The impossible just happened. The “unelectable” socialist Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of the Labour Party in the UK by a thumping majority, making him potentially the next prime minister. This earthquake was entirely unforeseen by the know-alls of political punditry, just as the equally improbable rise of Bernie Sanders in the US, another incorrigible old leftie, has amazed and baffled the American political establishment, not least Democratic front-runner (until now!) Hillary Clinton.
Be realistic: demand the impossible! So ran a famous slogan of the 1968 Paris uprising, and now that the impossible is indeed suddenly seeming quite realistic, it may be time to examine a radical plan recently put forward by a commentator here. Responding to Lensman’s blog on consent last month, Observer (“not minor-attracted, but hate the way you are treated”) introduced a plan he said could bring about positive change “in a few decades”, comparable to that achieved by the gay movement.
And what a plan! This is no mere sketchy outline of a few bullet points but a full-blown, detailed, 15,000-word exposition of what must be done and how to do it, set out in After the Fall: A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying Pedophobia in the 21st Century. This anonymous piece (Observer’s own?) asks how the gay movement managed to advance so far so quickly, and answers by referring to a game plan co-written by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen entitled After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ’90s. The style of After the Fall, and no doubt After the Ball too, is very professional, as though the writer has a background in advertising or public relations. We hear about geeky concepts such as Availability Cascades, and we can be sure it’s more than just clever-sounding BS because the gay movement has been stunningly successful using the concepts and techniques described.
Just a brief, jargon-free glance at some of these tactics, though, will suffice to make it obvious what was going on and why it worked. Perhaps the most important idea, though it long preceded After the Ball, was to take control of the language: people attracted to their own sex are “gay” (friendly, light-hearted, unthreatening) rather than “homosexual” (medical condition to be cured) or “perverted” (depraved evil-doers). As for who gays are, you go for prestige figures: famous kings, writers, etc., are claimed as gay even when the claim is a bit dodgy: Shakespeare, for instance. The point is not biographical accuracy but the kudos of being associated with the “world’s greatest playwright”. And what gays do is emphatically not anal sex, with all its unfortunately messy implications. Sex is played down. The “message” is about love and relationships.
Numerous such tactics are adapted in After the Fall for application in a paedophilic context – oops, sorry, make that a kind context: homos are gay; paedos are kind. But how much, really, is genuinely adaptable? One new idea, available only right now, in the digital age, looks exciting: anonymous donations using bitcoins in order to achieve a serious level of funding for slick, highly professional advertising campaigns, not just via videos on YouTube but billboards and a mainstream media presence. Unrealistic? Not necessarily.
The biggest single defect in the plan, though, is its lack of a historical perspective. The Kirk and Madsen game plan set out in After the Ball was published in 1989 and was spectacularly successful within a couple of decades. But this was merely the endgame. What a study tightly focused on this phase ignores is that the gay struggle began much earlier, before even the travails and trials of Oscar Wilde, towards the end of the previous century. Thomas Cannon published what is said to have been the first defence of homosexuality in English as long ago as 1749, more than a hundred years before the word itself made its way into the medical literature. Jeremy Bentham, advanced the first known argument for homosexual law reform in England around 1785. Paedophilia these days is arguably at the same historical point as homosexuality was in the 18th century, when you could be hanged for buggery.
In those days it would have been suicidal to come out as a “bugger” or a “sodomite”, or even as a “pederast”, a word which could at least be said to evoke the cultured ethos of Socratic Athens. But coming out, and facing similarly extreme perils to those living two centuries ago, is precisely what After the Fall prescribes as a tactic for kind people. Indeed, it is claimed as essential: many other aspects of the overall strategy depend upon it, such as having presentable, media-friendly spokesfolk.
Regular Heretic TOC readers will not need reminding that we had an extensive discussion of this coming out theme very recently, and I do not propose to reprise it, except to say that I broadly agree with those, such as Edmund and Josh, who feel coming out in present circumstances – or at least urging others to do so – veers towards the irresponsible. After the Fall recommends the use of direct action, taking protest militantly onto the streets, just as the gays have done, to demonstrate strength by being “loud and proud”. All this would achieve at present is to demonstrate our weakness, not our strength. The numbers we could draw upon, and the support from others in alliance with us, would be pathetic. We would be crushed and seen to be crushed. Already perceived as a bunch of losers, we would merely prove the point.
This is not to say there should be no coming out. As Dissident pointed out, the recent Czech documentary Daniel’s World, was about a young man’s coming out that did not wreck his life: as with so much else, it’s not necessarily what you do but when, where and how you do it. Another example, albeit from the more propitiously radical 1970s, is that of “Roger”. I’ll stick with the first name as he may well have gone back in the closet by now, in these more difficult times. He was not shy about being a boy lover in those days, and he came across as a rounded, grounded figure who did good work for a number of radical causes. So when he spoke up for children’s rights as well, he had real credibility.
After the Fall, however, is a fundamentally flawed plan. But that does not mean it is entirely without merit. One of its strongest aspects is identifying issues slightly at a tangent to hard-to-sell paedophilia, but which aim to address people’s feelings rather than their opinions. All successful advocates know that if you can tap into an emotional response, opinions will follow: the heart follows the head, not the other way around. Rational arguments fall on deaf ears unless there is some deeper connection to what we feel. The plan identifies our cultural heritage of sexual shame and guilt, expressed through obsessive body covering, as all-important. In the age of internet porn there is a tendency to think we are all (well, the guys among us at least) totally cool about seeing genitals and sexual action. But the collective feeling that porn is not OK finds revealingly vehement expression in the view that such things are absolutely not to be seen by kids.
After the Fall sees the encouragement of naturism as a great way to counteract such feelings: “Normalization of the genitalia (aka naturism) and sex-positivity are inextricably linked. We think penises and vaginas are weird because we don’t see them enough in normal settings, on normal people…. Once we begin to see them as normal parts of the body, we will naturally ask why we feel children cannot give others permission to touch there and nowhere else.”
As the plan astutely perceives, this approach is capable of promoting nudity in safely non-sexual ways: naturism can be about enjoying the sunshine and a sense of bodily freedom. It is about doing all sorts of ordinary things with no clothes on, and not just – or perhaps not at all – about sex. And naturism is very much for kids as well as grown-ups. Continental Europe already has a great naturist tradition that goes unacknowledged in After the Fall, which is very oriented towards addressing American cultural hang-ups. But the message needs vigorous reinforcement and development globally, including in Europe. Note that all of us except those who have unwisely come out, are well placed both to enjoy naturism ourselves and safely propagandise for it.
The other really good part of After the Fall is about the language we should use, especially the kind word. Let’s go for it, starting right now. I already did, actually, when I was interviewed by mad, man-hating lesbian feminist extremist Julie Bindel earlier this year, an improbable encounter I mentioned in passing in a comment here a couple of months back. She had asked if she could interview me for the Sunday Times. I emailed back saying she was the last person on earth I would want to be interviewed by. But like the scary heavy dyke she is, she wasn’t too troubled by my lack of consent: she just kept on harassing me until I gave in!
I tell a lie. Although there is no shifting her crazy anti-male prejudice, she did at least quote me fairly and accurately, as well as being surprisingly good company over dinner. Her piece was not, alas, accepted by the Sunday Times, but it has now turned up in the September issue of the right-wing cultural and political periodical Standpoint. Anyway, here is what she quoted from me:
“I would have quite liked [to be labelled as] ‘kindly’ because ‘kindly’ . . . relates to the Dutch and German kinder — children. So yes, being intimate, but also being nice with it. I would say that if someone had sexual relations which were in the realm of what I called earlier the ‘kindly’ sort then that would not be abusive. Although these days one has to be careful because anything you do, no matter how kindly it is, it’s always subject to trauma later on — secondary trauma as a result of society’s hysteria over the whole thing.”
So, I like kindly. But kind is better, I must admit: a very straightforward monosyllable, easily seen as analogous with gay.
Finally, while we’re on the subject of language, the author of After the Fall would surely chide me for calling this blog Heretic TOC. Whereas he wisely emphasises going with the grain, where possible, identifying with majority sentiments rather than setting oneself against them, being labelled a heretic could hardly be more counterproductive. Sure, it draws fellow heretics here, so we can talk among ourselves, but arguably this language defines us as outcasts and bad guys. It’s a bit off message.
But then again, so are Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders. They have been saying the same “wrong things” for decades, sticking to their principles and fighting for what they believe rather than slavishly following the opinion polls and focus groups. And now, suddenly and unexpectedly, they find they are being respected for it. They are seen as authentic.
I wouldn’t mind a bit of that sort of reputation, even if it is only for me to be judged authentically odd, as seems likely! So, it may not be in the After the Fall plan, but I don’t think I’ll be changing the name of Heretic TOC anytime soon!
MY FRIEND WAS NO MURDERER: OFFICIAL
I had a very welcome email yesterday from James Gillespie of the Sunday Times, letting me know he intends to use some information I gave him after he approached me last month in connection with the so-called Westminster VIP paedophilia scandal.
Gillespie has long been sceptical of the crazy murder claims made by “Nick” and “Darren” via Exaggero (sorry, Exaro) News, and nonsense about Edward Heath and others mentioned in Heretic TOC last time. I have seen several of his excellent reports.
And now he has sent me a PDF of his latest, which informs us that the police have at last admitted they no longer believe “Darren’s” claim that my friend the late Peter Righton was a murderer. Their investigation has accordingly been dropped [“Police drop ‘VIP sex murder ring’ inquiry”, James Gillespie, Sunday Times, 13 September 2015]. Gillespie’s report is behind a paywall online, but his story was picked up by the Daily Mail. The first big breakthrough against these dodgy Exaggero witnesses was also in the Mail recently. This was a front-page lead saying the VIP scandal shows signs of “unravelling”, with the police finally getting cold feet over the lack of evidence to back up the claims of star fantasist “Nick”.
Sanity at last!
MORE ABOUT ROBIN
Another email, received a couple of days ago from Robin Sharpe’s daughter Katherine.
“I’m glad you are posting something on your blog,” she wrote, “That would make him happy. Thank you for doing that.”
In a tribute to her father, whose death was recently reported here (under “Sad news from Canada”), she says that as a child he instilled in her a love of camping, nature, architecture and art. As an adult, though, she had unsurprisingly found it difficult to deal with the high profile controversy he generated, or the “fallout”, as she calls it.
“Maintaining a relationship with my dad has been an exercise in compartmentalisation I would say. You box up and set aside what you cannot agree on, and try to work out the rest.”
Sounds very sensible; and I’d say she seems to have done a pretty good job.