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Read more about the witch hunt, demonization process & stigma(tization) 

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Abuse witch-hunt traps innocent in a net of lies, November 26th 2000, author & source unknown.

Public alarm over paedophiles has led to a relentless 'trawl' for sex perverts. David Rose and Gary Horne report on one man whose life was ruined when he fell victim to the wave of panic.
A well documented case to put in your archive for the next article you'll write...

B. Peter (Ipce member), How things work

The perception of many gays is that the social changes that happened for them, where their social status improved, was a logical outcome of their efforts as a group to force society to change. However, this point of view is simplistic.
It is certainly flattering to believe that, along with others in a sexual minority, you have been able to bring about social change. In a sense, this is valid. However, on other levels explanations of the mechanisms of social change are complex.

Bech, Henning, Women and Man: 

Larsen, Jytte, Classical Feminism Continues to Create Pedophile Panic; Women and Men, an epoch-making book by University of Copenhagen Professor Henning Bech ; A translated [from Danish] review, in FORUM, 9 May 2005 
Below is my attempt to translate a review of what I believe to be an epoch-making book important to all of us. It analyses the causes of pedophobia as lying in outdated, if it ever was true, classical feminist theory. The feminists who produce these theories are employed at the Universities in the Western World. The author who himself is professor of sociology at Copenhagen University questions the very foundations of classical feminist theory. Most of it is simply unscientific and is causing more harm than good to all of us rather than solving problems in the real world.

Sources and Dynamics of Pedophile Panics; some quotes from professor in Sociology, Copenhagen University, Henning Bech´s Women and Men, 2005, in: Ipce Newsletter E 21, July 2006.
”It is not improbable that the vast majority of sexual contacts between children and adults in themselves have nothing to do with misuse.”  

Beckett, K.; Culture and the Politics of Signification: The Case of Child Sexual Abuse. Social Problems (February 1996).

The various viewpoints and ways of talking about child sexual abuse, and the way the ruling conceptions have changed over time.

Birkett, Dea, Monsters with human faces, in: The Guardian, Weekend. September 17,1997

No one attracts more odium than paedophiles, nor more virulent campaigns against them. How can they imagine that they are justified in their desires? How does it feel to be accused of craving sex with children when you believe you are innocent? Dea Birkett talks to some of society's ultimate lowlifes to find out. Pictures by Jenny Matthews

Brooks, Richard, Cut out the paedophile hysteria, says Irons; , The Sunday Times, February 27, 2005
THE ACTOR Jeremy Irons, who starred in the film Lolita, has spoken out about how “hysteria” over paedophilia is damaging relations between adults and children.
Irons, who has two sons with his wife Sinead Cusack, suggests that society, while protecting children, should not become so rigidly obsessed with paedophilia that it prevents adults demonstrating affection to children.

Califa, Pat, The Culture of Radical Sex, 1994: The Age of Consent: The Great Kiddy-Porn Panic of '77 
Culturally induced schizophrenia allows parents to make sentimental speeches about the fleeting innocence of childhood and the happiness of years unburdened by carnal lust—and then exhaust themselves policing the sex lives of their children. Children are celibate because their parents prevent them from playing with other little kids or adults. They are shy because they are not allowed to go naked any longer than is absolutely necessary to take a bath. They are not innocent; they are ignorant, and that ignorance is deliberately created and maintained by parents who won't answer questions about sex and often punish their children for being bold enough to ask. This does not make sex disappear. The erotic becomes a vast, unmapped wilderness whose boundaries are clearly delineated by averted eyes. Sex becomes the thing not seen, the word not spoken, the forbidden impulse, the action that must be denied.

Cliss, Sarah, 'Hate Campaign has made me prisoner of my own home'; Fenland Citizen (UK), 30 April 2008 
A Wisbech man's life is being made a living hell thanks to an on-going hate campaign which has seen him branded a paedophile. The 48-year-old factory worker, from Wilberforce Road, is facing losing his job as a result. [...] But in fact Mr Pooley has never been in trouble with the police and has no criminal convictions. And his only involvement with police has been over the hate campaign.

Dodson, Chuck, The spectacular achievements of media control - A serious take-off of Noam Chomsky's vital "Media Control" speech, now a book; 1994-'97; Nonsilent Press.

When most Americans think about aggression in our society, our first thoughts are apt to include children being abused and/or killed by sick or outrightly criminal adults. We usually don't consider the somewhat broader context of what is going on behind the use of these issues, or the time periods in which they are most emphasized; in fact, in not seeing this we miss out on a crucial issue that comes down to what kind of society we want to live in.

Dumay, Jean-Michel, "The ambiguities in the campaign against paedophilia", in Le Monde, Saturday 25 March 2000

There cannot be the slightest doubt about the legitimacy of the campaigns
against the exploitation of children. And, all praise is due to the associations
that, during the past few years, have been tireless in their efforts to break the
'conspiracy of silence' that so often conceals cases of sexual or other abuse of
children. However, because this combat - and that against paedophilia in
particular - raises such intense emotions, care must be taken to define its scope
with great precision.

Dumay, Jean-Michel, Les équivoques du combat contre la pédophilie, par Jean-Michel Dumay, Le Monde, 24 mars 2000

Il ne viendrait pas un instant à l'idée de remettre en cause la légitimité des luttes pour la protection de l'enfance. Et, sur ce terrain-là, il faut louer le travail d'associations qui, depuis plusieurs années, oeuvrent sans relâche pour que sortent du silence les affaires d'abus sexuels ou de mauvais traitements à enfants. Cependant, il est un combat - celui contre la pédophilie - qui, pour être accompagné dans l'opinion d'une intense émotion, mérite un particulier discernement.

Fox, James Alan, Signs of paranoia over pedophilia; MetroWest Daily News, March 5, 2006
The perception that sex offenders are untreatable is based more on fear than fact. Sex offenders, even pedophiles, actually have a lower rate of recidivism than most other felons, according to a U.S. Department of Justice study of thousands of released convicts. Cured or not, many sex offenders are able to control their impulses. So vigilance and public notification are fine, but excessively stigmatizing sexual predators does no one any good.

Franklin, Karen, Sex offender industry sees invasion of "hebephile" hunters; American Chronicle, December 12, 2007 
Hirschfeld would roll over in his grave to see how his term is being used today - in the service of involuntarily committing people to state psychiatric hospitals. [...] This is but one of several efforts by Doren to broaden the diagnostic categories under which sex offenders can be civilly detained. [...] 
The absurdity of describing erotic attraction to adolescents as a mental abnormality is that most normal heterosexual men are sexually attracted to teenage girls [...] Given the scientifically unsupported nature of this emerging diagnosis, clinicians are likely to apply it arbitrarily, and especially to men who are sexually involved with male teenagers. 

Gouvellis, Jim, When adults and children don't mix; Sun Herald, February 9, 2006 
Gaze at the children today and you just might get a visit from the police. How sad for us all. 

Griesemer, Michael, Präventionsstrafrecht - oder - Vom Bürger und vom Hexenbrennen - 2010
Teil 1 - Gedicht 
Teil 2 - Hexenprozesse gegen Kinder und sexuell Deviante im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert. Erläuterungen, Bemerkungen und Dokumentationen zur Moritat. Vom Bürger und vom Hexenbrennen. 

Im Gegensatz zum Schuldstrafrecht kenne das Präventionsstrafrecht - als reines Gefahrenabwehrrecht - keine rechtstaatliche Bindung. Im Gegensatz zum Schuldstrafrecht mit seinen rechtstaatlichen Vorkehrungen sei das Präventionsstrafrecht „prinzipiell schrankenlos“.

Als zentrale zeitgeschichtliche Ursachen für die Umwandlung des klassischen Schuldstrafrechts gilt der medienagile, ab Beginn der 1990er Jahre ausgerufene regierungspolitische „Kampf gegen Kindesmissbrauch“ (später: „Pädophilie“) in den Neunzigern, und dann, nach den Anschlägen des 11. September auf das World Trade Center in New York, ab 2001 der „Kampf gegen den internationalen Terrorismus“.

Hewitt, Sue; Vigilantes attack 'God-fearing' man; Sunday Herald Sun (Australia), November 05, 2006 
SUBURBAN vigilantes have attacked a man they wrongly believed to be a pedophile and warned Broadmeadows residents of his presence by letter. The man has been threatened, had his windows smashed, gates padlocked and letterbox sabotaged in a campaign of harassment spanning two months.

Ipce Magazine # 3: Perverted Justice 

Main article: Perverted Justice: A Brief Overview, Barrie Caspar 2009.

Other articles & data: 

Formal data from California Secretary of State 

Charlie Brooker's screen burn - 'After making them sweat, Hansen reveals his camera crew. Ta da! You're on Paedle's About!' Charlie Brooker, The Guardian, May 31, 2008 

NBC resolves lawsuit over 'To Catch a Predator' suicide; Matea Gold, LA Times Jun 24 2008

'To Catch a Predator': The New American Witch Hunt for Dangerous Pedophiles; Rolling Stone # 1032; Vanessa Grigoriadis, 9 Aug 2009 

Jahnke, Sara; Roland Imhoff & Juergen Hoyer - Stigmatization of People with Pedophilia: Two Comparative Surveys; Arch Sex Behav - 20 June 2014 
Despite productive research on stigma and its impact on people's lives in the past 20 years, stigmatization of people with pedophilia has received little attention. We conducted two surveys estimating public stigma and determining predictors of social distance from this group. 
Both studies revealed that nearly all reactions to people with pedophilia were more negative than those to the other groups, including social distance. 
Results strongly indicate that people with pedophilia are a stigmatized group who risk being the target of fierce discrimination. We discuss this particular form of stigmatization with respect to social isolation of persons with pedophilia and indirect negative consequences for child abuse prevention.

Malón, Augustín, On the Iatrogenic Nature of the Child Sexual Abuse Discourse; Journal Sexuality & Culture, February 27, 2009
The current media obfuscation, exaggeration, and exploitation, which are endorsed by some activists and are not adequately examined and challenged by academics and professionals, are counterproductive to rationality in both academic and public deliberations, and decisions in these matters in all probability materially contribute to the iatrogenic problems to be discussed later in this paper.

Michael M. Griesemer - translated, quoted and summarized 
Ausmass und Auswirkungen massenmedialer Desinformation zum Stand der Wissenschaften über sexuellen Kindesmissbrauch - am Beispiel einer tragischen klinischen Entwicklunsabweichung; Arbeitsgemeinschaft Humane Sexualität e.V., Gießen, 2004
If I want to distinguish two periods [...], I mark 1987 as the dividing line. 
[Summarized:] Since that year, the media weekly mentioned sexual abuse of children and pedophilia, before scarcely known by society and psychologists, presented as a monstrosity. 
The other period I distinguish starts in 1950 with Kinsey's report, goes via the permissive year 1968 to the early eighties with its welfare. And than, [after 1987], the period of the fall of the communists in the East [of Germany] until 2003. 
There are significant differences in the way of speaking in both periods, a difference that has had consequences for our work as psychologists [...]. Also psychologists felt a pressure to prosecute in our work, and had to adapt their way of speaking. 

J.Haaken and S. Lamb: The politics of child sexual abuse research. Society 37:4 (2000), pp. 7-14.

 Good overview of the current situation regarding the subject of child sexual abuse. Shows the popular and political forces that have caused the current extremely negative opinion without committing themselves to either side of the debate.

Abstract: In Jul 1998, "Psychological Bulletin" published a meta-analysis of the long-term impact of child sexual abuse on college students which sought to debunk the belief that childhood sexual abuse was inevitable traumatic and inevitably led to later mental health problems. Haaken and Lamb attempt to steer a middle ground between a social constructionist or culturally relative position on sexuality on the one hand, and an approach that emphasizes universal principles of justice and care on the other.

Hood, Lynley, Demonising any class of people is wrong, Wednesday, 29-May 2002. 
Demonising any class of people as devoid of humanity and beyond redemption
is wrong. There are dangers in the parallels between the Christchurch Civic Crèche case and the recent conviction of Raymond White that we ignore at our peril.

Human Rights Watch:
International Human Rights Organization Begins Investigation of U.S. Sex Offender Policy; April 2006 
HRW's US Program is currently conducting research about state sex offender registries, specifically focusing on how broad the registries are, and the effect that widespread community notification has on the ability of registered sex offenders (RSOs) to find a place to live free from harassment and acts of vigilantism. 

Hutchinson, T.E., Fear of Pedophiles is Irrational; Consensual Touching of Children Should Be Legalized; 5/11/2006, The Hawaii Reporter. 
Pedophilia-phobia, an irrational fear of pedophiles, is sweeping the nation. It is based primarily on the false notion that anyone with an attraction to minors cannot control themselves. The existence of draconian laws plays into this falsehood because only those who are accused of committing crimes come to the attention of the public, or for that matter, nearly anyone's attention. It is characterized by stereotyping (assuming that an individual has traits and behaviors generally associated, rightly or wrongly, with a group) and demonizing. 

Judd, Dorothy, 'Did they think I had kidnapped him?'; The Guardian, July 21, 2008 
Dorothy Judd was reported to the police for simply playing in the woods 
with her five-year-old grandson. Now she is afraid to be alone in public 
with him.  

Kincaid, James R., Hunting pedophiles on the Net. Is the truth about cybercrimes against children tamer than fiction? Found at "Mothers Who Think" Salon web site.

We need to ask hard questions of our policing agencies and be skeptical even of our own most heated fears. We've been down that road before, and we ought to see that nobody is served by such trips. This is what William Dworin, retired Los Angeles police detective, says: "We won't be able to prove that a child was saved from molestation because of these proactive investigations, but the price is worth the effort."
That is precisely the sort of thinking we ought to take to the court of reason. Let's have some proof that the problem exists. Let's be sure the price is worth the effort, whatever that means.

Kirkegaard, Hugh & Northey, Wayne, The Sex Offender as Scapegoat, Vigilante Violence and a Faith Community Response; Emory.edu/College.

In May of 1996, an offender was released from prison to a halfway house in Toronto.  The response of the community to his presence in their midst was anger and hostility, and the insistence that corrections officials remove him. [...]
Viewed through the lens of mimetic theory these realities beg the question, ‘Is it possible that sex offenders have become scapegoats among us?’ [...]
[...] how we view and treat the perpetrators of these crimes in our communities, says something about us and the human condition. [...]
In summary, scapegoats are different, vulnerable, illegitimate, and powerful.
The violence of the scapegoat is reciprocated in a cycle of violence such that the "contagion" emanating from the scapegoating response appears worse than the original "disease". [...]
In a paradoxical way perhaps the sex offender has something to teach us about ourselves, our own sexuality, our understanding of community.

Kort, Huib & G. G., Demons, The Utopian Dream of Safety , In: KOINOS Magazine # 27

Society is faced with huge problems: needless violence, criminal refugees, and sex criminals who rape children. These appear to be separate problems calling for separate solutions. But one has to question whether they are really unconnected problems, indeed, whether these are problems at all. The actual problem is broader, more general, and is rooted deeply in the whole of society. Pointing out scapegoats as an excuse for a failing society is a well-known and apparently still successful way to exercise the law of the jungle.

Kort, Huib & G. G., Dämonen, Die Sicherheitsutopie, In: KOINOS Magazine # 27
Die Gesellschaft wird mit großen Problemen konfrontiert: sinnlose Gewalt, kriminelle Asylanten und Sexualverbrecher, die Kinder vergewaltigen. Anscheinend jedes ein Problem für sich, das jedes eine eigene Vorgehensweise erfordert. Es fragt sich aber, ob dies tatsächlich Einzelprobleme sind, mehr noch, ob es denn überhaupt Probleme sind. Das eigentliche Problem umfasst mehr, ist allgemeiner und wurzelt tief in der Gesellschaft als Ganzem. Dafür andere zum Sündenbock zu machen, als Entschuldigung für das Versagen der Gesellschaft, ist dann ein geläufiges und offensichtlich immer noch erfolgreiches Mittel, das Recht des Stärkeren durchzusetzen.

Lawton, Frederick, The Abuse of Child Abuse, The Spectator Nov 1, 1997; 

Frederick Lawton says there is now hysteria surrounding the whole subject of paedophilia

Nichol, Sara, Pervert breaks order after just weeks; Evening Chronicle, March 29, 2008 
He was banned from hanging around children, but weeks after being  released from prison he was back. [...] 
"He also claimed 30 seconds was not long enough to be classed as loitering. But magistrate Professor Reavley Gair disagreed... ."

O'Carroll, Tom, Sexual Privacy for Paedophiles and Children
Paper delivered to the Symposium on Sexual Privacy at the annual meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research, Paris, June 2000, with

Background Paper & Foot notes
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The demonisation process

Ratajczak, Jim, Widespread ire over decision to arrest Folsom man; ACLU says Emmer's loitering charge a dose of overkill; Folsom Telegraph, April 1, 2008 
The 49-year-old Emmer was arrested at his house March 13 on suspicion of loitering where children gather after a woman's citizen's arrest warrant alleged Emmer had spoken to her two children at three different children's-themed events. [...]
One comment reads, "The notion that you can jail people just for talking, even to children, seems very much in tension with the First Amendment." Another asks, "Since when is it a crime to speak to children?"

Reid, Christine, 'Sexually Violent Predator' tag debated; Attorneys, offenders debate Colorado's use of 'sexually violent predator' designation; Daily Camera, March 8, 2008 
When the court finds a defendant to be a sexually violent predator, it is determined through the pre-sentence report the court gets at the time of sentencing. A sexually violent predator risk assessment is supposed to be part of that report, and the judge makes the determination after the prosecutor and defense attorney get a look at the report. 
A person being considered for parole from prison also can be administered the sexually violent risk assessment tool and labeled by the parole board before he or she is set free.

B. Rind, P. Tromovitch and R. Bauserman: The Clash of Media, Politics and Sexual Science: An examination of the controversy surrounding the Psychological Bulletin meta-analysis on the assumed properties of child sexual abuse. Talk at the 1999 Joint Annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). St. Louis, Missouri, November 1999.

Abstract: Given the recent focus on child sexual abuse (CSA), with significant implications for public policy and therapy, a scientifically valid understanding of CSA is vital. Because most prior reviews of the effects of CSA have been qualitative and based primarily on biased samples, we focused instead on nonclinical samples and the use of quantitative methods. Basic assumptions about CSA--that it causes intense harm pervasively regardless of gender-- were found to be unsupported. Nine months after publication in Psychological Bulletin, our analysis of the college student data came under intense attack by the radical right with assistance from traumatologists associated with the left. This controversy recently culminated with the U.S. House of Representatives condemning the article in a 355-0 vote. We will briefly summarize the methods and findings of our analyses, then focus on subsequent events. Time will be available for attendees to discuss sexual science, the media, and politics.

Rouvalis, Cristina, Men in tough spot with kids; Fear of sexual predators, who are usually male, raises suspicions;  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 12, 2008
In a society where pedophiles are outed and shamed as part of prime-time entertainment, it has come to this: Tony Taylor, a Pittsburgh father, says he wouldn't come to the aid of a crying child lost in the mall.

The Abuse of Power, From UK Today (Date unknown)

TO JUDGE by much of the media you would think that paedophiles are the main and constant danger to children. They are not.
Each year about 80 children are murdered - 73 of them will be killed by their parents or close relatives. On average only seven children will die at the hands of strangers, and only a couple of these will be motivated by sex.
In fact the stereotype of the 'dirty old man' is far from the truth

R. Underwager and H. Wakefield: Antisexuality and Child Sexual Abuse. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 5:2 (Spring 1993).

Abstract: Our current sexual abuse system promotes an antisexual view of human sexuality. This is seen in the depiction of sex as bad in sexual abuse prevention programs, the readiness to define a sexual or affectionate interaction as abusive, the criminalization of childhood sexual behavior, and the genitalization of human sexuality. The consequences of this are likely to be negative for children, adults, and the society.

J.S. Victor: Moral panics and the social construction of deviant behavior: a theory and application to the case of ritual child abuse. Sociological Perspectives (Fall 1998).
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Abstract: [...] In this article, I suggest a rationale for classifying all these forms of collective behavior together as moral panics. The objective of the article is to develop a theory of the causes and transmission of moral panics. The article first presents criteria for identifying moral panics. Secondly, the article presents models for analyzing the social conditions that cause moral panics and lead to the social construction of definitions of deviance. Finally, the article offers principles for understanding the international transmission of moral panics. In order to illustrate the theoretical analysis, the article presents information about the recent moral panic involving criminal accusations of ritual child abuse by secret, satanic cults.

Richard Webster's [book:] The Secret of Bryn Estyn: 
Brislow, Jennie, The making of a modern-day witch hunt; spiked-online.com, 30 January 2009 
The publication of the paperback version of Richard Webster's [book:] The Secret
of Bryn Estyn
is a powerful reminder of who is driving today's hysterical anti-paedophile witch hunts: police, judges, politicians -- the elite, not the mob.

West, D.J., Boys and Sexual Abuse: An English Opinion, in: Archives of Sexual Behavior, 12/1998

In view of the popular stereotype of priestly pederasts chasing after choir boys and the many newspaper reports of scoutmasters and the like "interfering" with boys under their care, the initial lack of professional interest seems odd, but probably reflects a tradition that boys should be able to look after themselves.
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Withers, Edwin, Victim of false paedophile slurs tells of his torment; peterleemail.co.uk, 2nd August 2008 
A FORMER miner has told how he contemplated suicide after being hounded 
by rumour-mongers who branded him a paedophile. Edwin Withers says he has suffered years of physical and mental abuse after a whispering campaign against him started eight years ago. Since the false rumours began, his marriage has broken down and close friends have stopped talking to him.

Yung, Corey, When Does Ordinary Law Enforcement Become a "War on Crime?" -  concurringopinions.com, March 27, 2009 
I contend that a criminal war on sex offenders may have already begun. [...] 
In reviewing America's history of criminal wars, I have identified three major characteristics of those conflicts. 
[...] there must be a substantial campaign of myth creation


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