Report 2. Strategic considerations
Review yourself now and then
There are still a lot of
groups, forums and web sites in the field of intergenerational love and intimate
relationships. Ipce is one of them. Now and then it is good to overview the
field and its groups, to review one's aims, goals, targets and methods, and to
specify - in this case - the role of Ipce within it.
does the same: now and then reviewing its position papers. Such positions should
not be too specific, better to be broad like constitutions are.
A new group has been
formed, named "Act": a group of active people in this field who are
trying to present a united vision and, in that sense, leadership. A paper with a
draft vision was shown during the meeting, but not published here because it is
still a draft.
Targets, 'the public'
A group or organization
has its members, and there is 'the public'. What is your target? Primarily, the
target should be the members.
In the past, NAMBLA
has tried to reach 'the public' with position papers about a lot of subjects.
Later, NAMBLA was attacked because
of some specific opinions written in those position papers. Now, NAMBLA
concentrates on their own membership, to form a self-conscious constituency. The
Bulletin is now written primarily for the members.
The Association Martijn
does more or less the same with its Magazine OK. The several forums in this
field do the same. There, the Internet generation meets each other - to find
their own way in the changing world.
'The public' can be split
into a small top, a greater medium level, and 'the mass', just like a pyramid.
Some say: we never try to reach the mass of the public, only the medium level
(like journalists) and the top level (like scientists and politicians). The mass
of the public is likely to be unwilling and unable to accept our message; they
follow their own leaders.
Public relations experts
usually advise, in such situations, not even to try to reach the public as a
whole, but only what they call 'ordinances'. In our case they are: individual
boy/girl/child (etc.) lovers, their groups, journalists, scientists, students,
opinion leaders, religious leaders, lawmakers - each group in its own way. Try
to find points of contact and shared opinions.
What Ipce does
What Ipce specifically
does is: giving information as broad a sweep as possible - and as balanced as
possible: more than 1000 files on its web site. Ipce takes no specific
positions, except a series of statements. It provides information, so people can
take up their own positions and make their own statements. Balance is intended
by giving different opinions and essays, but not scientific reports if they are
clearly flawed. So, not only are the Rind c.s.' reports on the Ipce web site,
but also the counter reports and the whole discussion.
some 'science' is no objective science at all. People start with an opinion and
then search for the facts to support that opinion. One can easily order and pay
for such reports. For example, both the pro-tobacco scene and the contra-tobacco
scene have many such reports.
Making a thousand files
available is good, but a general overview is difficult, in spite of the specific
overviews by subject and the fact that more such overviews will be made. Ipce
should start its next project: making brochures (or files) with what public
relation experts call "fast facts", short texts with the main messages
and facts, some statistics, some quotes, some anecdotes or cases. No politic
position, only facts, balanced facts and opinions: both pro and contra.
Primarily for its own members and some others who may be interested: the ordinances,
thus not written for 'the public'. This is work for Ipce as an international
organization; a national or local group might earlier have been 'suspected' of
having its own agenda.
Do not deliver your
message as 'my agenda', but place it in a broader context. Send your opinion to
a newspaper or magazine and then support it with: 'The newspaper or this
magazine says ...'
The subject ought to be:
relationships, not ‘paedophilia’. Intergenerational relationships are
inherently neither good nor bad. They always depend on the quality and the
consensus. It is a complex subject; there is never one truth nor one good answer
or vision. Thus, give room for more answers and visions, and thus for further
discussion. This is what Ipce does.
Accept diversity in the
several organizations; do not combat this, but accept and help each other.
On the individual level
Some members say that
they only work on the individual level, and that, in several countries, working
as a group or in publicity is not possible; it will be used against you. But if
working on the individual level is possible, one can possibly join with other
individuals as well, maybe later forming a group.
Note, says one member, that I work toward scientific understanding of intimate adult-child relationships and pedophilia as an existing phenomenon, thus I do not work 'for pedophiles'
Working with groups
In the Netherlands and in
Germany there are still groups for people with paedophilic feelings. In these
countries, this is possible. Working with groups has some risk - see what
happened in both countries, but also possibilities. Such groups may exist at
different levels: everybody has to begin with him or herself, and then a group
may grow to a higher level. It is difficult to find active and sophisticated
people for these groups. A lot of depression and fear hinders. We're living in a
kind of Kafka's world.
We nevertheless go on.
Each one has to find one's own best way to live, then follow a road or route to
sophistication and ability to be active. This requires time and patience. These
kinds of groups can prevent problems for their members. If problems arrive,
there is help. As a group, we develop experience and knowledge that can be made
available to others.
For example, what is going on in all those 'treatment' centres? The public does not know; they believe that ‘experts’ practise ‘therapy’, not knowing that, in fact, it is brainwashing by ideologists. It is all control of behavior, thoughts and fantasies.
Working with art
In the world of the art
are opportunities for progressive arts and artists: writers, painters,
photographers - and the producers, the museums, the exhibitions. Kevin Esser,
André Gide and Oscar Wilde are good examples; they are still widely read.
an example, a five-minute video was shown at the meeting. The video simply
illustrates how boys are presented in TV advertisements: clearly as attractive.
Short interviews might also be good. Young people understand the language of
images quite well, and many of them have the equipment to make such
presentations. Easier still is to make links to existing short films or
presentations, such as from famous talk shows on TV. The Dutch web site is
A script as an example
As another example,
members present at the meeting played part of a script for a film. The passage
was about openness to parents. In the script the boy intends to keep secret the
relationship between himself and an adult friend, although it is entirely legal,
because he knows that people will not understand it. The friend wants to be open
with the parents, both his own and the parents of the boy. The adult does not
want to burden the boy with a secret, but the boy says it is no burden at all.
The passage is a discussion between the members of the self-help group.
The very serious
discussion makes clear that the attitude of most adults causes the spontaneity
of the relationship to disappear because of this kind of problem. The
relationship in the script is just at its point of consciousness, which is a
point of no return.
Secrecy can poison a
relationship; openness can totally end it. For the boy, openness to his peers
will result in being called a faggot; parents and other adults will immediately
start talking about sex and make the relationship a problem. For the adult,
openness to the parents is the crux of his ethics.
The play makes clear that
society not only rejects the sex (not present in that relationship) but the
love, or even the liking for each other, and the choice to have a relationship
outside the family. One might make a comparison with gay relationships in most
South-European and other countries: they can be open without great problems. One
knows, but one does not talk explicitly about it.
Countries and cultures
differ in talking about adult-child relationships. In the USA, there is no
longer any differentiation between 'pedophilia' and 'prostitution', nor between
'pedophilia' (as a feeling or desire) and 'pedo-sexuality' (as a deed). Such
nuances or differentiations are 'not done' nowadays in the US culture and
language. In other countries and cultures, these differences can be taken into
an overall view.
Playing this passage
demonstrated that even a few minutes of a film may be able to give insights of
the ins and outs of such a relationship and each one's role in it. There is no
background, no overview, only one event that prompts thinking about the subject.
The post-modern child
The post-modern child in
Western culture is different from children in earlier generations. Modern
children mature earlier, are less childish. They have more freedom, money, their
own TV and a PC, more power - and more weight. They know more about sex and
have, at least in some countries, sexual experiences at a young age. The first
question to a child in any TV show is: 'Do you already have a boy or girl
friend? "Oh, cute!" say the adults, but at the same time there is a
lot of pressure towards a hetero life style. Very young children use
"faggot" or "pedo" as terms of abuse in the schoolyard. A
The post-modern child lover
The modern child lover,
the young adult, is far more conscious of themselves, their feelings and their
position in society than his or her predecessors. They are more positive and
strong - says one member, seeing this as a trend. Oh no, says another, I see a
lot of depression and disillusion - seeing this as a trend. Both are reality. On
several forums, they talk intensively with one another. Most of them seem to
avoid any political or other action: they live their own lives, and that's it.
We see quarrels, a lot of critics, not too much solidarity, and very little
appreciation of what activists do. A trend?
Will future generations see parallels with the history of the gay
movement? Pressure from the outside does not automatically raise solidarity –
It can produce internal friction..
The Internet provides the
opportunity to be no longer isolated
Recognizing trends and trend changes
Down --> Up
(1) (Relative) low
Up --> down
Similar, the other way around.
It may be worthwhile to
have some means of recognizing trends and trend changes in order to choose the
moment when our attempts to influence mass opinion may be most effective. The
thought occurred to me that we might learn from so-called Technical Analysis
techniques used in stock trading. Although this is not backed by any proof or
theory that I know of, I suspect that similar human emotions play an important
role in both political and market trends. The illustration explains one of the
techniques used in stock trading to decide when to act (sell or buy).
Provided you have a way
of measuring and plotting a graph of the kind of trend you're interested in, it
might be a good idea to use a similar technique to decide when and how to act.
When the trend goes up it's the right time to be offensive and shout your
message. When the trend goes down, however, your resources may be better spent
in offensive actions ("fighting the enemy") and in preparing your
material for the next up-trend.