Mosley, as the F.I.A. chief, served as chief prosecutor in the so-called “spygate” affair in which nearly 800 pages of secret technical data were stolen from the Italian Ferrari team and handed to its chief racetrack rivals, the British McLaren team.