Ed Chambers, today’s guest blogger, bravely strode into the public arena three years ago when he outed himself as a non-offending paedophile on British television, via the Channel 4 documentary The Paedophile Next Door. Not long afterwards he would be invited to Canada to take part in I, Pedophile, a film being made for CBS doc series Firsthand, broadcast in 2016. After the earlier programme, when he was named only as “Eddie”, I said his appearance had been the one bright spot in an otherwise disappointing production. So I am very pleased he has decided to tell us about his long battle to come to terms with his orientation, a struggle that has seen him engage in both cooperation and combat with therapy providers and the Virtuous Pedophiles (Virped).
I pre-announced this blog as “the Big One” last time because I knew it would be breaking entirely new ground. As far as I am aware, this is the first time a prominent former member of Virped has gone public with a stinging critique of the organisation and repudiated its philosophy – not counting, of course, his own devastating comments here following Peter Herman’s recent blog.
WE MUST BE STRONG IN THESE DARK TIMES
Now a middle-aged man, I have struggled all my adult life with a preferential attraction to prepubescent girls. Without being able to openly express this at the earliest opportunity, and correspond with those who could relate to me, it has been the cause of a great many emotional and psychological issues. With my academic and sporting pursuits suffering as a result, mainly through the use of drugs as an aid to denial, only recently have I been forced to face the realities of who I am. I wish I had done it sooner.
Several times I have reached out to mental health professionals in the NHS, and on numerous occasions I have asked for chemical castration and psychodynamic therapy. My journey for the purposes of this contribution began in 2001, in my late twenties. This was the first time I thought I was ill, when I wanted to know that I wasn’t paedophilic, or if I was that it could be changed. This first encounter was a disaster. At the end of a 45-minute session with a consultant psychiatrist, I was offered very little, other than a pen in order to sign the notes that had been made. Both the psychiatrist, and subsequent community psychiatric nurse to whom I was referred, viewed me with a look of horror, recoil and a complete lack of understanding. It broke me in such a way that I moved from my home town of twenty five years, to the adjacent city to start a new life, with a new identity.
Roughly seven years later, after leading a virtuous life, I returned to my habits of old. I had used cannabis as a crutch in my denial of being paedophilic since the age of 16, and my use of relevant pornography stretched back as far as 1998. I was fooling myself to believe that I could be any different, the draw was too strong. I carried on in a sort of limbo, with no one to talk to about the nature of my libido.
In 2011, in what would be a defining moment in my life, I had the opportunity to resurrect my first love, the Lolita with whom I had been so besotted in my teenage years. It was a crazy idea, as she had morphed into an overweight whale of a woman for whom I had little interest. I quickly moved on, this time hitting the drugs and pornography with a vengeance. It was a damning confirmation of the very thing I had tried to deny. As a matter of course, I proceeded to slide myself as clumsily as I could into a lot of trouble. As I crashed and burned, I desperately tried to find support.
I found Virped in 2013. To the probable dismay of many here, I owe them my thanks for the support I have received. However, it is not quite as simple as that. The persecution and harassment I have been subject to in my life would scarcely be believed, so will remain undisclosed, at least for now. Nevertheless, to say I needed a crutch is akin to stating that Kim Jong-un is fond of nuclear weapons. I found what I needed to survive, but with the accompanying incompetence of the NHS in the UK, I was still without therapy and the libido-reducing medication I was asking for.
Cue Dr Sarah Goode and her book Understanding and Addressing Adult Sexual Attraction to Children: A Study of Paedophiles in Contemporary Society, recommended to me by none other than fellow Virped, Gary Gibson. Halfway through the book I emailed Dr Goode, discussing with her my experiences with StopItNow and the NHS. By the time I had finished her book, something I view in retrospect as a shallow and narrow-minded assessment of the realities of being a Minor Attracted Person in contemporary society, I had already met with her and Steve Humphries, director and presenter of The Paedophile Next Door, in the latter’s office in Bristol. In May 2014, the filming of my contribution was finished, and I began the patient wait for the release in late November.
In these dark days, I travelled to Berlin for therapy at the Prevention Projekt Dunkelfeld (PPD), which has 11 centres across Germany. Anyone with the correct diagnosis will be assisted by the most understanding and considerate people, providing they have health insurance, or can pay privately. I found the German bureaucracy a nightmare, and it caused me a great deal of stress and problems in trying to settle there. However, a MAP can tell the staff everything and not be criminalised, not made to feel like the antagonist of an Alien movie, or told they are mentally ill. They will bend over backwards to help and it is a gift to us, from the only government in the world that gives a shit, and a credit to our community. With each visit to this institution, I was proud that I had finally been given something.
At this time, the release of The Paedophile Next Door was a huge disappointment to me. There was no talk about the PPD. Simply stated, there was the sacrificial paedophile, the “expert” doctor trying to garnish sympathy for the bogeyman, all the while pitted against the other participants who professed their universal hatred against our kind. Subsequently, my UK address was visited three times in two days by the police, much to the dismay of my friend who subsequently disowned me. I had found Ground Zero and flatlined.
Here in Berlin I found the beginnings of a revelation. I had come to terms with all of the descriptions mental health professionals use to describe people who are sexually attracted to children. I had even started to use them myself. I identified as a paedophile now. I had accepted it, whereas before I had wasted so many years of my life in denial. Although I was treated very well here, I had to move on once more, without therapy or drugs. Despite the PPD, the seeds of doubt were now firmly planted in my mind. Was I really ill or subject to a conspiracy that both undermined the existence and behaviours of MAPs as well as children who were sexually active? As for Virped, and their manifesto for the non-offending MAP, the writing was already on the wall. I had already seen they were complicit in the war on paedophiles, in the insidious guise of trying to help them.
It’s fair to say I was on the run. Before our communication ceased, my friend in the UK had informed me of the considerable interest the English police had shown in me. On top of that, I had seen some of the tweets that had suggested people were aiming to lynch me for the greater good. Suitably, I found work in Northern Cyprus, ironically a country only recognised by Turkey, and I figured I would be safe for a while. It was here I made contact via Virped with Matt Campea, a bright, young director with an open mind and a drive to represent MAPs as the protagonist. Whilst in Toronto, at considerable expense to Matt, I contributed to his documentary I, Pedophile. At the release in March 2016, it turned out to be the Yin to The Paedophile Next Door’s Yang, and was everything I and the Virped community had hoped for.
On my return to the UK, after 30 months of exile and now devoid of finances, the biggest surprise for me was to make it through the airport at all. I had imagined I would be taken aside by the police for questioning about various things, not least my participation in The Paedophile Next Door. Step by step, I rebuilt my life, and on the recommendation once again of Gary Gibson, sought the help of Juliet Grayson and therapy at StopSO. It turns out, as the full name would suggest (Specialist Treatment Organisation for the Prevention of Sexual Offending) that involvement with any therapist here concentrates on prevention of offending, and in this respect therapy does not cater for the well-being of participants. They are not subject to mandatory reporting laws, but are subject to ethical reporting by the therapist to their governing body, and accordingly the governing body would report to the police. Simply, one cannot discuss the very things that one needs help with. It is a madness that I pointed out to Grayson in numerous emails, and something she ignored. In fact, ignorance appeared to be her style, as it was a treacherous betrayal of my trust that caused me to pull out of another documentary project that we had started working on with VICE, promoting StopSO as a ground-breaking development for the treatment of MAPs. Inevitably, VICE would’ve presented this as a new way of processing sex offenders. I had become used to the way media organisations dealt with people like me, and the topic as a whole. Once bitten, twice shy.
I now realise, as a 43-year-old, it is society, not me, that is sick. I was 13 when I began to realise that my preference was for a body-type indicative of being paedophilic. As I have grown older, I have realised that my paedophilia is far more than a sexual attraction. It has been a wild ride, from denying my true self through the use of drugs, to crawling through the depths of suicidal thoughts and behaviours, to my exaltation above the ignorance of the multitudes to understand and appreciate the true sexual beauty of prepubescent girls.
There have been several times when girls in the age range 6-15 have expressed a sexual interest in me, and this includes a general curiosity in what it’s all about. Whilst I have never engaged them, this has been through a fear of harming them in some way rather than a fear of how society will view or judge me for having had said intimate relationship. This is indeed a fear that was born out of the tall tales of the child-rapist, reported all too often in the tabloid press. Rather than being born out of a desire to protect children, society’s bent towards banning intergenerational relationships is born out of a desire to subjugate the child and deny them essential rights to express themselves in any way they choose. It is out of this perversity that Virped was born. It is a support group for MAPs, but only as long as one conforms to the idea that it is our kind who are mentally ill, perverse in nature for our appreciation of the beauty of children. And yet, no one cares to cure us, aid us in our struggles, offer us what we need in order to lead that all-important law-abiding lifestyle. Therapy, PPD to one side, does not exist. All you will find in the eyes of those that return your look is horror and hatred.
Civilisation has reached the point where control is ever more paramount. Through the use of television and social media, surveillance is at an all-time high and becoming ever more pervasive. The dogma of Virped encapsulates the need of this intrusive society to control the thoughts and actions of everyone so that it conforms to a narcissism that is born out of pseudo-religious rhetoric. Quite simply, humanity in general refuses to acknowledge that adult sexual attraction to children should exist at all, and these spurious attempts to remove it from existence revolve around how it might appear to a race of aliens visiting in their space ships, or indeed Almighty God as He reclines on His cumulonimbus.
We need to reach out to young MAPs, and others of our kind who need help, and steer them away from the perils of Virped, and the dogma that will warp them into believing they are ill. I believed in Virped, as I did mental health professionals. Now I see them as an extension of a sick world that denies the rights of anyone under a set age, a world that has found the eternal shadow monster in a demographic that means no harm. We must be strong and survive these dark times whence we exist as the sexual heretic.