Why ‘Virtuous Pedophiles’ will fail

Today’s guest blogger, Stephen James, is well known here as regular commentator Stephen6000, whose succinct contributions often provide a sensible counterpoint (or antidote!) to some of the always welcome but often wild “thinking outside the box” we tend to see in the heretical comments here. He has also written for the NAMBLA Bulletin and for the Newgon web magazine Uncommon Sense. His logical approach is consistent with his work as a published author of formal philosophy. With Adam Powell, he was a joint founder of the unfortunately ill-fated Forum for Understanding Minor Attraction (FUMA), which fought a brave but losing battle to engage positively with mental health professionals. 

***

First, the caveats. I am not setting out to condemn “Virtuous Pedophiles” (VP). In fact, when I read the introduction on their home page, I can scarcely find anything to disagree with. Many paedophiles do need the sort of help this group have to offer and it is very welcome they are there to offer it. Also, many questionable claims are made about VP that need rebutting. It is sometimes suggested, for example, that VP thinks paedophiles should regard themselves as mentally ill or “defective” in some way; but, as far as I can gather, this is not their view. (The introduction just referred to certainly carries no hint of it.) If we are going to criticise VP, it should be for what they actually maintain, not for what we merely imagine their views to be. But there is one thing in this introduction I do disagree with and that is the reference to “sexual abuse” –  for example, in the statement “But we can resist the temptation to abuse children sexually”. For reasons to emerge later, I think this term should be avoided, at least for non-coercive sexual contacts between adults and children.  (In this, I am in agreement with  Child Abuse as a Construct Reconsidered”, which is part of the famous academic study commonly known as the Rind Report.
Also, whenever we discuss if a project will be successful or not, we need to carefully consider what constitutes the bar for success. VP can almost certainly be successful – indeed, probably has already been – in terms of helping some MAPs feel better about themselves, leading possibly to fewer suicides. It can also persuade some open-minded people, those less susceptible to media propaganda, to see the plight of MAPs in a more sympathetic light. Some of these people are therapists, who may be persuaded to improve the way they deal with their minor-attracted clients. There will be a little less misery for MAPs as a result of all this.
But I get the impression that VP is hoping for more. I think they want to reach a point where most MAPs can live a “normal” life, which, in this context, we can perhaps interpret as meaning a life that is minimally impacted by the fact that they are MAPs, largely free of hatred and with broadly the same opportunities as non-MAPs enjoy. Now, I don’t deny the possibility of such a state of affairs coming about. What I do claim is that it won’t be achieved by VP’s tactics and I want to explain why.
VP will not discuss the moral standing of adult-child sex. They agree with mainstream society that it is simply wrong, period. So they do not challenge the view that if an adult has sex with a child, it is always a bad thing. This has some important consequences, which we can bring out by asking what kind of relationship between mainstream society and MAPs would be broadly acceptable to both.
Apart from a few “aromantic” MAPs, most want to form relationships with young people that are “loving” in the broadest sense. They would of course like (some of) these relationships to be sexual if this were possible; but, besides that, they would like to enjoy the company of youngsters in other everyday activities. In fact, I think we can go so far as to say this would be essential to their happiness. The question is: can mainstream society bring itself to accept this?
And the answer is surely no, as long as mainstream society continues to regard adult-child sex as intensely dangerous. Of course, some MAPs are quite capable of spending time with youngsters without either feeling tempted to initiate a sexual relationship with them or succumbing to that temptation if they are. But from the perspective of mainstream society, that is not good enough. They cannot tell who is and who is not “dangerous”. Therefore, though we may reach the point where it mostly does not wish to actively persecute MAPs (perhaps partly as a result of VP’s efforts), society will never accept MAPs freely associating with young people as long as it persists  in its belief that adult-child sex is intensely dangerous. At best, continuously supervised access will be allowed in some cases, and while that might be acceptable to some MAPs, I do not think many would be happy in such a restrictive situation, even if they have no sexual intentions regarding their young friends.
But once it is accepted that consensual adult-child sex is not intensely dangerous, that, indeed, it is not intrinsically harmful at all, then there is no general reason to try to prevent it from happening and it will then be possible for MAPs to have happy and fulfilling lives within mainstream society.
I can well imagine how a typical member of VP will react to this argument. There are likely to be two main responses. One is to say that mainstream  society is right: consensual adult-child sex is intrinsically harmful. (Or, relatedly, they may claim that consensual adult-child sex isn’t even possible, as children are incapable of consenting to sex with adults.) But, on these matters, the evidence seems to be on my side, not theirs. The second type of response they are likely to make is that the suggestion is politically naïve: even if it were the case (which they deny) that adult-child sex can be morally acceptable, mainstream society will never accept it; so the VP approach is the only one that is politically feasible.
And yet it is possible to change people’s minds about the moral standing of adult-child sex. This happened to a great extent in the Netherlands in the 1970s, with resulting legislative changes that modified age-of-consent restrictions in a liberal direction (though these were later repealed). This could happen again, if MAPs would unite in favour of the radical approach.
Of course, depending on one’s personal situation (and one’s level of bravery!), this has to be done very circumspectly in the current climate. I am certainly not advocating breaking any laws. I am suggesting that people do what they can to communicate the truth to others. I believe that if this were done, the needed reforms might eventually come about.
If they did, this would probably be a net benefit, not only to MAPs, but also to young people. When consensual adult-child sex does lead to harm, this seems to happen mainly because of the taboo against it. This is supported to some extent even by the literature of our opponents. I’m thinking especially of Susan Clancy’s The Trauma Myth, in which the author shows that in most cases the experience of sex with an adult is not unpleasant for the child at the time – psychological harm comes later in the form of guilt feelings, which are, of course, entirely dependent on there being a taboo. (This is why I argued above that the term “sexual abuse” should be abandoned for non-coercive cases, though this does not mean I think people should pursue such relationships under current legal and social circumstances.) Get rid of the taboo and the well-being of those children who enjoy sex with adults (and the adults they themselves will become) will be greatly improved.
I was very tentative in my statement above about the likelihood of success in bringing about the needed reforms. It is affected by many factors beyond our control. But of one thing I am certain, for the reasons explained earlier: the VP approach will definitely not yield more than very limited societal improvements either for MAPs or for children. Perhaps we need moderates as well as radicals to introduce new ideas to the public in a relatively non-threatening way. But, rather than VP, our moderates had better be of the kind represented by B4U-ACT, who are neutral on the moral standing of adult-child sex, otherwise they will undermine the radicals. If the only agenda is VP’s, I guarantee there will be no large-scale society-wide improvements in the plight of MAPs or the children whom they wish to be close to.
 
YOUTH SPEAK OUT ABOUT YOUTHLOVE
An earlier guest blogger here, the Japonist (hope that’s a reasonably accurate label of convenience!) who writes as “Peace”, reports the start of a new venture called “Kids Club anthologies”, the first such anthology being titled (no capital letters) out of the mouths of babes – youth speak out about youthlove.
The introduction begins:

Despite all of the noise from the anti, pro, and neutral side of youthlove, there is one group whose voice is often forgotten – youth themselves. Whether this is from an ageist assumption that youth don’t know what’s good for them or the unfortunate reality that youth don’t often get a chance to express their view in print media, it represents a glaring omission in most discussions of topics such as youthlove, the age of consent, and adult/youth relationships. A true discussion of these subjects can’t be had if only adults are granted a chance to speak.

As Peace explained to me in an email, the series will be anthologies of “rarer, hard-to-find, or more obscure pieces” written by paedophiles or about adult/youth relations, the age of consent, sexual attraction to youth, etc., “with each anthology following a theme of some sort”. This first one collects material from the late 70s to the mid 90s “written by gay boys and lesbians, self-proclaimed dykes and fags, feminists, youth liberationists, and groups for queer youth”.
It’s a great idea, not least because youngsters are no longer able to speak out so freely on sexual matters: censorship prevails. It’s a very different story when the topics are adult-approved, as will be seen from my next item below.
 
CHILDREN’S CLIMATE STRIKES GO GLOBAL
It’s fantastic, of course. Great to see and hugely inspiring. The mass movement of school kids out of the classroom and into political activism against climate change is now a global phenomenon. Marching on Friday with placards and banners bearing slogans such as “There is no Planet B” and “The sea is rising, so are we”, tens of thousands of children all around the world in over 100 countries took part in “strike” action to demand that the political elite urgently address the climate change emergency. Fantastic, too, that this action has attracted massive media attention, which will add significantly to the steadily mounting  pressure pushing climate change up the political agenda.
And not just fantastic but utterly amazing that this huge movement was started as recently as last August by schoolgirl, Greta Thunberg, then just 15, when she started to skip school on Fridays to protest about climate change outside Sweden’s parliament. By December she was giving an impassioned speech at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Poland and a month later – after a long overland journey because she refused to go by environmentally unfriendly air travel – she berated the complacency of all the billionaires and other high rollers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, urging them to “behave like our house is on fire, because it is.”
Quite rightly, Thunberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. I would be very happy for her to win except that she could have serious competition from other school kids, including Emma González and David Hogg, who responded swiftly to a massacre by a rampaging gunman last year at their Florida school. In the wake of the attack, instead of settling for the usual pious prayers and condolences offered by politicians running scared of the powerful gun lobby in the U.S., they vented their anger by demanding action on gun control. And they got it: a state bill was passed bringing in a range of important reforms to limit gun possession and its dangers, and Donald Trump was even forced to take some action (on “bump stops”) at the national level.
Such achievements are eminently worthy of acclaim and Heretic TOC should arguably have made this theme a lead item, not a relatively brief down-page affair. What I am concerned to avoid, though, is a phoney pretence that children – real children, if you will, as opposed to high school seniors such as González and Hogg, verging on adulthood, are in any position to be politically effective on their own. Even the somewhat younger Thunberg had a massive amount of support from adults – a younger child could hardly “run away” to Davos without parental and other help, much less get an invitation to speak there.
And they only know that climate change is so important because adults have taught them about it, probably in school. That’s great. It shows our schools are getting at least something right. But let’s not pretend it is about children’s innate wisdom or any such sentimental bullshit. Kids know more than anyone about their own lives and feelings, though. That is the area of their expertise and that is where there is real scope for thinking about how they might be accorded greater respect, and their agency acknowledged.
 
KINDLING FRESH INTEREST IN MY JACKSON BOOK
Bizarrely, I have been so busy that I find myself a couple of weeks late plugging the new Kindle edition (priced in U.S. dollars here) of my own book about the late King of Pop on my own blog!
I guess regular heretics here all know about Michael Jackson’s Dangerous Liaisons, which came out in 2010 shortly after the megastar’s death. Some will even have read it. They will be aware it is an enormous 624-page door-stopper of a tome, weighing in at over a kilo, making it an expensive affair to produce, to deliver, and to buy. In some far-flung parts of the world purchasers have had to part with sums a good deal north of £30 to secure a copy. Bless them, some have actually done just that: there has been a modest number of such customers from Austria to Australia and from Belgium to Brazil.
Now, though, the new Kindle e-book edition can be yours for barely more than a tenth of such an expensive outlay, at a very affordable £3.78 from Amazon in the UK and around $5 in the US. And it comes with a substantial new Preface written in the wake of the sensational Leaving Neverland documentary.
Readers will discover that it was not necessary to be a music industry insider, or otherwise close to Jackson, to discover a huge amount about his relationships with boys, long before the latest revelations and even before his trial: plenty of legal filings and other useful sources were in the public domain for those who cared to look, from the early 1990s onwards. In fact, as many other unofficial biographers have found, it is the insiders – especially family, and those with jobs and contracts to protect – who are most likely to circle the wagons and deny everything. Many of the relevant documents, including lengthy transcripts of interviews and phone calls featuring Jordan Chandler and his father Evan – who was the driving force behind the first allegations against Michael, against the wishes of his reluctant son – were scrutinised by me. These are featured in the book. Even Jordie’s Uncle Ray, and specialist Jackson bloggers such as Desiree Hill at mjfacts, have admitted that I was an assiduous and astute researcher. As for understanding Michael as a boy lover, there’s a lot to be said for the adage: “It takes one to know one”.
In terms of the depth of the book’s coverage, not to be found elsewhere, over 65 pages are devoted to the relationship between Michael and Jordie. Oddly, Michael Jackson’s Dangerous Liaisons also includes a vastly more systematic and in-depth account of the 2005 trial than is to be found elsewhere, with well over 130 pages on this.
As for breadth, just count the boys!  Well over a dozen were clearly in “special friendships” with him over the years, including the Leaving Neverland boys: you will find plenty about Wade and Jimmy in the book, including strong early indications of their intimacy with the star. A staggering seventy boys are named in all – including three princes, no less! – along with reasons to place most of them among Michael’s more diffuse erotic entourage.
And just for good measure, I might throw in the fact that Michael Jackson’s Dangerous Liaisons got rave reviews from more professors (of psychiatry, psychology, cultural studies, you name it) than you could shake a Jacko crotch-grab at – not that you would want to!
 
LOUSE OF LORDS OR LOUSY JOURNALISM?
Those who read the comments here religiously will be aware of this item already: my headline echoes a much cleverer one in The Sun – credit where it’s due, the redtops do tend to be good at snappy puns.
Their most formidable skill, though, lies in knowing how to be deeply obnoxious even when the “story” is vanishingly thin, a gossamer concoction of loosely woven threads of non-story.
Let’s just consider the first couple of sentences:

Britain’s most notorious paedophile campaigner was treated to a plush champagne bash at the House of Lords. Twice-jailed Tom O’Carroll, 73, was among up to 60 guests who were thanked last December for donating money to a children’s book charity.

What’s the story? Essentially, that an old bloke did something that would normally be considered public spirited and praiseworthy: giving money to a worthy cause. A not very well-off bloke, actually, with no income beyond the humble state pension, so if The Sun had been disposed to tell the gospel truth there would have been a “widow’s mite” angle in it for them: see Luke 21:1-4. But it should come as no surprise that the generous spirit of Jesus, who praised the poor widow for giving her all, should be far from the thoughts of the tabloid take-down artists.
I did not give my all – just a bit more than I could sensibly afford, actually – so I can by no means claim anything like equal merit with the  biblical widow; but you might feel, as I do, that it’s a bit rich for The Sun to use this particular event, a reception to thank donors, as a stick with which to beat me.

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sunchaser04

One thing I notice is that people seem to be expanding the “children can’t consent” mantra for more than just sexual relations. Lately people have been saying “children can’t consent to sexual and romantic relationships!”
Note that romantic relationships between adults and children are perfectly legal.
I believe this is being done because people just don’t want pedophiles interacting with children in any way. I believe that eventually romantic expressions between an adult and “minor” will be deemed molestation of some kind.
And people wonder why youth have such high rates of mental illness.

sunchaser04

I would enjoy reading it. Might make a response to the article myself. Would you mind sharing it?

sunchaser04

Will do and thanks for the link!

Erick

Tom, do you know of any pedophile activists in Brazil?

Erick

That’s exactly what I’m looking for, academic publications in Portuguese. I also wanted to have contact with them. It’s super hard to find.

Yure

Ah, that’s where the traffic comes from. Thanks for telling him about little old me, much appreciated.

daniel

yure
>Ah, that’s where the traffic comes from. Thanks for telling him about little old me, much appreciated.
I didn’t know u do a blog. are you Portuguese?

Yure

Brazilian, actually. I don’t like saying that aloud, but I am.

daniel

Tom
Are u referring to brexit?
>Actually, come to think of it, the British political scene is in deep crisis at the moment

Yure

I told people that voting for him would not be a good idea. It’s much worse than I thought. I sincerely fear for my future, with an unemployment rate of 12%, most of whom being people around my age who are ready to work and can’t at all find their first job. It’s despairing.

daniel

Yure
unemployment is a big thing for ppl with our attraction wen i used to work ppl knew about me for over a decade and when ever i tried to get along with ppl it was always thrown back in my face tbh ive always wanted to support paedophilia for a long time but i was too busy trying to fit in with the rest of society, i did absolutely everything i cud to make friends with them, i had been trying for over a decade, but now i realise that is NEVER going to happen under any circumstances i realise that i have got NOTHING to loose and i know now that i can support it.
unemployment rate of 12%

Yure

Ah, I try not to mix things, myself. I don’t mix activism and professional activity at all. I keep those things separated. So, I don’t think that my attraction would make it harder for me to have a job. I still blame government mismanagement. They are too busy trying to prove that Nazis are left-wing to care about the massive amount of people who want to work and can’t find any opportunity.

daniel

Yure
“i feel nowadays that we should always try to be true to ourselves” Will Gear the waltons wen he was talking to a jewish family

Yure

Maybe you are right.

Erick

Many thanks for the contribution.

daniel

virtuous paedophiles will fail because will can never be totally honest with each other in the vp community we will always be obligated to say we r ill wen we know we r not, and if we can never be true to each other then how can it possibly work?

stephen6000

Officially at least, VP doesn’t say we’re ill, but mainstream society says this – or else that we’re just plain bad. We cannot live with the idea that we’re just plain bad and, as you rightly say, we know we’re not ill. (Having emotions and desires that don’t fit in with the rest of society is not an illness.)

stephen6000

I said we cannot live with the idea that we’re just plain bad. I hasten to add that this idea is not even true!

daniel

stephen6000
i am sorry if i was wrong about vp saying that we have to pretend we are ill its just the impression i get. Are you a vp member and how do u feel about finding ways for more maps to have regular get together’s and seeing if we all have other interest as well ie football or what ever else?

stephen6000

If I was a VP member, I think they would have expelled me by now, given the criticism I levelled against them in this guest blog!
As for regular get-togethers – Yes, I think it’s a great idea. I was involved in such a group myself until personal circumstances obliged me to give that up. As long as you’re careful when you meet people and never under any circumstances agree to do anything illegal, then I think these kinds of contacts can be very therapeutic – or just plain fun!

daniel

As long as you’re careful when you meet people and never under any circumstances agree to do anything illegal, then I think these kinds of contacts can be very therapeutic – or just plain fun!
wel sed

warbling j turpitude

Rejoice! For at the heart of Angleland’s most “conservative” journal of all perhaps, is more wisdom now breaking than can be found almost anywhere in those frothing residues found on the shores of Liberalland.. Just read what is said here, and yes, feel free to rejoice https://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm?frm=189630&sec_id=189630

stephen6000

A great find, Mr. T. One part I found particularly striking was this:
“I knew of cases where the original injury was unequivocally the cause of the subsequent suffering. These cases, however, were almost always marked by a complete absence of exaggeration or dramatisation. They never said, ‘It’s ruined my life, doctor,’ even where it had ruined their lives.”
So I think the general rule we can derive from this is: Distrust drama and exaggeration!

warbling j turpitude

I loved this bit:
“When social historians look back upon western society in a hundred or two hundred years’ time (assuming that such a discipline as social history still exists), they will surely be struck by a paradox or at least a contradiction that characterises our era: namely the contradiction between sexual licentiousness on the one hand, and excesses of zealous outrage about sexual misconduct on another. It is as if we cannot make up our mind whether to be militant hedonists or po-faced puritans and so veer between almost drunkenly the two.”
I thought that not only plain zeal, but jealousy as well involved in the outrage?
“….on the other we appear to be reaching the stage in which consent to sexual relations resembles, or is believed that it ought to resemble, that of consent to an operation, or even a job interview, rather than a seduction or an expression of mutual love.”
This to me really brings the thing to the fore: at what point in the concatenation of micro-consents (so well tracked by LSM) is the whole exchange supposed to turn into a song, and ‘sung’ by what mutually-beheld sovereign/central imaginary, or suppository?

Ethan Edwards

Any pedophile who agrees to Virtuous Pedophiles’ basic rules like not quoting anything on the board elsewhere without permission is welcome to join VP on “observer status” to see what goes on there. Those who try to post strongly held pro-legalization opinions or who choose to link themselves to an identity elsewhere that expresses those views are usually not allowed to post. Criiticism of VP, if done in good faith, is not usually a reason we would keep anyone from posting, though we do reserve the right to do whatever’s best for the board. The active, posting community is defined by an anti-legalization view or at the very least “humble, laid-back” opinions held privately on the subject.

Explorer

Tom, you have written:
“With science, by contrast, we make judgments based on the evidence as to what is true and what is not. We do not blindly “believe” the evidence either: we subject it to all sorts of sceptical scrutiny.”
Well, this statement must be amended a bit by putting a “should” within it: “we SHOULD make judgments based on evidence (and logic, one should add)”, “we SHOULD subject the evidence (and its interpretation, need to be added here) to all sorts of skeptical scrutiny”.
Yet the problem is, not all “shoulds” become “dids”: unlike the Ideal Science (a normative-methodological model), which is always impartial, rational and objective, the Real Science (the actual psychosocial process of inquiry involving inevitably fallible human beings and equally – if not more – fallible communities and organisations created by them) is more often than not biased, passionate and subjective.
And it is crucially important to emphasis that the problem of subjectivity in science is more social than personal: the very “expert community” that supposedly should overcome the personal biases of its members can, and oftentimes do, serve to exalt and intensify these very biases – as long as the “experts” sharing a specific bias have strong enough authority and / or large enough majority with the “expert community”.
In fact, today we see the increasing (and accelerating) degradation of the scientific process – due to its institutionalisation (and thus bureaucratisation), commercialisation (and thus commodification), politicisation (and thus ideologisation).
It is not to say we should discard scientific research and its results – it is still among the most reliable and promising sources of knowledge we have (even if it is definitely not the only one). Yet we should not confuse the scientific research and this questionable recent invention, so-called “scientific consensus”. Such “consensus” is not a fact as and in itself, but simply a dominant – not the one and only! – current position within the scientific community; a position that it is always controvertible and challengeable. And the challenges to it may and should come not only from within the scientific community, but also outside of it: sometimes the outsiders are the ones who can see clearly something that the insiders simply fail to notice because of their specific indoctrination and intense group pressure; and, if the outsiders’ case is supported by the minority of scientific and scholarly heretics and contrarians among the insiders’ ranks (if there is a large consensus, there is always also a small dissensus – to be precise, a diverse multitude of small dissensuses – rejecting it), there is even a stronger incentive to listen to them carefully, rather than to dismiss them out of hand.
P.S. Probably the very best source for the learning about the scientific controversies and dissensuses of most kinds is the Society for the Scientific Exploration, an important source of inspiration for me personally, there I have some good pen-friends (Titus Rivas is one of them). No matter what you think about any particular controversial topic they deal with (and there is always something to enrage someone there), reading them is recommended even for hardcore mainstream-consensus-defenders:
http://www.scientificexploration.org/

Explorer

On the question of anthropogenic global warming (AGW): as for now, I tend to be closer to the consensus side on this specific issue – close enough to support the measures of steady replacement of the fossil fuel energy with the alternative and new energy sources. To argue against such measures, I should have the opposite cetitude, the certitude that the consensus is wrong – and I don’t have it. The debate is not over, and there is a room for substantial doubt – but the debate is never fully over, and substantial doubts can never be completely dispelled. Yet we have to choose and do something, here and now – and so we must make a willful decision and enact it, And, for now, I think that the program of environmental energy reform / replacement is, overall, much better than the decision to stuck with the fossil fuels, for wide range of reasons – which includes (supposed) global warming connection, but far from being limited to it. Understanding the multiple benefits of such replacement (that will remain valid even if AGW model will fall one day, fully or partially) and intending not to put the whole biosphere at the severe risk of the irreversible environmental damage (which will happen if the AGW model is correct, fully or partially), I support it.

Debauch

Look who’s back Tom, your “boorish motormouth” is back on the subject of MJ.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yTTEwBLfUQ

Explorer

Tragicomically, the Russian state media have now found the “Leaving Neverland” documentary and repoting about it in a style which is, in a sense, triumphant: it is presented as yet another sign of the (a)moral fall and decay of the West, against which our increasingly authoritarian rulers are protecting us, morally pure Russians.

Sugarboy

Reminds me of some decades ago, when homosexuality was associated with capitalism’s decadence and, as such, it was of course foreign to the Soviet Union!

stephen6000
ethane72

Just how badly they were harmed, whether it was iatrogenic, whether their parents were partly to blame… all interesting questions.
However, part is really bad for all of us… the implication that Jackson had his sexual needs and therefore naturally (?) couldn’t control himself. I made two tweets from VP addressing this:
—–
“Barbra Streisand says Jackson’s “sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.” She seems ignorant of the majority of us pedophiles who — every day of our lives — reaffirm our choice never to molest children.”
“Jackson didn’t choose to be attracted to boys. But he crossed the line from pedophile to child molester, and “sexual needs” are absolutely no excuse.”
—–
Even if you favor legalization, you want people to understand that we CAN control ourselves. For who is to say we have a willing as opposed to an unwilling partner right handy? You also respect iatrogenic harm and abstain because that itself could cause serious problems for the boys. And given that reality, it does qualify for the word “molestation” (at least at the granularity of Twitter).

Sugarboy

By the way, Barbra Streisand says “he didn’t kill them”, but Reed says essentially the same when it call them “survivors”.

Sugarboy

“You also respect iatrogenic harm and abstain because that itself could cause serious problems for the boys.”
In this case I would rather call it “moneygenic harm”, and I don’t think it should be respected…

stephen6000

I love the phrase ‘the granularity of Twitter’!
But if you have to use the word ‘molestation’, then so much the worse for ‘the granularity of Twitter’. To call what happened to those boys ‘molestation’ (whatever else might be said about their experiences) is an abuse of language.

ethane72

So, what is your definition of “molestation” and the circumstances under which the term should be used? Tom knows the details of every alleged encounter, but I don’t recall that the boys typically asked when they could next do sexual things together again.

stephen6000

Tom has interpreted me correctly.
>”I don’t recall that the boys typically asked when they could next do sexual things together again.”
As Tom pointed out, we weren’t there and so we’re entirely dependent on what others have said. But if we believe the testimony of those boys who said Jackson was sexual with them, then, given also what we know about such relationships in general, it”s quite likely that they did ask for it sometimes. (It would hardly be surprising if none of them admitted to it.) But even if they didn’t, I still don’t think ‘molest’ is the right word, as most of the contacts appear to have been consensual (but I accept the point about the use of such terms in legal contexts.)

Dissident

What also seems to be an important question nowadays, especially in lieu of this documentary, is what someone felt during and immediately after the contact happened or how they came to feel about it many years later in retrospect.
If one subscribes to the belief that such contact is “always wrong” and that kids who experience and participate in it willingly are ‘always misled into simply thinking they enjoyed it,” then that will obviously encourage many of them to reconcepualize the contact many years later in response to societal pressure (i.e., sociogenically induced guilt), manipulation by agenda-driven therapists (who are often the true manipulators in these cases; i.e., iatrogenically induced re-interpretation), and financial opportunism. In such cases, it comes down to how people feel about such contact and what the facts actually suggest… and many are confident that the former will often trump the latter when it comes to public support.

warbling j turpitude

To what extent would we say the various ‘views’ or convictions of most hardcore (pardon me) “MAPs” (still can’t believe this term is quite as innocuous as you chaps are saying it is!) combine into ..well, into any sort of politically recognizable package? As such? Been thinking about ‘packaging’ ..about worldly presentation, ever since the apparent promotion of “climate change” enthusiasm above surprised me – it did – can’t say otherwise. I think of that movement in terms above all of capitulation to the religion of impending disaster. The only thing still stopping it from taking over everything is the belief of its members that they’re ‘not religious’ – and thus, ironically, refusing all tips and strategic direction from those who know most about ‘houses on fire’ – the very religious themselves! Concomitantly I wonder about what degree of ‘politically-loaded’ expression can avail this little accumulated army of Kinds, and what, on the other hand, can only ail it – so to speak? Is there anything more annoying when some obviously ThoughtLite person pops up intoning “just like I thought – ticks all the boxes!”… ? So yes, boxwise, intriguing to to read Tom’s wee preamble at top referring to Stephen as perhaps a ‘corrective’ medicine for those who, whilst “always welcome”, must remember their thought does remain floating about there “outside the box”.. so what this whittles up to might be the question ‘is there an orthodoxy – even an orthoboxy lol, already congealing somehow in the midst of our otherwise heretical ranks’? Conversely, what intersections do you say we must make, if to ‘politically advance’ at all, with the appropriate sectors? The Adult-run stars of Little Doom-Mongers Rool, for example?
I for one am drooling at the prospect of such alignments

Comment du JOUR!

I have been heartbroken by the desperate cries of our students begging for help to halt Climate Change before they are killed by it.
Then I realized, IF THEY ARE SERIOUS,THEY could take steps NOW.
Enough with pointless “protests & demonstrations” , here are actual steps the Youth can take right now to meaningfully fight Global Warming.
REALLY? Let’s start with the schools:
(1) Drop school room temperatures down to 65 during the winter. yank ALL air conditioners. Recycle the materials
(2) WALK or bicycle to school. No more buses or rides.
(3) No more school trips or events involving travel other than walking or bikes.
(4) No more HOT lunches. ALL food provided MUST be eaten.
(5) No more energy wasting swimming pools, showers, amenities.
(6) Simple utilitarian school uniforms. No more resource wasting “fashions”.
(7) All schools downsized, larger class sizes, NO teachers to reduce carbon footprint. All lectures will be streamed over the interweb, Why keep reinventing the wheel when the subject matter can be covered expertly by ONE central lecturer, questions answered online. tests online, room monitors replace teachers.

warbling j turpitude

erm…but why on earth should it? The concern of the comment is onefold – to ask if these people are at all serious, and if so, why is it almost certain they would never even consider these plainest examples of demonstrating as much?

warbling j turpitude

“As for climate change, there is far more evidence for it, growing all the time than there is for any religious beliefs. Some claims are overdone, for sure, but that doesn’t makes the underlying sound evidence disappear”
But two lines of enquiry for the moment, then. Firstly, how does that opening gambit of your first response, not reveal how much you ‘instinctively’ conceive of this whole matter in terms of ..well, of competing religions?
Secondly (from your second response re the protestors), I worry very much Tom that, in your seemingly great anxiousness to ‘protect the(se) messengers”, you are ‘subconsciously’ contributing directly to that horrid state-of-affairs whereby the purely idealistic medium of ‘childlike innocence’ has itself become the environmental message, and been placed on a pedestal above criticism.
For one who wrote a Sexuality & Culture paper (contra innocentiam) as magnificent as yours, I find this to be a disturbiing development in every way!

stephen6000

Well, I’d be happy (in the ‘virtual world’ at least) to sit alongside Ethan and Nick to argue for, e.g., better mental health care for those MAPs who need it . In fact that was precisely what we were trying to work towards in FUMA (though, as Tom mentioned, we unfortunately didn’t get anywhere on that occasion). So, yes, I think, there is plenty of scope for finding common ground between our different ‘wings’ of the movement.

Christian

VPs could be accepted within identity politics: it would be only a sexual identity, like ‘gay kids’, who identify as ‘gays’, but who may not talk about their gay desires, and foremost are forbidden to practice their gay sexuality.
They could also be accepted within victim politics: they are ‘victims’ of desires that they did not choose.
But to me, both identity and victim politics are reactionary.

Dissident

But to me, both identity and victim politics are reactionary.
Agreed. You will note that in a large number of my arguments with certain Virpeds over on GC and here, many of them strongly favor some of the chief tenets of reactionary “left” identity politics: a disdain for due process (by using the excuse that it’s too “difficult” to rely on compiling actual evidence to put that before accusations alone); dislike for certain groups of people (in this case, men); granting a strange combination of undue power/advantage and condescending denial of agency to alleged or actual oppressed identity groups (both women and kids); the idea that principle should take a back seat to feelings; and that certain forms of behavior are good or bad depending on which group is the perpetrator and which the recipient of said actions. It is extremely incompatible with any political platform claiming to espouse freedom and equality and very pro-hierarchy.

Christian

Dissy, I never go to chat groups, so I do not know anything about what happens on GC.

Dissident

Noted. In that case, note the back and forth that I, and others, have had with Virpeds on this topic here on Tom’s blog. What has ensued on GC pretty much mirrors what you have seen here.

stephen6000

Here is another point which supports my position: There have been societies that have tolerated paedophile acts, but there have not (to my knowledge) been any societies that have rejected paedophile acts but accepted paedophiles.

Sugarboy

Yes, but the very concept of “sexual identity” is a modern invention. In those societies there were different kinds of sexual acts as happens today, but people were not identified as “heterosexual”, “homosexual” or “pedophile” (with the possible exception of “transgender” because you cannot fail to spot them – but that’s more a condition than an identity).

stephen6000

This is true, but I don’t think it affects my point. Just replace my last statement with:
‘There haven’t been any societies in which adult-child sex has been rejected but adults who have sex with children (whether or not they regard it as part of their “identity”) have been accepted.’

stephen6000

>>There haven’t been any societies in which adult-child sex has been rejected but adults who are sexually attracted to children (whether or not they regard it as part of their “identity”) have been accepted.'<“An additional complication is that you have switched from a positive formulation (“There have been societies…”) to a negative one (“There haven’t been any societies…”).”
But that’s what’s needed, isn’t it? I’m drawing a contrast between, on the one hand, what I think is possible (because it has sometimes existed) and, on the other, what VP thinks is possible but whose possibility I doubt (because it apparently HASN’T ever existed).

stephen6000

[Note: if my comment of Mar 22, 2019 @ 11:53:12 is still present, please ignore it. Some gremlins got into the system and mucked it up! What follows is what I intended to say (assuming the same thing doesn’t happen again!)]
>>There haven’t been any societies in which adult-child sex has been rejected but adults who are sexually attracted to children (whether or not they regard it as part of their “identity”) have been accepted.'<“An additional complication is that you have switched from a positive formulation (“There have been societies…”) to a negative one (“There haven’t been any societies…”).”
That’s what I need, isn’t it? I am trying to draw a contrast between, on the one hand, what I think is possible (because it has sometimes existed) and, on the other, what I think is probably impossible (because apparently it HASN’T ever existed).

stephen6000

WordPress has been behaving really weirdly. It has mysteriously omitted (twice) from my comment a statement in which I acknowledged your correction as indeed reflecting what I meant to say. (Actually, I have e-mailed you about this, Tom.)

prodigaljohn

It seems pretty circular, to not allow something because no one else has tried it either. But suppose if examples are brought up the counter-argument will take a nimby turn.

ethane72

“Here is another point which supports my position: There have been societies that have tolerated paedophile acts, but there have not (to my knowledge) been any societies that have rejected paedophile acts but accepted paedophiles.”
A major development of the modern world and modern psychology is the separation of private mental life from public acts. Suppose you’re angry at your boss. One option is to yell at him and get fired. Or maybe you realize he hasn’t done anything terrible, it just makes you angry. So in the old world you could pray that God will relieve you of your unjust anger, or you could hate yourself for having bad thoughts. The modern option is to recognize the anger, recognize that lots of other people are in the same position, accept the anger, make sure you don’t express it in harmful ways, and don’t hate yourself. We apply it in child rearing too. Instead of “You shouldn’t be angry at your sister!” we allow exploration of why you might be angry but still can’t hit her. The married man no longer has to think he’s a sinner for finding the woman next door attractive — he can recognize the attraction as natural but understand long-term happiness might be best if he doesn’t act on it.
So acceptance of pedophilic feelings while continuing to condemn adult-child sex is just one small example of this transformation of accepting psychological states.

stephen6000

The problem is that in this case the psychological state involves a desire to do something that is considered SO bad that no risk of its happening should be tolerated (i.e. something much worse than hitting your sister or having an affair).

Dissident

And which invariably results in harsh laws and attitudes towards MAPs, and the idea that they need to be constantly monitored, if not outright controlled – not to mention how profitable it is for both law enforcement agencies and big corporations (particularly those involved in communications technology) to build careers out of hunting and entrapping MAPs. And of course, it also demands that young people be eternally placed in a form of control by adults (where the worst examples of real abuse actually occur most frequently), their agency be forever denied, and their individual potential be stifled by absolutist laws that judge them entirely by their age and actually does not allow them to prove their full merits.
This is the path that leads to the police state and surveillance society.

Sugarboy

“A major development of the modern world and modern psychology is the separation of private mental life from public acts”
“So acceptance of pedophilic feelings while continuing to condemn adult-child sex is just one small example of this transformation of accepting psychological states”.
Yet another good reason to rediscover world and psychology from bygone times!

stephen6000

I have consolidated my latest replies to Nick and Ethan in one comment.
NICK’S POINTS WITH REPLIES:
>”I was confused by the comments about b4uact. I left that group precisely because they were unwilling to say that adults shouldn’t be allowed to have sex with kids. I thought the failure to say that made progress impossible. Since then, Richard Kramer has said on multiple occasions that adults shouldn’t be allowed to have sex with kids. Now I am once again confused on their position.”
I’m not sure what’s going on here either. I wasn’t aware of the statements by Richard Kramer that you refer to. But maybe he is just giving his personal opinion and B4U-ACT as an organisation remains neutral.
>”[The issue of whether harm caused by adult-child sex is intrinsic or iatrogenic] is not particularly relevant to the question of whether adult-child sex should be legalized; harm is harm.”
I agree that in the short term it is not relevant. But in the long term it is highly relevant, as iatrogenic – and sociogenic – factors could be removed if society wanted this.
>”But those who did sexual things as kids but are interested in having sex with kids should keep quiet on the issue. All they have that the others don’t is the appearance that self-interest is influencing them.”
But do their past experiences count for nothing just because they have an interest? Why not do what they do in politics etc: declare the interest you have and let your audience decide how much weight to give it?
>”As mentioned in my post, it seems to me that saying “we’re committed to avoiding sex with kids and have the ability to resist our sexual desires” has a better chance than saying “we think we should be allowed to have sex with kids and doing so won’t harm them.”
Well, the second might have a better chance if it were put like this:
‘We think kids and adults shouldn’t be punished or made to feel bad for having sex with one another – it won’t harm the kids.’
>”You tell me why believing that these laws will change in the foreseeable future isn’t delusional.”
If you had said in the 1940s that within a few decades, gay people would be allowed to have sex with one another, that they would be permitted to marry and that people would routinely be called out for being ‘homophobic’, you would have been called delusional. Yes, I know homosexuality and paedophilia raise different issues. But that doesn’t affect my point, which is that what seems absolutely inconceivable at one time can actually come true at another. And, like Ethan, you should take account of the Netherlands in the 1970s.
>”Last, please explain to me how Ethan’s point that a pedophile’s self-interest might color his views on the issue and also make his arguments less persuasive to the general public constitutes an ad hominem argument. He is not attacking your character or motives. He is sexually attracted to kids as well. He is merely pointing out that self-interest can prejudice one’s views.“
Well, there are different kinds of ad hominem arguments. Certainly one type involves attacking someone’s character, and I wasn’t accusing him of that. Another type does indeed have to do with drawing attention to possible distortions caused by self-interest. It is not that it is wrong to do that. Indeed, as I have already acknowledged above, knowing about people’s interests and prior commitments is often important. When it becomes ad hominem is when it is done as a substitute for addressing the content of the argument itself. After all, an argument can still be sound, however much of a selfish interest the proponent has in its conclusion and it is the soundness of the argument that matters. So it can be ad hominem to urge this point, whether it is VPs urging it or (more relevantly to the present discussion) mainstream society.
>”Lots of people are interested in the well-being of children. If the only ones who think kids should be allowed to have sex with adults are adults who want to have sex with kids, doesn’t that raise questions about the judgment of those adults?”
Sure, self-interest is playing its part here. But, as I just pointed out, that doesn’t address the question of the quality of their arguments. Also, there are some non-paedophiles who are open to the idea that adults should be allowed to have sex with kids, but (Amos Yee aside) they are mostly very quiet at the moment, for understandable reasons.
ETHAN’S POINTS WITH REPLIES:
>”This “not so very harmful” criterion for people allowing pedophiles to spend time with kids is an odd one. If they spend time together, it opens the possibility of not just consensual but non-consensual sex, and everyone agrees that is a huge deal — rape always was, and #MeToo lowers the bar on the unacceptable. I don’t get this very peculiar universe in which parents would trust that pedophiles would never do anything unless a child was completely willing, but heavily mistrust them about doing something if the child is willing, but then would feel OK about it if they are convinced the willing relationships are almost never harmful.”
Let me try again.
The main thing that’s preventing paedophiles form having ‘ordinary’ non-sexual relationships with children is mainstream society’s fear that they will become sexual. But then if mainstream society could be persuaded that it wouldn’t matter if they did become sexual (as long there was consent), then they could allow both kinds of relationships – the sexual and the non-sexual. As for the possibility of non-consensual sex, obviously this will still be a cause for concern. But my reason for thinking that mainstream society would not – if it were rational – let that stand in the way of allowing the consensual sex is that it doesn’t do that in the case of other, currently more accepted, kinds of consensual sex between adults. It just needs to understand that the threat of the rapist is no greater in the case of paedophilia than it is in the case of adult-adult sex.
>”Your original argument that VP’s unwillingness to engage this issue will prevent it from happening seems totally misguided, vastly inflating the relevance of the opinion of VP or any other group of pedophiles.”
That wasn’t quite what I was arguing. True, I did use the phrase ‘undermining the radicals’, but I don’t think that would necessarily make a huge difference if we could get the level of support for a radical agenda that it is potentially there. My main point was that you in VP will not be successful in YOUR agenda in terms of massive society-wide improvements. If it’s just you making the running, then in fifty years’ time it will still be the same dreary situation that we have now i.e. mainly strong condemnation of paedophiles with a little bit of sympathy from one or two kinder souls. And not only us, but also children, will continue to suffer the effects of this horrible taboo.
>”You say MAPs would be unhappy with continuously supervised relationships. You’re getting pretty picky in your desires here. Admittedly that would be a drag, but being prepared for a spot inspection at any time seems quite reasonable. I should think anyone who spends time with kids, including non-MAPs, should be prepared for spot inspections, and the understanding that the child cannot be expected to keep any secrets from parents.”
Here’s a ‘mainstream’ response to what you’re saying here:
“What makes you think mere ‘spot inspections’ are going to be enough to enforce chastity? Remember adult-child sex is VERY dangerous and could happen whenever the paedophile gets the urge. So paedophiles need to be watched ALL the time. Maybe it’s sad for the paedophiles (they can’t help having this ‘sickness’) but the children come first!”

ethane72

“But do their past experiences count for nothing just because they have an interest? Why not do what they do in politics etc: declare the interest you have and let your audience decide how much weight to give it?”
No one’s saying they can’t give their opinions, it’s just that in some cases you’d do better politically to keep quiet than speak at all. “I’m against the death penalty, it’s inhumane and uncivilized! [disclosure, I’m due to be executed in a month].” If you’re organizing the anti-death-penalty campaign, you leave that guy’s voice out. But more to the point, if you can’t find lots of anti-death-penalty people who aren’t on death row, it would suggest a serious shortcoming in your position.
“If it’s just you [VPs] making the running, then in fifty years’ time it will still be the same dreary situation that we have now i.e. mainly strong condemnation of paedophiles with a little bit of sympathy from one or two kinder souls.”
Are you saying that without the support of pro-legalization pedophiles we will get nowhere? I disagree completely. I judge we would make most progress if we denied any connection with you guys and called you devils. We don’t because of decency and compassion and hope of convincing you, not because it helps our cause. If in 50 years celibate pedophiles were accepted as much as gays and lesbians are today, and some teleios start murmuring, “Now, exactly why can’t 13-year-old gay boys have sex with young men if they want to?” let them murmur and maybe it will become a live issue. But even then, I don’t see that boy-attracted hebes saying, “Yeah! Why not, huh? Why not?” is going to help the cause. If the question became, “But where can we possibly find any men who would want to have sex with these boys?” then they/you can politely raise your hand. 🙂
I’m inclined to bow out of these discussions about future political possibilities with you because our intuitions are so different. Yes, we’ve been surprised in the past (Donald Trump) but we still have to make the best judgments we can. I see no benefit to anyone sticking an “I am a pedophile” hat on and saying, “Sex between adults and kids isn’t so bad for the kids.” My objection isn’t just that it’s a waste of time because nothing will change, it’s that it is actively harmful, politically. To the extent it’s true, the nons will figure it out.

stephen6000

Actually, it’s pretty much standard for social causes to be pursued most energetically by those who will benefit most from achieving them, though, of course, they won’t get anywhere unless they can provide more objective reasons – which, of course, I have.
As for waiting for the ‘nons’ to come to accept paedophilia off their own bat, as it were, it may not happen for a long time yet, if ever. The issues are too urgent – not just for us, but for children too. And they are the same issues that you’re trying to address – the well-being of paedophiles and children and the harm often caused by adult-child sex. It’s just that I think your approach is too superficial to make any real headway. Put simply, what you propose is do-able – in fact you’re already doing it – but it won’t change much; whereas what we propose is much harder, but carries the promise of making things MUCH better for all concerned. I suppose we have to take our pick between these two approaches.
Speaking of which, you referred to differences in our intuitions. Clearly those differences are very real and perhaps intractable – we may be getting close to the point where we have to agree to disagree.

Dissident

Just a few quick things, to keep matters succinct:
I have consolidated my latest replies to Nick and Ethan in one comment.
NICK’S POINTS WITH REPLIES:
>”I was confused by the comments about b4uact. I left that group precisely because they were unwilling to say that adults shouldn’t be allowed to have sex with kids. I thought the failure to say that made progress impossible. Since then, Richard Kramer has said on multiple occasions that adults shouldn’t be allowed to have sex with kids. Now I am once again confused on their position.”
I’m not sure what’s going on here either. I wasn’t aware of the statements by Richard Kramer that you refer to. But maybe he is just giving his personal opinion and B4U-ACT as an organisation remains neutral.

I won’t speak for Richard, but what I suspect is going on here is a misunderstanding of context. I do not believe Richard was likely making a moralistic, value-based statement. I think, likely, he simply meant that the laws should not be violated because in the current climate that is very dangerous for both the older and younger partner alike, including the iatrogenic and sociogenic harm the younger person can experience as a result. This has always been B4U-ACT’s stance. It has always had the purpose of uniting MAPs of different ideologies on the basis of mutual support and unification on less contentious topics that both MAPs and researchers with conflicting ideologies on the more emotionally charged issues could more easily come to agreement on. It also serves as a place of support for MAPs and study by researchers who are fence-sitters on these hot button issues. If B4U-ACT took a specific moral position in either direction, then it would risk alienating too many MAPs and researchers from its mission of unification and establishment of value-neutral dialogue that can benefit MAPs of all ideologies.
[from Nick]:>”Last, please explain to me how Ethan’s point that a pedophile’s self-interest might color his views on the issue and also make his arguments less persuasive to the general public constitutes an ad hominem argument. He is not attacking your character or motives. He is sexually attracted to kids as well. He is merely pointing out that self-interest can prejudice one’s views.“
The problem with this oft-repeated statement is what appears to be the strange contention that adults who are attracted to kids are the only party who could possibly have bias and self-interest at the core of their argument. Does the empirical evidence seriously suggest that adults who are revolted by the idea of intergenerational romantic/sexual partnering and who benefit from the gerontocentric power hegemony that keeps kids as the de facto property of their parents and non-citizens in the eyes of the state would be any more objective on this matter in one direction than MAPs may be in the other direction? It’s a really strange and frankly hypocritical argument to make that wouldn’t be made at all if not for the fact that the mainstream voices are currently more than happy to willfully overlook its absurdity.
It also conveniently panders to mainstream bias by leaving the voice of kids out of the equation entirely.
[Nick]: >”Lots of people are interested in the well-being of children.
I think we could take this contention from the mainstream more seriously if they showed equal interest in opposing a system that routinely subjects kids to poverty, neglect, abuse and virtual imprisonment in a small isolated family unit, and having kids in the Middle East blown to bits or rendered homeless by drone bombings and the continued use of cluster bombs. As well as support for a system of ethics that considers murder or armed robbery a lesser ethical breach than an adult exchanging mutually desired intimacy with a much younger person. Otherwise, it opens up the question of whether it’s really the well-being of kids such people are concerned with, or a combination of their moral propriety and the continued existence of the current status quo.
If the only ones who think kids should be allowed to have sex with adults are adults who want to have sex with kids, doesn’t that raise questions about the judgment of those adults?”
If the kids were allowed to air their opinions on the matter without being censured and censored if they uttered opinions other than what the mainstream adults wanted to hear, then this statement could be taken more seriously. What this state of affairs should actually do is raise questions about the judgment of our system of communication and its heavy reliance on censorship and destruction of careers to create the illusion of consensus on certain issues.
I don’t get this very peculiar universe in which parents would trust that pedophiles would never do anything unless a child was completely willing, but heavily mistrust them about doing something if the child is willing, but then would feel OK about it if they are convinced the willing relationships are almost never harmful.”
It’s funny Ethan mentioned the #MeToo Movement, since it correlates with the concept of always mistrusting certain individuals based upon what identity group they belong to (wave to the crowd, men!). It effectively removes agency from kids and women just as it gives them the power to ruin the lives of men with a mere accusation, since men are disliked and considered beasts among humanity. Pre-emptive mistrust and contempt for due process vis a vis assumption of the worst over the presumption of innocence due to lack of evidence make it pretty clear that the ongoing moral panic against pedophilia is a direct cousin to the SJW movement and the reactionary left’s identity politics of resentment and virtue-signalling based on what part of the identity hierarchy you were born into.
You will also notice that parents are always given the presumption of virtue and “best interests at heart” for kids when it’s well known to everyone here that it is within the insular, secluded walls of the contemporary nuclear family unit and its massive power imbalances that the vast majority of all types of real abuse tends to occur. This is not intended to impugn the institution of parenthood, but rather the form which the family unit currently takes and how it’s cut off from the greater community and denies agency to kids. This provides strong evidence that this has never been about the objective well-being of kids, but rather maintaining control of them under the aegis of the current nuclear family hierarchy whatever the cost. Yet, it’s pro-choicer, youth liberationist MAPs who are said to be most suspect for selfish forms of self-interest when most of us favor not only agency and empowerment of youths in all spheres of life that would make them highly resistant to abuse and manipulation, but an open community where full scrutiny of all relationship types could occur without biased monitoring procedures.

stephen6000

>”Now, though, the new Kindle e-book edition [of ‘Michael Jackson’s Dangerous Liaisons’] can be yours for barely more than a tenth of such an expensive outlay, at a very affordable £3.78 from Amazon in the UK and around $5 in the US. And it comes with a substantial new Preface written in the wake of the sensational Leaving Neverland documentary.”
Thanks, Tom. I’ve just bought it, having long wanted an electronic version, as opposed to a physical book that could be awkward to have around – those taboos again!

Debauch

I guess the horse has long bolted in your case….re burning a house down
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1S3pRLc5Tg

Nick Devin

The title to the blog is Why VP will fail,” but the blog defines failure as inability to get society to permit pedophiles to form close personal but nonsexual relationships with kids, which is not one of our stated objectives. Having said that, if the objective was to foster nonsexual relations between pedophiles and kids, I would think that an approach like ours (“we are committed to not having sexual relationships with kids and are capable of avoiding such interactions”) would be more effective than (“we would like to have consensual sex with kids and they won’t be hurt if we do”).
We have members who spend a fair amount of time with kids–for example, as teachers or coaches. We don’t discourage this unless the member feels that the situation creates a risk of offense. When I was younger, I spent a fair amount of time with kids running youth sports programs and serving as a camp counselor. I found it immensely rewarding. We do advise members that we think it is generally a poor idea to spend alone time with kids who they find attractive, and that it is better to interact in groups. It avoids temptation and eliminates the risk of false accusation. My guess is that Jerry Sandusky now wishes he had followed this advice.
I was confused by the comments about b4uact. I left that group precisely because they were unwilling to say that adults shouldn’t be allowed to have sex with kids. I thought the failure to say that made progress impossible. Since then, Richard Kramer has said on multiple occasions that adults shouldn’t be allowed to have sex with kids. Now I am once again confused on their position.
Finally, we take no position on whether adult-child sex is intrinsically harmful as opposed to being harmful for iatrogenic reasons. The scientists I respect the most believe that iatrogenic factors cause a lot of the harm, but they are unwilling to say that such factors cause all of the harm,; they know a lot more about it than I do. To my mind, the issue is important insofar as it relates to the treatment of kids who have sex with adults; they should be treated in ways that minimize the risk and magnitude of any harm. It is not particularly relevant to the question of whether adult-child sex should be legalized; harm is harm.
Last finally, I was pleased that the author acknowledged that we have made progress with respect to our stated objectives. I am also encouraged, but it is a long, hard haul. To the objectives he mentions, I would add the goal of increasing access to mental health services. I think this has been our biggest success, though admittedly much remains to be done.

daniel

Nick Devin/VP
Its good to see that Peadophiles can spend time with children and enjoy wholesome activities that you can all enjoy doing, but isnt it rather sad that we can’t be honest about our sexual feelings with parents at the same time without them jumping to a some kind of conclusion that something evil and dark is going to happen to that new person when we know deep down that it won’t? and what do you think about up most honesty when it comes to being around parents?

prodigaljohn

Suppose this is something that Ethan Edwards was alluding to when he’s talking about, in one blog entry, how some “pedophiles will not be happy until it’s OK for adults and children to have sex,… but a lot of pedophiles will be content” in having ordinary, non-sexual interactions with children. It’s the question of honesty, and trust. Few people are open to how someone can have the potential to be sexually attracted to any given child, but still be abstinent, and allowed to interact with said child, or any other one.
Otherwise we’re kind of forced to keep all those feelings under wraps, most especially from the parents, which may only feed into the narrative of how secretive, and therefore dangerous and untrustworthy we are with kids. And nevermind if we won’t find those same kids attractive anytime soon, but never the less will want to make sure everyone has a fun time. Cause if the suspicion is raised then no one’s going to have fun anymore.

daniel

prodigaljohn
the point i am trying to make to devin is that it shouldn’t be like this we shouldn’t be in a society that makes us all feel like strangers around each other and would the vp gentleman rather live in a society that is stigma free ergo no need to be secretive and wouldn’t that make a better world all round?
>Otherwise we’re kind of forced to keep all those feelings under wraps, most especially from the parents, which may only feed into the narrative of how secretive, and therefore dangerous and untrustworthy we are with kids.

Nick Devin

Daniel, I agree with you that it is unfortunate that we can’t tell parents that we are pedophiles and still spend time with kids. Ethan addresses this in the blog he referenced in his comment. Maybe if the world comes to recognize the existence of NOMAPs this will change, but I’m not optimistic that this will happen during my life. There was a teacher at my kids’ high school who I strongly suspected was sexually attracted to kids. I felt this way because he spent his free time with kids, and it seemed that the boys he befriended were freshmen who I found attractive. He took an interest in one of my sons and I felt he was a positive influence. I got to know him and was confident that he wouldn’t offend. Other parents complained that he was too close to kids and he was eventually fired. One of the sadder cases that we had involved a member who was a teacher. He never came close to offending and was confident he never would. Due to a lapse in judgment, he told a fellow teacher who he considered a close friend. She threatened to out him unless he resigned and he ended up losing his career.

daniel

Nick Devin
for me at the minute i don’t have much of a desire to be around kids knowing how parents feel about it not just that but i don’t want to feel like some kind of sneak for the rest of my life and don’t understand why a parent who hasn’t suffered any cohesive activities should have an outright say on what constitutes child abuse why can’t paedophiles who have had these misfortunes them selves also have more of a say and more of a voice?

ethane72

“i don’t have much of a desire to be around kids knowing how parents feel about it not just that but i don’t want to feel like some kind of sneak for the rest of my life”
I’ve argued that it’s OK for pedophiles to work with kids without notifying parents given the world we live in, but it is far from ideal, and there is the problem of feeling like a sneak. One analogy I’ve considered is to someone who wants a job in retail at age 25. Is it really fair to the store that they don’t admit they shoplifted a half-dozen small things when they were 15 and never got caught? It is relevant criminal behavior. But does anyone really expect them to reveal that and therefore not land the job if they have matured and have no problem with shoplifting any more? I do think that a pedophile who doesn’t tell parents has an extra layer of grave responsibility to make sure nothing sexual happens.
“why can’t paedophiles who have had these misfortunes them selves also have more of a say and more of a voice?”
I think I understand where you’re coming from but I think it’s exactly the wrong group. There are four kinds of people. Those who did sexual things as kids with adults and those who did not on the one hand, crossed with the independent factor of those adults who would like to do sexual things with kids and those who would not.
Those who did sexual things as kids but have no interest in having sex with kids could give some valuable feedback to society at large. But those who did sexual things as kids but are interested in having sex with kids should keep quiet on the issue. All they have that the others don’t is the appearance that self-interest is influencing them.

daniel

When u say the wrong group, are u saying that paedophiles who have been abused then are the wrong group of sexual abuse survivors to make any decisions? i understand what u r saying with the shoplifter scenario but i think the shoplifter is lucky enough to be allowed to admit his actions without being dealt with too harshly and with the rise of paedophile hunters this will also give paedophiles less reason to hide their sexual orientation so what should those ppl who have been outed do? what can vp do for them?
I think I understand where you’re coming from but I think it’s exactly the wrong group.

prodigaljohn

Maybe not a perfect analogy, the shoplifter turned retail employee, but the point seems to be “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. That’s a practical way of dealing with our current situation. Eventually, however, we need a way to open the dialogue of parents trusting abstinent interactions of known MAPs with children. Otherwise we’re kind of stuck feeding into the suspiciously secretive pedophile narrative. Whether we try to be open, or repeatedly deny it if we’re confronted with the question, our abstinence will only be seen as an act. People are going to suspect that anything we do is for the ultimate goal of “abusing” the child, even if that’s not true, of course. If not immediately, then certainly we’re set up for failure in the long-term in current stage.

daniel

prodigaljohn
“Don’t ask don’t tell that’s gotta suck for so many victims of child abuse.

prodigaljohn

…Okay, I wasn’t going for victims of sex abuse specifically, but yeah, they too fall beneath the dilemma of “don’t ask, don’t tell”.
Even those who say they’re abused, at the moment that it happens, are dismissed, from what I’ve seen to this day. And those who were supposed to have acted on helping that child out excuse themselves, later on, by saying “well, of course we weren’t to know, the pedophile is crafty! He groomed us all into never believing these children when they said he was abusing them. At least we caught him, and have better knowledge of just how sly and manipulative those nasty pedo’s are”.
And on the other end nevermind if the other “victim” is open, and never felt abused, even far in retrospect. There is an opposite dismissal on that, “Well of course you don’t feel abused, because you were manipulated into not feeling abused, when in fact you have been horrifically mistreated! That, and what do you know, you’re a child. You don’t know what’s good or bad for you. And your feelings on this is far off kilter, boy!”
Now, to make matters worse that dismissal is hardly restricted to the world of sexual abuse, but that is even in the world of bullying, and physical mistreatment of kids! To see how children have been dismissed in cases of sexual and physical abuse makes me believe these are just stems of a deeply rooted problem. Whether Uncle Billy has been doing sexual things that Susie doesn’t like, or Tommy is being beaten up by Roger and Derrick, or even Becky, these kids are still being ignored by their caregivers! And all that happens as voices grow louder for combating bullying, and sexual abuse in wider society.

daniel

when i say victims of abuse i mean that it must suck for all the paedophiles who have been abused.

ethane72

I am trying to work out the technical glitches. Bear with me.

Ethan Edwards

I’m co-founder of Virtuous Pedophiles, along with Nick Devin.
I am pleased that the guest blogger Stephen James looks carefully at VP positions. I am glad that he recognizes some of the progress we have made and the hope for more progress to come.
James has a long discussion of whether society would trust pedophiles to be around children in non-sexual relationships, and whether VP would trust them, and so forth, based on whether sexual relationships are very dangerous or at most mildly dangerous. VP doesn’t say pedophiles can never spend time with kids. I have a blog entry on why some of our members spend time with children and we do not feel they have an obligation to notify parents: http://celibatepedos.blogspot.com/2018/03/pedophiles-working-with-kids-shocking.html. When you boil away the surrounding trust-them-in-the-same-room questions, James thinks pedophiles will not be happy until it’s OK for adults and children to have sex, and he is right that VP is not going to support him in that position at all. Some pedophiles will not be happy until that happens, but a lot of pedophiles will be content. Of course in a sense we desire sex with children, but we recognize what is possible and what is not, just like ordinary guys do. If some ordinary guy lacks the combination of emotional and physical capabilities to find a woman who meets his standards to have a consensual relationship with, then he is content with that situation — unless he’s a crazy Incel. “Content” may include intense personal dissatisfaction but does not extend to wanting legislative solutions to his problem.
James alleges a time in 1970s Netherlands when he says adult-child sexual relationships were nearly accepted (I haven’t researched the topic), and says we pedophiles could achieve this now with a united front. This seems total fantasy to me, layer upon layer. First layer: Neither in the 1970s nor today was/is society saying, “Hmmm, interesting idea… are the pedophiles united on it? If only those VP-like people weren’t against it we would seriously consider it.” Second layer: It is nowhere on the political map at all. Instead, we’re fighting losing rearguard actions on whether all-text stories of underage people having sex should land people in prison. Third layer: If it gets anywhere near the political map, it would do so based on the expressed desires of children, not the expressed desires of pedophiles. I say any pedophile arguing for it would harden public attitudes against it. Aligning with B4U-ACT instead of VP so as not to alienate the radicals – it’s all irrelevant fantasy. We don’t set out to alienate anybody, but the prospect of alienating pro-legalization pedophiles would never sway us from our anti-contact, anti-legalization principles.
VP does not actually take an absolutist “age of consent” position. For instance, ordinary folks in the US debate whether the proper age of consent should be 16, 17, or 18. We do not require our members to favor 18. Our fundamental position is that the proper age of consent is about what’s best for children, society is overflowing with people who care deeply about children, and we pedophiles have no special knowledge about what is good for children. So let the teleiophiles sort it out. It’s plain to society that we have an apparent self-interest in there being a lower age, and some of us might recognize that it might actually cloud our judgment.
“When consensual adult-child sex does lead to harm, this seems to happen mainly because of the taboo against it. This is supported to some extent even by the literature of our opponents. I’m thinking especially of Susan Clancy’s The Trauma Myth, in which the author shows that in most cases the experience of sex with an adult is not unpleasant for the child at the time – psychological harm comes later in the form of guilt feelings, which are, of course, entirely dependent on there being a taboo.” Nick and I recognize that much harm can come from how the system treats kids and we are all for reducing that harm when adult-child sex has already happened. But your interpretation is riddled with problems… “consensual” does not present itself to the legal system clearly labeled, “mainly because of the taboo” recognizes that some other cases might be very harmful. Also, Clancy’s kids typically had at the time an uneasy feeling and the sense the sex shouldn’t be happening. They didn’t have the sense “all is well” that we would expect of “this was good adult-child sex”. Later harm can also come from betrayal of expectations that arise as part of maturity, not just from an arbitrary imposition of shame from society.
Nick and I try hard not to say bad things about pro-legalization pedophiles. We recognize some are sincere in thinking adult-child sex could be OK and in swearing they will not engage in adult-child sex until it is legal (our guess: “never”). Some of our associated VP moderators have taken a harsher line. In some cases they report this was based on learning that specific pro-legalization pedophiles were in fact molesting children.
But Nick and I have no intention of budging an inch on our basic position that engaging in adult-child sex is wrong and always will be.
“VP is hoping for more. I think they want to reach a point where most MAPs can live a “normal” life, which, in this context, we can perhaps interpret as meaning a life that is minimally impacted by the fact that they are MAPs, largely free of hatred and with broadly the same opportunities as non-MAPs enjoy.“
I would agree with that. Those broadly similar opportunities do not include sex with children. I think we’re headed in the right direction, and vigorously defending that exception is in fact vital to our continuing to achieve the success we do.

stephen6000

>”When you boil away the surrounding trust-them-in-the-same-room questions, James thinks pedophiles will not be happy until it’s OK for adults and children to have sex, and he is right that VP is not going to support him in that position at all.”
If you ‘boil away’ that, you are boiling away the key part of my argument. I was not simply saying ‘paedophiles will not be happy until it’s OK for adults and children to have sex’. I think this is true if we mean totally happy, but that wasn’t what I was trying to say. I was saying that paedophiles won’t be happy (most of them, that is) until they can relate to children in other, non-sexual ways, but that this is precluded by mainstream society’s fear of adult-child sex occurring if this is allowed. You say in your linked blog post it may be OK for paedophiles to spend time with children and not tell their parents about it because our ‘Stalinist’ situation makes such secrecy justifiable. But doesn’t VP want to get rid of the Stalinist regime? And how is it going to do that if mainstream society thinks paedophiles are a danger to their kids? As I said in my blog, it can’t distinguish the ones who are ‘dangerous’ from the ones who aren’t.
>”James alleges a time in 1970s Netherlands when he says adult-child sexual relationships were nearly accepted (I haven’t researched the topic), and says we pedophiles could achieve this now with a united front. This seems total fantasy to me, layer upon layer.”
You admit you haven’t researched it, so maybe you could start here: https://www.ipce.info/host/radicase/radical_new_cleaned1.pdf (beginning on p.180). I promise you an interesting read. When you have finished, we can then start to discuss the ‘layers of fantasy’ you think I am suffering from.
>”It’s plain to society that we have an apparent self-interest in there being a lower age, and some of us might recognize that it might actually cloud our judgment.”
This is merely ad hominem.
>”“consensual” does not present itself to the legal system clearly labeled..”
Nor does it in the case of adult-adult relations. It doesn’t follow that the law should just ignore it.
>”“mainly because of the taboo” recognizes that some other cases might be very harmful.”
My complete sentence was: “When consensual adult-child sex does lead to harm, this seems to happen mainly because of the taboo against it.” It would have been crazy to suggest that the taboo was the cause of harm in every case. Another cause of harm might be an STD or the relationship ending when the child wanted it to continue. But these other factors are a danger in any sexual relationship, not just adult-child relationships.
>”Also, Clancy’s kids typically had at the time an uneasy feeling and the sense the sex shouldn’t be happening.”
That would also have been caused by the taboo, Perhaps my wording wrongly implied that I thought the effects of the taboo would only ever emerge later in life. This is clearly not the case.
>”They didn’t have the sense “all is well” that we would expect of ‘this was good adult-child sex’ ”.
And yet we should also remember that sometimes kids feel exactly that way (though guilt often sets in later).

Nick Devin

Of course we would like society to allow us to have nonsexual relationships with kids while knowing we are sexually attracted to them. I see no practical way of getting there within any of our lifetimes, and you haven’t suggested how to get there. As mentioned in my post, it seems to me that saying “we’re committed to avoiding sex with kids and have the ability to resist our sexual desires” has a better chance than saying “we think we should be allowed to have sex with kids and doing so won’t harm them.”
With respect to whether sex between adults and kids will be allowed in the foreseeable future, Tom has been fighting this battle for more than 50 years. He argues the case as convincingly as anyone can, and he is further from his goal than he was when he started. You tell me why believing that these laws will change in the foreseeable future isn’t delusional.
Last, please explain to me how Ethan’s point that a pedophile’s self-interest might color his views on the issue and also make his arguments less persuasive to the general public constitutes an ad hominem argument. He is not attacking your character or motives. He is sexually attracted to kids as well. He is merely pointing out that self-interest can prejudice one’s views. Lots of people are interested in the well-being of children. If the only ones who think kids should be allowed to have sex with adults are adults who want to have sex with kids, doesn’t that raise questions about the judgment of those adults?

prodigaljohn

Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t there been ex-virpeds who crossed over to the other side of the argument? Like, they go from being anti to pro, whether it’s exposure to the other side or whatever was going on?
Also, that youth are too often excluded from discussions of what they want/need seems to be used as a trump card in these arguments that I’ve seen. They will never know what they want, and especially what they need. Those who say they do don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, of course. At best they’re going to grow up and realize how embarrassing their childish tantrum was, but at least they’ll be better for knowing that. Alternatively, at worst, those same presumptuous youth grow up to utterly regret their immature impulses. So that’s why they need to shut up and let the grown ups talk. And that’s why pedophiles can’t use their honest feelings, and opinions in their arguments.
And last, as far as the situation which gave David Hogg his platform, I think that’s something comparable to the recession that gave rise to Occupy Wall Street. Both were instances of official incompetence, and failure, from what I’ve seen. However, one got the blame, while the other was given a lot of excuses for allowing their respective disasters to occur. The Wall Street investors got sacked, and hollered at by the media. The Parkland School officials, councilors, even the FBI, however, were excused for their negligence of stopping that gun man, Nicholas Cruz. They knew all along that he was trouble, and displayed violent signs well before he went shooting. Even the police were given a pass as they held back from going in, armed and with a squad present at the scene.
I guess tying that back to this apparently fundamental deficiency in society to actually LISTEN to the young, they ignored even youths who have had direct experience with the troubled ones, and tried to give warnings about him. Then the grownups were surprised that something bad has happened by that same they were warned about. So instead of directly addressing the real issues (Addressing youth problems, incompetence of responsible persons), it seems there’s a lot of anger displacement on other issues instead (Capitalism, and the modern market, or Gun Rights).
Informed or ignorant, everybody defaults with treating opinions, thoughts, and feelings of the young as the latter. And grown ups wonder why their young don’t want to talk to them about their problems?

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