6. Dutch groups present themselves
1. KOINOS Magazine
1. KOINOS Magazine
Koinos Magazine is a quarterly magazine on teenage boys and boy-love aiming at an international audience, with all texts printed both in English and German and offerring an optional Dutch language supplement. It is published by the Amikejo Foundation on a non-profit base, sold via several bookstores over the world and sent out directly to subscribers. At least some readers can be found in almost any country in Europe, in Australia, New Zealand and in Japan, but the majority of the copies are sold in the USA, Germany and the Netherlands.
For this reason the Amikejo Foundation is investigating the possibilities of offering an online version of Koinos in HTML or PDF format beside the printed version, and discussing other alternatives. One of these could be a more intensive cooperation with Ipce, beside the occasional exchange of articles it already does now.
Some Ipce members present point out that Ipce's mission is not to show the beauty of boys by publishing arts and pictures, but to form a forum on a broader subject by publishing mostly scientific articles without images. That being a fact, some resources may still be shared fruitfully. For instance, Amikejo might be able to help Ipce members with publishing books and booklets. Any suggestions in this area are welcome.
2. Tegenwicht alias Counter Balance
My name is T. Rivas and I am the chairman of Stichting Tegenwicht or Counter Balance Foundation. The main purpose is the maintenance and growth of an active website with the same name in Dutch, and partly translated into English on < http://www.tegenwicht.org/ >. The website contains articles about a wide range of social and moral subjects, most of them with a small library with sources and background articles.
I think it won't be a secret that it is once again Dr Frans Gieles who is the main source of inspiration, the main tireless writer, and the webmaster of Counter Balance. It was his initiative and he is the one who searched for suitable co-workers, mostly with a scholarly background and the same affinity and experience in writing serious papers.
The relevance of Counter Balance to the issues that matter the most to Ipce may not be immediately obvious. However, our articles include essays about rather controversial subjects, such as sexual freedom, sexual tolerance, and indeed, pedophilia.
This should not be misunderstood as a statement that Counter Balance is a real, all-round, or permissive 'pedophile' website, as it is not, not even implicitly. This fact can be approached from three different angles:
So, in this respect, issues related to Ipce's objectives are to a certain extent to be regarded as an intrinsic part of a wider spectrum.
The on-line articles of Counter Balance may be divided into
Again, it may be no secret that Frans is the main contributor although others, like me, are trying to add contributions of our own. Frans has tried to find people who are willing to translate the articles into English, and quite a few, about half, have been translated.
3. A research project, by T. Rivas
This project was started by me almost nine years ago. The project focuses on positive, voluntary and harmless relationships between minors and adults, as seen by the (former) children after they have grown up. Over the years, I have collected about thirty more or less reliable stories from articles in journals or books and on the Internet. A few were produced from interviews I had with Dutch respondents.
I have never been more convinced of the reality of such positive, voluntary relationships. Just like Theo Sandfort, the late Frits Bernard, Frank van Ree, Rind, Bauerman & Tromovitch, Tom O'Carrol and last but not least Howard Kline, I believe it is essential that such cases receive much more scholarly and public attention. In my view, such stories should form the main basis for any responsible kind of emancipation of harmless, voluntary, pedophile relationships. Of course, they can be backed up with testimonies of minors while they are still children or teens.
Unfortunately, nowadays such cases seem to be ignored both by the general public and by most scientists, psychiatrists, psychologists and other health professionals. If one asks the general public to report their own positive experiences, this is usually seen as a hypocritical attempt to decriminalize awful attacks on children's integrity. Nevertheless, I personally believe that the collection of ever more positive cases, and their resonance in the social sciences and in society at large, offers the only hope in terms of counterbalancing the status quo concerning responsible expressions of pedophilia.
Therefore, I welcome any reaction in this field. You may contact me via e-mail at Ipce's webmaster < email@example.com >.
With regards to other approaches such as political activism or showing a connection between violence and sexual deprivation, I am afraid they won't impress anyone who simply does not believe that pedophile relationships really can be voluntary and harmless. In the Netherlands, we have recently seen an enormous outrage against what is often called 'the pedophile party' [see below]. This effect is mainly due to the fact that there is an almost total ignorance of, and disbelief in the reality of, voluntary and harmless intergenerational relationships with children. So, I believe one has to start with this.
"JON" is an abbreviation of "JORis Oost Nederland," which means "JORis in the Eastern Netherlands," while "JORis" is itself an abbreviation of, translated, "Youth-adult relationships, intimacy, and sexuality." JON is a group within the NVSH, the Dutch Association for Sexual Reform. "Joris" is, as is "Martijn," a boy's name in Dutch, but JON is also for girl lovers.
Since 2004, I am a member of the group. So, I was not involved in the house raids and arrests of November 2003. I only have heard a lot about it, and I see the group is small now. But it is nice to meet each other in such a small group. Initially, I missed the choosing of specific themes to talk about, but now I know that anything may be discussed.
The Martijn Association is more action-oriented, whilst the JON group is more involved with our feelings and our living in our actual society nowadays. Thus, my choice was JON. Regrettably, however, we have no women in the group. Gradually, I began to know the boy love and girl love community, as well as their attacker, Mrs. Ireen, who chose the nicknames "Martijn" and "Joris" for the lewd teachers she describes in her recent book, which, by the way, is ignored by most of the media.
Some of the members have to undergo compulsory treatment in one of the community treatment centers for (sex) offenders here in the Netherlands. Some of those centers are called "De Waag," which means 'weigh house.' Recently I visited a historic weigh house and was told that in the Middle Ages witches were weighed there to prove that they were witches. Well, the modern weigh houses are for the modern witches, the pedophiles.
Such clinics work along the lines of the cognitive-behavioral model. This means that you have to change your thoughts or, more realistically, you have to pretend to do so. Also your behavior must change, so take down those nice pictures from your wall. The staff will come to control this. Such methodology is no cure but control. Frans visits several people in such clinics, and speaks also with the staff. He wrote and presented an article about this kind of sex offender treatment.
The difference is that JON does not pathologize pedophilic feelings. In my own development, I have accepted my feelings. I have not come to think of them as normal, but I feel them to less of a major problem than before. It is a feeling you have to learn to live with. It is a variance, not an illness. A friend of mine says, "It is just like apples. You like them, or you don't."
One of the guests spoke up to approve this view; breaking the law is never advisable, but it is not by definition an illness or distortion.
Does the group have a mission statement?
We try to help each other, practically and by talking with each other. We look for and find ways to come to terms with our feelings and to prevent problems. We advise and help each other to follow the law, so, for example, not to download porn. It appeared that downloading porn can become like an addiction for some members. The group tries to diminish this addiction.
Does the group have ethical standards?
As I said, obey the laws. And there are the guidelines that Ipce also has
[see the Statement "Ethics
and intimacy in intergenerational relationships;
Does the group have a political agenda? E.g. age of consent?
No activism, only a website with 21 styles of living presented which we might call a soft form of activism. We have never spoken about the age of consent until recently when the new political party raised the issue. The talking, the subjects and the discussions are usually much broader than such concrete issues.
There have been a lot of subjects to talk about, the recent death of Frits Bernard, the coming of a new political party, the fight by Ireen, this meeting, the Boy Love Day - which might be better named 'Child Love Day' - all those therapies, and more, all simultaneously with my own development.
5. The Workgroup in The Hague
We also are part of the NVSH. We recently combined our meetings with those of the group in Rotterdam because, for lack of money, the Rotterdam NVSH (RVSH) had to give up their meeting place. We have "open evenings;" visitors ring the bell and the last arrived visitor opens the door. This is to avoid TV cameras.
We are an encounter group, talking about a broad range of topics. Like JON,
we are not a therapy group. And like JON, we recently have spoken about the
death of Frits Bernard and the new political party, and so on. Our visitors and
members appreciate this; they need to talk.
How do you prevent problems such as JON has had with its travelers to Tunisia?
We have ethical standards. The 'Hague standards' appeared to be a bit more severe than the 'Rotterdam standards,' so now that we are together, we discuss them again. The group admonishes people who talk about children inappropriately, for example by defending prostitution or sex traveling. Most of the members are attracted to children, but actually have no contact with children. Just as in JON, it is 'not done' to exchange pictures and so on. New members are first welcomed in a small group. But the group is not responsible for what the members do outside of the group. Yet, we have to protect the group and its members, sometimes against themselves.
6. The Alje Klamer group
Alje Klamer was a radio pastor. The group is small and connected with the Paul's Church in Rotterdam. The group discusses, organizes meetings or symposiums, and tries to help local people. Regrettably, the church has to move to another building and has to give up a part of its work for asylum seekers, drug addicts, and other people with problems. Next year, Reverend Hans Visser will be given emeritus status, so the future is uncertain. A Dutch journalist has written a booklet against Hans Visser and his activities.
Regrettably, the last project of the group has failed. We have written to about fifty authors all over the world and have asked them to write chapters, texts that undermine hard but false beliefs. We wanted to publish a book in Dutch and in English. However, only five authors responded with six chapters, of which only three were good enough to publish, being just the texts of T. Rivas and Frans Gieles. So we had to cancel the project and to ask the authors to publish their articles themselves.
7. The Martijn Association
We have fewer members than before, so we also have less money for the OK Magazine. We have decided to make the magazine ourselves on a computer and printer, but fewer issues per year in order to save time. To make up for this, we have an electronic newsletter with news clippings and comments. We have national and regional meetings, which are partly working meetings with an agenda, but mostly are a way for members to meet each other. The members we see on those days include old as well as young people. Note that the Association Martijn is not the same as the new political party about which we will speak hereafter; they are separate organizations.
8. The new political party: The PNVD
We had invited the chairman of, translated, the Party for Charity, Freedom & Diversity. We have, he said, founded this political party one month ago because people do not listen to us, thus we want to speak in parliament where they must listen to us. Questions, asked by members of parliament, must be replied to by the government. Our ultimate goal is to get onto speaking terms with society. In this society, I feel unfree, so something has to happen. If we don't succeed now, in the coming elections, than maybe four years later in the next elections.
We have a broad political program, but we shocked the world with our Chapter 9 about sexuality, in which we argue for a lower age of consent, twelve for the time being, for ultimately abolishing the age of consent, and for legalizing child pornography. We have had many interviews in which we have been able to spread our message.
Is there a broad coalition? Are there members?
No, as of now, there are only the three founders. Gradually, we will get members.
In the US media, the news of your party was presented as an absurdity. How many members do you need?
Some hundreds. In every district, thirty people have to publicly sign a list; and we have to pay money in every district.
You have been called a 'pedophile party.' Are you? How many chapters are there in your political program?
No, we are not a ped party, we are a children's rights party. We do not represent the pedophile community. We want to maintain real sexual child abuse as a crime. We have twenty chapters in our platform, but the media picked up on the 'ped' issue. Quite quickly, our Internet provider kicked us off because of our opinions. Initially, our name was "NVD," but a security firm with that name took us to court and the court said we had to change our name, and so we did. We argue for free public transport and free health care and for a ban on eating meat and fish.
But that will cost you a lot of votes!
It is a compromise among the three founders, two of which are vegetarian.
Moreover, you argue for child pornography to be legal. This kills all your chances. The public picks up on this one issue, which will negatively stay in the memories of the public and the media. That one issue becomes 'the story,' and because of your stand on that point, your other points will fail.
We know. Nevertheless, we will go on.
This sounds odd.
You can bring up the negative in a positive formulation: Children's rights. About five years ago, we [Martijn Association] went to the press and the situation improved a little. Now is the last chance for legal opposition, because society rapidly is changing in the wrong direction.
From a public relations standpoint, the first thing you should have done was examine your audience. Secondly, you should have formulated your message in short statements, not telling them what you want, but what they want. Then, you should have looked for a good spokesperson. After all that, you should make up your platform, also in short statements.
Good advice. Thank you.
You want to make child pornography legal, but your political program mentions an age of sixteen to be allowed to participate in it.
Yes, this is also a compromise. For child pornography, the legal age is now 18. We wanted 12, but there was too much opposition, so we chose to start with 16. For sexual activity, the legal age is now 16, we want 12, and later on no minimum age. For prostitution, we chose 16 as the legal age.
Strange differences: Sex at twelve, pictures of sex at sixteen. Moreover, pictures of a 16+ are not child pornography, and prostitution by a 16+ is not child prostitution. Don't use those words! The word "child pornography" associates with much younger children. The press picks up that the PNVD wants to legalize child pornography, and that is what the public knows.
OK, we might change this.
Did you expect the negative reactions?
Yes. There have been death threats. I lived in a trailer in a campground and one day after the media reports, I had to flee and my trailer was destroyed. Norbert has been expelled from the university. A firm named "NVD" took us to court. Miss Ireen with her Soulaas Foundation [meaning "comfort"] and others have asked the courts to forbid our party.
Have there also been positive reactions?
Yes, a few. The NRC.Next [a newspaper for young people] had one positive article. Reuters had a good interview. On TV, we could at least speak and bring out our message. But GreenLeft, a quite progressive political party, said that lowering the age of consent was not a good topic. Gradually, people have been mailing us about signing our lists.
Nevertheless, I am pleased with this initiative. It must be successful. Even in the States, it must be possible to gather enough signatures. People should be constructive in their criticism and not discourage the founders.
Critical remarks are helpful, not discouraging.
It is a fine initiative, but half of the world is rolling over you now. I fear that you have few people supporting you. Your initiative seems to be more of a political manifesto instead of a political party that will get votes.
For me, this is the only way to go now; it is our last chance.
But you were not prepared; you only had expectations. Anything that could have gone wrong in your public relations has gone wrong. Now you are in a pit you have to climb out of. You will need more time, and you really need professional help for your handling of public relations.
OK, but we will go on.
9. Some web forums and the IBLD
There are some Dutch forums on the Web: Jongensforum [BoysForum], Pedofilie.nl, 'The Dutch Room,' Meisjesforum [GirlsForum], and Martijn. The posters on the first three forums make up, more or less, a boy lovers community in the Netherlands and the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, about a hundred mostly young men, who know each other also in real life. Twice a year there is an IBLD, an International Boy Love Day. This is an informal meeting, without an agenda, a chair or speakers. People simply meet one another in a relaxed atmosphere.
Now, in the Internet era, it is quite easy to make friends, and so they do. Note that we are a small country and a small language community, so we do not need to travel long distances to meet each other. So there does exist a boy love community here in real life, in sharp contrast to, for example, the USA.
The website and forum Pedofilie.nl was started by such a group of friends. We worked for two years to set it up — we all have jobs — and now have been online for two years without any problems, without any intervention of the authorities, and without specific events or developments. Only a few posters are radically for or against certain issues; most of the posters are quiet and serious. However, do not expect a very scholarly level; the content of the messages is actually mostly of a low level. We have 2000 unique visitors each month, mostly students.
My impression of the Dutch boy love community is that there exists a real community in real life. They are clearly less depressed than those of us in the States - but also less active. The atmosphere is one of hanging around with each other, supporting one another - and that's it.
Yes, indeed. These are groups of friends, mostly young men with their usual gossip and pestering, but also humor and support. And indeed, there is 'not too much' activity. However, normally 90% of any community is inactive. One does not see that 90%, but in our case, we do see, speak and meet them. This gives at least the impression of massive inactivity, noted for example by the people of Martijn and the PNVD, who seem a bit frustrated by that lack of activity or at least support.
We are lucky to live in a relatively quiet country, so one does not feel much need for action. Most of our posters have quite happy lives and live quite sensibly, intelligently, and reasonably. They know each other, support one another, and when necessary, right each other, as in an encounter group.
Indeed. Forming a group and speaking openly may for some people imply to take action to improve the world - but surely not for others.
Yes, indeed. For people who want action, this is frustrating. Especially if someone asks people to follow his goals and actions, these young people feel insulted and refuse. The activist then feels frustrated and goes his own way.
Indeed, the atmosphere is optimistic and reasonably happy, not depressed. But maybe the depressed do not speak or post.
Sometimes minorities feel guilty and tend to speak in extra-moralistic terms.
Not here in the Netherlands. Here, they have more self-esteem and are less intended to change society. They discuss things among themselves online. They can be open online under a nickname. If anonymous, one might quickly overreact, but actually this does not happen. A few are in favor of sex, most are against it. That is their opinion; sex is bad, they feel. Radicals who do not accept this will feel frustrated. But our posters will not change their opinions, which mostly are that it's okay to have pleasant contact with boys, but no sex. Radical activists who want more are wrong in their view.
Are there also girl lovers' forums?
Yes, but with fewer participants and they are less of a community. We don't know why.
Building a site and a forum, forming a group
Our young Finish guest is forming a group of about twenty young people in their teens and early twenties and building a website and a forum in Finish.
Do you have a kind of ideology?
Yes, more or less this, 'I'm not a pedophile, I am a boy lover.' 'Pedophile' is a tainted word, criminalized, and too connected with sex, which we don't want. The media keep using the word, which is totally unusable now. We prefer platonic relationships. 'Boy lover' is a better word for what we feel and want.
But the media keep using the word 'pedophile,' and the public keeps using the label and does not accept other terms. It is an endless discussion.
Let them do as they please. For us, boy love is an ideology; it is a style of living or, you might say, a style of action, 'the responsible boy lover' who avoids sex.
Three phases or a pyramid
Let the discussion be neverending, it is important that it takes place and that more people can share it. Most people will not be active, maybe some of them will be later on.
In the Dutch NVSH, we have the view that on general there are three co-existing phases can be recognized in emancipation movements:
This can also be seen as a pyramid. Many people, forming the base of the pyramid, are in phase one, some are in phase two, and only a few are in phase three, forming the top of the pyramid. The top needs the middle and the base of the pyramid. The base may not be 'active,' but is still important. We should accept this as a fact and do not try to change it.
The online community of the forums is the base, and is thus important. Those who are in the third phase and want action should not use the same forums to discuss their plans. They will not be accepted by the people in the first and second phases.
Our members and visitors said that the climate in the Netherlands is clearly better than the climate in, especially, the USA and the UK. Here in the Netherlands, the atmosphere is far more open, relaxed and reasonable. Thus, they said, there is less depression and there are fewer suicides and more responsible boy lovers who support and eventually right each other.
To the IBLD
After all this talk, Ipce's members and guests went by train to the IBLD, which was scheduled in the mid-part of our meeting in another part of the country. We planned our meeting so that we would be able to participate in the IBLD.
In our Final Remarks, the next and concluding section of this report, we will look back on that day in which we went to meet the young people just described.