A mixture of themes
during the meeting
Our host and guests
Our host, not a member,
sponsor or organizer of this meeting was Paul’s Church, Rotterdam, the
Netherlands. In return we have sponsored Paul’s Church by gifts. It was very
impressive to see the 24-hours-a-day work of that church community.
church practices love thy neighbour, especially for
The church organizes for them
The church also houses
a number of religious communities of several denominations from different
countries and with different languages.
< firstname.lastname@example.org >
Our guest, the chairman of
“Martijn” and member of the church community - not an Ipce member – has
told us that the association, Martijn, is well known in the Netherlands as a
source of information:
“We are regularly asked for classes, information stands,
politicians and political groups.”
sharp contrast: the USA
Members and guests from
the USA were astonished to hear what is still possible in the Netherlands. In
California, for example, about 1000 people are behind bars – not for
punishment, but for ‘treatment’ – in fact for brainwashing. They have been
declared “not able to control
their behavior”. This declaration is a decision often reached by scarcely
educated ‘experts’ on very doubtful and unscientific grounds.
Severe laws have been
enacted in the US as a result of precipitate political action after certain
events. Thus, since September 11, 2001, laws have been made that use the word
“terrorist”. The meaning of the word has been broadened and those laws
constructed so as to apply to a far wider range of activities than the original
event warranted. People have accepted this uncritically. It’s an Orwellian
countries and culture, the word ‘pedophile’ is synonymous with ‘rapist’
or ‘predator’. An encounter with a pedophile is presented as a worst-case
scenario for a child – whilst most children suffer and even die because of the
guns and cars of their parents; and, if a child has an experience with whatever
kind of sexuality, they suffer at the hands of their ‘therapists’.
In sharp contrast with the
Dutch “Martijn”, USA’s NAMBLA has many problems: prosecution, Internet
service providers, lack of money and more. NAMBLA is seen as the new devil in a
simplistic way of thinking like ‘the Indians are bad, the cowboys are good’.
Frontline and background action
and media action
“In my work, I travel
all over the world, so I have gained much experience and know many people. My
activities are on behalf of ecology groups, gay groups and against
discrimination of pedophiles.
I have also reacted to a
radio programme that used the expression ‘sex offenders’ as a synonym for
‘pedophiles’. I offered my feedback as an issue of semantics, not as a plea
for pedophilia. I did the same to an author who wrote “pedophiles and other
dangerous criminals”. This is misleading and dangerous. Not every pedophile is
a dangerous criminal. The radio programme staff and the author were surprised,
as though I had said something completely new to them. The author changed his
No, I never do this on
behalf of a group. I always act as an individual only. The media present groups
wrongly and consequently groups are not taken seriously.
No, I never give
opportunity for an interview. Interviews with the media always go wrong.”
work & defending people
“It is very difficult to
get the public to think correctly. People are sceptical and cynical. The media
deform any information. Especially if one has once been convicted – that’s
the first thing the media investigate - and if one does not have a
qualification, one seems to have no right to speak at all.
Another member said:
“Very good, I do the same. I have made an archive of news clippings and
background information, which appeared to be helpful in the defence of people
and to inform their lawyers.”
“It is surely difficult
to persuade people to recognize nuances. However, I try to do this by writing
‘letters to the editor’ in the media.
Members said during the
meeting:: “This does not help, because you in turn set people apart.”
“OK, but it helps people
to know they are not alone”.
on the personal level
Several members said that
working on the personal level is the best way to influence people. These members
said they live fully within society, so they meet many people and have many
contacts. Especially those who have contact with women tell us that women often
think and feel more empathy. Feminism has lost ground. Remarkably, also the most fervent
opponents are also women. But for most women, being in the company of children
is a natural way of living.
in the forefront and the background
In the forefront are the
public media. It is very difficult to work on this level. Media have much
influence, but mostly they want only to present hot news, the outing of persons
- and they mostly follow the mainstream culture. Culture is moving now worldwide
in the right-wing direction.
Members who have
experience with outing in the media have learned that not reacting at all is the
best way. Sometimes, silence is better than speaking. Media tend to tell lies
instead of truth.
Members report from
several countries that it’s not possible form a group or hold a discussion in
public there. Freedom of speech exists more in theory than in practice. An
opinion that differs from the majority’s or the government’s opinion is seen
as ‘dangerous’ or ‘inciting to illegality’.
The history of the gay
liberation movement tells the same story. However, gay liberation has not
succeeded by staying in the closet, but by speaking. However, a ped liberation
or emancipation movement – or any other such movement – may have to follow
other ways nowadays in a changed and changing culture.
Members also agree that it
is necessary to analyse the culture, the society, its ethics and the changes
carefully. Better to say: several cultures, not only the dominating
It is also important to
study the legal systems; they differ greatly from country to country. On the
other hand, severe laws originating in English-speaking countries are being
introduced by other countries and cultures.
Several members said they
read many articles and books so as to understand what happens in society. Some
members are performing research or writing books and articles – or translating
articles and research reports, or making overviews, and sending them to the Ipce
Other members said they
are still searching for their own personal way. “First, I will meet people,
and I will start reading basic literature. Then, I will decide what to do.”
It is not fruitful to
think in terms of “enemies”. Better to think about people with other
opinions, which is their right. Better to try to understand their motives and
arguments. “You need a knowledge of anthropology for this”. If they act as
enemies and tell lies, they act as a part of a societal system. That system is
the enemy, not people. Try to analyse and understand that system.
A broader look: other times & cultures
upon a time… and now
“Yes. So, most people with pedophilic feelings are living quite lonely lives. It is a privilege to have a group like this. Anyway, we have.
When I was young, even the
word “homosexuality” scarcely existed. The old sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld
did research on that issue. All sexology was German in that era. When his book
was published, it was kept hidden for students. I needed the permission of a
professor even to borrow it from the university’s library. The word
‘pedophile’ did not exist anyway those days. It was a synonym for ‘mad
man’ more or less. The early gay clubs named themselves “Shakespeare Club”
and so on, and also their addresses were inaccessible to students. Any kind of
information was rare, even in the gay world.
After my work in several
quite far off countries, I was able to do research in the Netherlands, in its
far more open climate, partly achieved by the Dutch NVSH, which had 40,000
members those days. It was there that ped-emancipation started just after
gay emancipation had its first results.
I still had to defend my work, and myself, emphasizing that it was
research and not propaganda.
After those days, there
were many changes. More recently, much has changed again., but this not a going
back to the twenties: In those days there was far more isolation and much
suicide. A person with pedophilic
feelings was simply a mad man then. Now, the situation is far more complicated.
The future? I suppose and
foresee further changes coming in waves. If the tide turns again, publications
written and preserved now will be usable in the future. So, publish, and
carefully save the files already written.
It’s a moral
problem, not a scientific one. Scientific data are known. Every honest person
can know now that harm is not always the outcome, only that it occurs in a few
cases of incest and severe violence. But the spirit of the age says: “OK, no
harm – but it is still not done.”
and other cultures
One of the members has
written to the meeting:
get the impression after being in a lot of places for good lengths of time that
there are considerably fewer non-white BL's than among whites. I've come across
very few black and Latin BL's. There is a handful in the chat groups but mostly
from N. America. Orientals are an interesting lot in that there is evidence of a
significant number of Japanese BL's but very few Chinese or Southeast Asian such
as Thais and Vietnamese. The more modern (western?) the society, the more BL's
there seem to be.
In the Philippines, the boys talked about foreigner BL's but rarely if
ever about locals yet there were the movie theaters where the balcony was pretty
much reserved for male oriented ped and ephebe activity, situations which were
stumbled on by foreigners, not created by them.
Blacks as a group are more sexually active than non-blacks yet there
appear to be so few black BL's. I've known one and his interest was actually
more ephebe than ped. There are a couple on BoyChat. Those I've known who have
been to Africa also didn't find any local BL's.
I've been of the opinion for some time that ped orientation has primarily
if not entirely genetic roots. Could there be cultural situations that are part
of the reason one becomes a ped or no? Is Daryl Bem's “exotic makes erotic”
theory applicable here? Are male oriented peds that different from female
Do any of you have any knowledge or thoughts about this?”
meeting has discussed this.
lovers are everywhere in the world, but not all are active on the forums. Forums
are the domain of the western people with computers and knowledge of the English
language. For example, the nambla membership
is mostly white and well educated – and male. Moreover, it the western culture
that divides people in ‘pigeonholes’ as sexual categories.
If other cultures make pigeonholes anyway, they make other ones.
Furthermore, information on this matter is largely informal and not public. In
fact, we don’t know. We have the research of Margaret Mead about Samoa, but it
is claimed that the Samoans gave socially desired answers, such as ‘No, there
is no criminality here’.
the Far East, homosexuality and pedosexuality are common phenomena, but there
one does not speak about it in those cultures. For the native people, it is
taboo; western tourists have more freedom than the native people. Ethnic and
indigenous communities keep their information to themselves; tourists can only
look from the outside. In the western world, ethnic communities do the same –
for example, the Chassidic Jews in London, the Nordic community in Athens, the
Arabic communities in Germany, and the large Spanish speaking communities in the
communities also have a kind of solidarity that closes the door to western
police investigators or to researchers. By studying their languages one can
learn the ways people give names to phenomena and the way they interpret them.
For example, from even a basic knowledge of Arabic, it is possible to learn that
the individual and society, men and women, boys and girls, and the relationships
between them are regarded in a completely different way.
am living in the Far East. As a researcher, I have concluded that western ways
of thinking do not work there. The indigenous communities have their own way of
interpreting phenomena like intergenerational relationships – a less
problematic way. But if a western person, a tourist or researcher, knocks at
their door, the door opens no further than ajar. They also have their own, often
for us difficult, languages to give names. For example, intimate contacts
between men are not seen nor described there as “homosexual’, a term
referring to an identity. There are a lot of boy-lovers there, but they are not
named with western terms like ‘pedophiles’ as an identity. They have quite
different concepts, words and ways of thinking. So, the concept of
‘pedophilia’ and all questions around it, are typical western phenomena.”
same holds for phenomena like prostitution. Many religions and cultures have
temple-prostitution as well as civil prostitution. In countries like Morocco and
India, boys’ prostitution is quite normal. In the Thai culture, man-boy
relationships have a positive value. These relationships are not viewed as
‘apart’. But these cultures are like islands, closed to foreigners. People
want to have their own room and do not want people who impose themselves on
similar question is why there are so few women in the child love movement. There
are some, but a few only. For women, it is accepted worldwide if they intimately
go about with children, so there is less of a problem. Also, women are viewed as
less longing for sexual pleasures. “Women don’t do things like that”, as
Queen Victoria said, signing the bill against male homosexuality.
modern counter variants are the western feminists who try to put feminism on the
agenda of the eastern women. Eastern people have a completely other view on
males and females and masculinity and femininity, so feminists are quite
unwelcome there. Sexism, as well as racism, is a typical western phenomenon.
A paradigm shift, and so, a new model
During modernism, the
fundamental incentive of the groups was emancipation. The underlying
theme of emancipation is: power contra powerlessness. Then, discussion groups
were formed in which people explored their feelings and opinions in meetings.
The underlying theme was here: authenticity, and truth versus untruthfulness.
Nowadays, we live in
post-modernism, and the former themes are no longer discussed. The new
underlying theme is living together in spite of differences between
people. An example is the ability of fundamental Christians to live together
with modern Christians and many different-minded people. After all, religion has
changed from a more or less uniform way of living into a wide variety of forms
The great theme is now living
together, which implies themes like human rights, righteousness, and
society. This is far more than emancipation and meeting. There has been a
paradigm shift. The new paradigm uses a new language. The old language of the
emancipation model no longer appeals to people.
For example, in the
emancipation model the priority is to clarify one’s own thinking, or the
opinions of one’s minority group. In the living together model, the
priority is to clarify and understand the opinions of others, including
your opponents. This kind of thinking appeals to people after that paradigm
shift – no longer the notion of emancipation, important as it has been for
our, or at least for my, generation. For my generation, the emancipation model
was the central way of thinking and acting.
Nowadays, other models
appeal to people, the emancipation models no longer do so. The gay movement has
had its emancipation and liberation. The ped-movement has not. These people have
to emancipate in an era when the model of emancipation no longer holds any
appeal. Also the Civil Liberation Movement no longer concentrates on
liberation, but on human rights. The paradigm has been shifted.
especially those paradigm shifts in history. These shifts are the lines
of history, not the straightforward lines thought before. Two such shifts that
he described are the ways of thinking about homosexuality and about the prison
system. The history of western thinking is a history of paradigm shifts.
This is ‘the archaeology of knowledge’, the different ways of thinking in
the past. This is the actual way of knowing: exploring the worldwide different
ways of thinking. It is impossible to understand the modern world by thinking
along western lines only.
Nowadays, in the
post-modern era, that new kind of thinking is still not a harmonious whole. It
is still a kettle with a brew, a mixture of ways of thinking without any
structure. We see this, to take the earlier example, in the churches. A mixture
of different beliefs exists with and near to one another, with the common task
of mutual acceptance. In the past, it was a world of opposing beliefs, orthodoxy
versus heresy. This is no longer accepted nowadays.
Now, it is a pluralistic
world in which we live, a world that accepts differences between people. The old
stable models like Christianity, communism, socialism and capitalism – the one
against the other - have lost their strength and stability.
Well, speaking now about
people with pedophilic feelings, the time has passed for seeing them – or for
them to see themselves - as people with a particular belief that other people
have to be persuaded to accept. In our pluralistic world, one can better view
them as people who ask for a modest place under the sun – and who give their
opponents the same right. But not to have the right to start witch-hunts and
systematically to persecute people who hold particular feelings.
A problematical factor
relates to our latter-day emperors and popes: the media, with their enormous
influence on people’s way of thinking. Just as with former rulers, the media
want to control people’s thought – or want to maintain their power by
mirroring the public’s way of thinking.
Powerful counter forces
nowadays exist in the level of social consciousness and in pleas for pluralism
and human rights. Therefore, be conscious of the post-modern society we live in,
analyse society and pluralism, and also analyse the way of thinking of our
opponents. Remember, too, to use more models than just the western one in that
analysis. Discover and explore the words and grammar of post-modern language,
and employ it.