a. BBC Report on Danish Paedophile Association
The report and the two taped inserts are here.
These are (almost) verbatim notes of an early morning news slot on Wednesday about an attempt in Denmark to outlaw the Danish Paedophile Association by changing the Danish constitution. The notes will contain errors, but a number of the issues raised are important if true.
"Today". BBC Radio 4, Date: Wednesday 7 October 03 Time: 08.35-48am
("Today" is the BBC's national radio flagship news programme)
Thirteen minute news slot introduced by Mike Thompson
The Danish Paedophile Association (DPA) has a paedophile website which is quite legal. Should it be outlawed? Its presence raises the question of freedom of speech or danger to the public.
Thompson describes the experience of Christian Jensen, 32, who says he was abused as a 10-year-old boy and eventually told the police about 10 years ago. Has suffered as a result of it ever since. He attributes various ailments, including heavy drinking, to it.
The DPA claims that relationships are benign and that their claims are supported by a wealth of scientific literature.
Cuno(?) Sorenson of the charity Save the Children (Denmark) wants the DPA outlawed. He(?) believes that the DPA have sex with children because they believe so strongly in what they say.
Social Liberal Member of Parliament, Elizabeth Arnold, says that if you force the closure of the
DPA, it would send it underground and give paedophilia an added attraction.
Save the Children are relying on the Danish Parliament to change the constitution. A change requires a referendum and two conclusive votes by MP's in Parliament.
Peter Skorop(?) of the Danish People's Party is campaigning to outlaw the DPA. He wants the constitution to be changed next month.
Detective Commander Per Laarsen(?), head of Copenhagen CID, says that paedophiles work clandestinely, almost like secret agents. And he adds that it is not possible (in law?) to prosecute a group.
Thompson finishes the news slot by saying that "..meanwhile paedophiles continue to have their say..", and gives Jensen the last word, that this is "outrageous".
As presented, the account did not clearly explain the grounds for changing the Danish constitution. The presenter, Thompson, twice stated that the DPA website was "quite legal", so that I can only infer that the aim of the campaign is to alter the constitution in such a way as to make it "not quite legal".
b. The Paedophile Group to be dissolved
Press announcement, Copenhagen March 21. 2004
The Peadophile Group stops all activities from this day on, including maintenance of the group's website;
The reason for this unfortunate situation is that the group's work has been made impossible. Not least because of widespread feelings of insecurity among the group's members after the massively negative media coverage the group has received. Also, the group can no longer maintain its most important function - the anonymous telephone counseling - because no one dares to associate their phone number with something that is connected with paedophilia, and because a lot of people no longer dare to call.
The last couple of years, there has been an unreasonable and increasingly powerful criticism of the Paedophile Group's legality in the media. This culminated when Justitsminister (Minister for legal issues etc) Lene Espersen chose to ask Rigsadvokaten (Highest prosecuting authority) to inquire whether the Paedophile Group could be dissolved by a judge.
The constitution's §78 says that an association can only be prohibited by law if it seeks to achieve its goals by using violence or similar punishable ways to influence those who disagree with it. The Paedophile Group has from the beginning had openness and legality as a basis for its work. The goal has been only to offer counseling and information, as well as inspire serious debate on paedophilia, as a counter-weight to the attitudes dominating society. The Paedophile group has never advocated or attributed to any criminal activity. Therefore, an inquiry by the Rigsadvokaten would pose no problem if the group hadn't closed down.
We are very sorry to take these drastic measures, because society - in spite of the massive front against those with paedophilic tendencies - never in a decent manner has handled the problems paedophiles face. The Paedophile Group has throughout its history been dedicated to support its members in showing responsibility. We fear that this function, which has been important to many paedophiles, will no longer be performed by anyone.
This press announcement will be available at our web site during a limited time span. The group is dissolved as of today, and all activities are stopped.
This decision has been made by a large majority of the group's members. The member list has been destructed.
c. Like a Phoenix
The website of the Danish Pedophile Association re-emerges - the association itself remains closed (18th of April 2004)
As most people will know, a press release was issued on the 21st of March 2004, stating that the members of the Danish Pedophile Association had decided to close the association. The shutdown of the association and its website followed several weeks of intense debate among the active members of the association on whether this drastic step would be the best solution considering the massive, incorrect and unjustified attacks against the DPA lately. A group of active members of the former association disagree on political grounds and for principal reasons with the decision to close the
DPA. And that is why we have decided to open this new website.
Politically we consider the shutting down of the website to have been a mistake while the public prosecutor is conducting an investigation of the association. This could be, and already has been seen as, an attempt to hide the truth about the contents of the website. However, as we have nothing to hide we have decided, so far temporarily, to open this website with the contents from the DPA's website the way it was at the time of its closing. Only contents regarding the organizational affairs of the now abolished association have been removed. We confidently anticipate the results of the public prosecutor's investigation.
For principal reasons we object to the closing of the website, because we refuse to be subdued by unjust pressure from journalists, politicians and not least rabid anti-democratic groups in Denmark and abroad, who (contrary to us) have threatened to use illegal means or have already done so (the website of the DPA has been subject to attacks from hackers several times, and the association Stop Pædofili Nu ("Stop pedophilia Now") has threatened to steal and publish the DPA's membership list.
There are competent professionals in society who share our opinion that there is a need for a more varied debate as regards pedophilia. We want to be able to use the same constitutional freedom of expression and democratic rights that befalls all citizens in this country to work politically for this purpose. The demise of the association and website is tantamount to giving into terrorism: If only the (unjust) pressure is strong enough, if only the (unfounded) accusations and lies are many enough, if only the threats are serious enough, then we will all abandon our civil liberties, close down our legal association and cease our non-violent political struggle for what we think is right. This, in our opinion, is unacceptable, (self-)discriminatory and an expression of disrespect of democracy!
We would have liked to have had sufficient resources to re-establish a counseling for pedophiles, but realizing the state of things, we find this impossible for the time being. For this reason the purpose so far is solely the continuation of a website in order to give the public access to more varied views in the debate on pedophilia. No meetings, no members, no statutes, only this informative website on the Internet as a unique source of scientific information regarding pedophilia and related topics. Any remaining references to the DPA on this website are to be considered "historical material" regarding the now abolished association. What will happen later has not been decided yet. The former association's P.O. Box has been closed. The group behind this new website calls itself the
"DPA Group 04" (after the year 2004) and can be contacted on this address:
DPA - Gruppe 04, P.O.Box 51 - DK-6000 Kolding (Denmark)
Or by e-mail: email@example.com
As we emphasized above, there is no actual association behind this website and the human resources are limited. For this reason we cannot guarantee that all inquiries will be answered.
We gratefully accept any kind of financial support. Contributions may be sent by cheque etc. to our P.O.Box or deposited into our Danish bank account: 1551 - 3719 029 078
DPA - Gruppe 04