PIE – Documentary Evidence 7 – Steven Adrian Smith’s History of the Movement

Various people looking into the Paedophile Information Exchange have mentioned the volume Warren Middleton (ed), The Betrayal of Youth: Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People (London: CL Publications, 1986). This book contained a wide range of articles mostly from a pro-paedophilia point of view either by PIE members or sympathisers; the fact that Peter Tatchell contributed a chapter has been the subject of various controversy (to which I will return in a later post). The following constitute the contents of the volume (see here for a selection of pages including more details on contributors):

Part One: Five Controversial Areas
Clive Coliman, ‘Incest’
Richard Green, ‘Child Pornography and Erotica’
Warren Middleton, ‘Child Prostitution’
Liz Holton and Kathy Challis, ‘Gender Differences’
Eric Presland, ‘Power and Consent’

Part Two: Miscellaneous Chapters
Tuppy Owens and Tom O’Carroll, ‘Love and Let Love’
Michael Ingram, ‘Children and Sex: A Child Counsellor’s View’
Beatrice Faust, ‘The Pedophiles’
Peter Tatchell, ‘Questioning Ages of Majority and Ages of Consent’
Roger Moody, ‘Ends and Means: How to Make Pedophilia Acceptable…?’
John Lindsay, ‘Socialism, Class, and Children’s Rights’

Part Three: Protection or Oppression?
Warren Middleton, ‘Childhood Sexuality and Pedophilia: Some Questions Answered’

Part Four: How Youth See the Issues
Jeff Vernon, ‘The Oppression of the Young: An Inside Perspective’

Appendix 1: Steven A. Smith, ‘PIE, from 1980 Until its Demise in 1985’
Appendix 2: Timothy d’Arch Smith, ‘The Uranians’

The first of these two appendices is informative as an insider’s history of PIE. As with all writings by PIE members themselves, this should be read sceptically, aware of how much might have been omitted or distorted in the interests of the author or other members. My earlier post on PIE and the Home Office clarifies how Smith (also known as Steven Freeman) essentially ran the organisation from the Home Office itself. He fled the country for the Netherlands soon after writing this article, as detailed below, and was eventually jailed in 1991, and then more recently was given an indeterminate sentence in 2011 after being convicted of producing drawings of children being raped (‘Ex-paedophile group leader Freeman jailed over child rape drawings’, BBC News, July 15th, 2011). Nonetheless, there is clearly lots of important information to dissect in this chapter which I reproduce complete, without comment, below.

Appendix 1
Steven A. Smith, ‘PIE: From 1980 until its Demise in 1985’, pp. 215-245

The name of PIE has cropped up several times in this collection. Since the group had, in its time, been so thoroughly misunderstood and misrepresented, it was deemed only fair to allow Steve Smith, its last chairperson, an opportunity to redress the balance. Accordingly, he now takes up the story from where Tom O’Carroll left off. –ed.

Questions of Priority

It seemed to me, when I succeeded O’Carroll as chairperson in 1979, that the most sensible order of business for PIE was firstly to regulate its internal affairs (MAGPIE [1] was appearing very erratically – partly my own fault – and members were receiving nothing else of value from the group); secondly to begin an energetic recruitment drive to replenish our depleted executive committee; thirdly to formulate collectively a coherent body of policies on key issues; and fourthly to tackle our campaigning objectives as a group, rather than as one or two individuals speaking on behalf of the group. More than simply addressing an occasional CHE branch, student gaysoc or academic conference, what I wanted to see was PIE producing a manifesto on video for the widest possible circulation (as GYM had done), or trying for ‘community access’ slots on TV and local radio, or producing posters and broadsheets aimed at the public rather than potential members, or even working in concert with the NUSS (the now-defunct National Union of School Students) to redress the steady flow of anti-paedophile propaganda which the police were imparting to schools all over the UK.

PIE had always felt a sense of kinship (not often reciprocated) with the gay movement, and a firm commitment towards autonomous youth liberation (children’s rights), but I wanted to see develop a far closer interaction – on practical as well as philosophical levels – between PIE and the various paedophile groups in Europe and the States. I felt we should lend considerable effort to the formation of an international alliance along similar lines to the International Gay Association (this was before we discovered how bureaucratic the IGA was in practice). Lastly, with the abandonment of PIE’s Contact Page under the menace of further prosecutions, the EC felt very keenly that members still needed something from PIE in the way of social support; something beyond the ad hoc counselling which many committee members undertook on a one-to-one basis. If British law prevented paedophiles from writing directly to one another through a simple small ad service, then some alternative had to be found which would abrogate the profound isolation which had driven them to the desperate resort of joining PIE in the first place. We began to look afresh at the establishment of local groups, which PIE had attempted in earlier years without much success.

In the event, PIE failed to draw onto its committee the kind of radicalised, hard-working people that were needed, and not one of the above objectives was realised. Year by year, PIE had sunk deeper into a state of collective torpor, grimly determined to survive, if only in catatonic immobility. So, we failed to attract into PIE useful paedophiles who were commited [sic] both to political action and to the development of a mutual support framework – this was due in part to PIE’s consummately negative image in all quarters (the radical leader was quite as easily duped by the press stories about us as anyone else, judging from the strange impressions of PIE that had reached our ears), but due also to obstruction and non co-operation wherever we sought wider publicity for the group’s address. Many gay and alternative journals must share the blame for PIE’s then continued parlous, debilitated condition. I’m convinced there are still many thousands of paedophiles in the UK alone who are ignorant of PIE having ever existed, and I know for certain there are many others who saw the various ‘exposés’ and shock reports about us, but were thwarted in their efforts to find us.

Perspectives on Pearl Harbour

A former treasurer, on resigning from the EC, put it to me (though not quite in these terms) that PIE’s reputation across the board had become so desperately negative that the groups’ mere existence could only harm the paedophile cause, whatever we tried to do about it. We were a pariah among alternative movements, evil incarnate to society at large, and by continuing to exist so doggedly in the face of all opprobrium, PIE was doing for British paedophiles what AIDS was doing for the gay community. A harsh judgement, I feel. If AIDS had not existed the Moral Majority would’ve had to invent it. If PIE had not existed, it would have been necessary for the NEWS OF THE WORLD to invent us. And in one sense it’s true to say that the gutter press did invent PIE – or at least, the image of PIE which had been in general coinage since 1977; that of a secretive international ‘cult’, probably with underworld connections, certainly with influence in ‘high quarters’; a porn-producing syndicate of callous men intent upon nothing but their own sexual gratification. But if PIE’s early strategy had been different, how different would its public image have been?

Several times the idea of folding PIE and replacing it with a new paedophile grouping was mooted on committee, but we’d never have successfully jettisoned PIE’s reputation by the simple expedient of a name-change, and even a substantially different alignment would not for long have escaped the vitriolic attention PIE had enjoyed. This rose by any other name would have smelled no sweeter. There was nothing endemic in PIE itself which another broad-based group could have avoided and thus somehow bridged the ‘credibility gap’. NAMBLA in the US, for example, has placed its emphasis exclusively on gay paederasty (men attracted to teenage boys and youths), thus neatly sidestepping the two most controversial planks of PIE’s platform – heterosexual and pre-teen paedophile relationships. Notwithstanding this, NAMBLA has been attacked, boycotted and obstructed every bit as much as PIE had been by the media, women’s groups, sections of the gay scene, and has come in for just the same intimidation and harassment from the authorities. So much for tactical compromise. PIE’s trajectory into the public eye in 1977 can be compared to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, after which Admiral Yamamoto observed: “I fear that all we have done is to waken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve”. Doubtless, many paedophiles wish we’d let this particular giant sleep on, but neither they nor children can be liberated from his tyranny without at least waking him in the process.

The conflicting demands of our campaigning and befriending objectives from the start presented a fundamental dichotomy in PIE. What for years we viewed as one of PIE’s greatest strengths may in truth have been its greatest weakness, or at least its greatest liability; our acceptance into the group and onto its Executive Committee of paedophiles, whatever their attitudes, abilities or political persuasion (with the exception of the far Right, of course). By straining to be all things to all paedophiles I doubt that we fully satisfied any, and we certainly alienated a few. There is a very powerful argument which runs thus: that the accommodation of a passive, inert membership consumes so much of the energies of a small group’s activist core that the raison d’être of the group is lost in a sea of ‘club-shit’. In other words, committee devoted so much of its time and attention to the routine of organisation and providing reading material and other services for consumption by the Moloch that vital campaigning work was neglected. After six years hard labour on the PIE committee I can only say that this was absolutely true.

Probably the only way ahead for paedophilia in the UK will be the emergence of two distinct groupings – though working in concert – attending to these differing needs. I for one did not wish to see the majority of paedophiles abandoned while the few activists diverted their attentions elsewhere, as some would have had us do, but equally I recognised that our political momentum had been retarded by a plague of part-time paedophiles – those who wanted to know what was going on without getting involved any deeper; who wanted to see changes made but not to help bring them about. PIE’s committee did not comprise many true activists anyway – it never did – so it alone did not have the capacity to diverge, and the very few paedophile activists who could be identified outside the group showed no interest in helping the metamorphosis come about.

Perhaps PIE’s mistake was in tackling non-paedophile prejudice in the first place? Perhaps instead we should have operated under the most stringent security precautions as a kind of Masonic network through which paedophiles might have contacted one another in safety? I’ve heard this view from outsiders. I don’t think that locking oneself in the closet would have been a terribly progressive move; by its nature such a network would have benefited only a tiny minority of those ‘in the know’, and the outside world would have been vindicated in its suspicions about us if we had behaved so furtively and were so indifferent to public opinion and the political imperative of children’s liberation.

The most bizarre misconception about PIE was held by a guy who later joined the committee for a short while – Lee Edwards. He’d visualised PIE being as affluent and neatly-organised as the Mormon Church, with smoked glass offices in the City of London and a full-time secretariat. He was, let’s say, a shade disillusioned by the reality. PIE did actually have an office in Westminster only a smirk away from the desk of the Home Secretary, but more of that later. The group’s silence in recent years had done nothing to dispel the illusions of people – friend and foe – about us, but then Pie itself had been undergoing an identity crisis of sorts, uncertain about which direction it should be taking. But one thing is quite certain – if we were none of the things people expected us to be, we were certainly none of the things the press had claimed us to be in their haste to deceive the British public.

Loaves and Fishes

I found PIE in 1978 entirely by accident through a classified ad in TIME OUT magazine. Many others came to us through a regular listing in GAY NEWS. However, both sources of new blood had been closed off long before the trial. [3] Occasionally, we would discover a listing in some unexpected place, inevitably giving an old address, but in general PIE was unable to get a listing in any gay or alternative paper in the UK. After the trial we attempted to retrieve this situation by a general approach to dozens of such papers here or abroad, asking for either free listings or concessionary advertising rates. A special appeal was made to the membership for donations to fund this advertising drive. MANCUNIAN GAY was the only paper in the UK willing to help us. Abroad, our ad was accepted without qualm by THE BODY POLITIC (Toronto) and GAY COMMUNITY NEWS (Boston) – both excellent gay papers whose unequivocally supportive stance on paedophilia put the faint-hearted GAY NEWS to shame – also by REVOLT (Sweden), CSC NUSLETER (California) and several others. But where we needed members most of all, where members were potentially of most value to the group, here in the UK, the drive got us nowhere. TIME OUT kept our hopes up for several months with repeated promises of a listing, but finally backed out with the feeble excuse that, as PIE wasn’t strictly a gay group, it was inappropriate to include us in a gay listings column. The only option left to us – a rather desperate one – was to litter PIE’s address around the streets by means of a sticker campaign, and this is what we did.

The sticker featured the silhouette of a standing child embracing a seated adult encircled by our name and address. We decided on this low-key format, foregoing bold and provocative slogans, as the object was simply to attract new members, not to outrage every parent that saw them. Even so, we were politely requested by one (prospective) London MP to desist planting them in his constituency (they had been discovered rather close to schools, you know!). Well, the campaign brought us just a handful of new people – too few members had been planting the stickers on a regular basis for fear of being caught red-handed and beaten up; those that were planted were being far too eagerly torn down; and worst of all one committee member made the terrible gaffe of not renewing the postal address on the sticker, so that later mail was never redirected to us at all. Perhaps the act of planting stickers, like writing political graffiti, is little more than a satisfying gesture of defiance for the individual, but I think we made a mistake in not concentrating our efforts on a far smaller area – probably London itself – and perhaps, if there had been a next time, we should have gone for those bold, provocative slogans.

There were a number of projects in various stages of completion during this period – none of which had any significance to non-paedophiles. The PIE Press Service was revived, making available once more all PIE’s early material (UNDERSTANDING PAEDOPHILIA and CHILDHOOD RIGHTS, for example) together with items like Tom’s book PAEDOPHILA: THE RADICAL CASE, [4] which PIE subsidised to its members; the early US boylove magazine BETTER LIFE; and the celebrated BODY POLITIC article ‘Men Loving Boys Loving Men’ [5] (which has been subjected to not one, but two trials of its own). We owe thanks to Julian Meldrum of the Hall Carpenter Archives for supplying us with much early PIE material. So many important documents were lost whenever Scotland Yard descended on the homes of committee members that arrangements were made with the Brongersma and Bernard Foundations in Holland to deposit copies with them for safe keeping.

A reading list of paedophile fiction was added to the press service, complied by Lewis Grey, David Joy and Leo Adamson, and later a non-fiction list condensed by Tom O’Carroll from the copious bibliography of his book. Work was also begun on a film guide and on a survival guide for paedophiles in the UK.

A growing number of our members were captives in US prisons. Coping with the special needs of these people prompted us to set up a prisoner support scheme which, under Peter Bremner and later Tony Zalewski, found correspondents for these prisoners and sought sponsors to cover the expenses of their membership, mailing them recommended books and items from the press service. It hardly needs saying that our attempts to operate the scheme with inmates of British prisons were scotched by this country’s Draconian censorship restrictions. Mail from US prisoners often carried an apologetic stamp on the envelope which read: “Prisoners’ mail uncensored. Not responsible for contents.” I look forward to the day when British prisons need to be so apologetic – I had a long and fractious correspondence with the governor of Wormwood Scrubs over the confiscation of several letters of mine and other items sent to Tom O’Carroll. As with all things in the US, prison regulations vary wildly from state to state, so while some members were receiving regular visits from the boys for whose ‘protection’ they had been imprisoned, others were not even permitted to receive MAGPIE. NAMBLA was far better placed than we were to defend the interests of these people, and is now doing so. PIE was powerless to help prisoners in the UK without some referral arrangement with the social services, and the Home Office lifting restrictions on visits and correspondence.

Given the monstrous treatment of many paedophiles in prison, and the squalid, dehumanising conditions that prevail throughout the prison system, it is a marvel to me that people can emerge from this ordeal without a deep and burning animosity towards the society that abused them so. Imprisonment is the grossest indecency.

If there was one venture that I expected to be an unqualified success and firmly supported by the membership, it was the re-establishment of social meetings through local group organisers. This was the sort of freedom which other oppressed groups – blacks, gay men and women, and many more – took entirely for granted. Any attempt by PIE to arrange social venues (this applied equally to workshops, AGM’s, marches and demonstrations of any kind) carried with it the implicit danger of press harassment, police observation, and physical attack from fanatics of every species. Accordingly, such precautions had to be taken to insulate these meetings from the hostile gaze that the people who had most need of them – frightened, solitary people with zero political awareness – were the last to be invited to them. Where possible, committee members attempted to meet new people in order to establish their bona fides, but there was always a substantial part of the membership who could not be directly vouched for, and we knew there was an agent of the NEWS OF THE WORLD among them.

Having an EC member in Birmingham, the first step was to organise meetings in this area for members in the midlands. Several meetings took place, but then the host was arrested and sent to remand prison on an unconnected charge, and interest petered out. With my help, an Australian member attempted to generate support for a PIE branch in his country (we had more members in Australia than in Scotland and Wales together), but the majority of those approached preferred to keep the breadth of the globe between them and the kind of flak which PIE attracted. This was not too surprising when one learnt that an earlier bid to establish an independent Australian paedophile group – SYBOL – crashed when a conservative gay group threatened to hand the organisers’ names and addresses to the police. Plans for a Canadian branch of PIE went awry also, but happily NAMBLA was able to establish a chapter there soon after.

Our greatest concentration of members had always been in London and the home counties. All but a handful of PIE’s workers through the years had lived there. From August ’82 we booked a private room one night a week in a series of West end pubs, inviting along all members who were known to us. The average attendance was very disappointing: always the same few faces. Presumably, everyone feared that a press plant would be present, as had in fact happened once before in 1979: A known freelance operating for the NOTW, had turned up half drunk at one pub meeting and begun asking those present to procure boys for him. “I know there are kids around who’ll go with you for money,” he said, “but where are they? Why don’t we do something instead of just sitting here?” No such investigative journalist graced any of the more recent meetings. TIME OUT reporter, John Gill, came along once or twice, but he was there at our invitation, preparing a feature on the anxieties and expectations of paedophiles living in London (a feature subsequently suppressed by the magazine’s editors). Other guests present at those meetings included many GYM members and one or two representatives from CHE – one of them a woman who was entirely supportive. Discussions with these people were on the whole constructive and stimulating, and made the meetings worthwhile for us on the EC, but the objective of a social forum for members outside the committee was never realised.

Babel Wasn’t Built in a Day

In August 1980 PIE circulated an open letter among every known paedophile group in Europe, Scandinavia and North America, and also to prominent individuals such as Dr. Edward Brongersma, Dr. Frits Bernard, Drs. Theo Sandfort, and Valida Davila of CSC (Childhood Sensuality Circle). The letter outlined an ambitious, some would say grandiose, proposal for a new transnational paedophile federation through which member groups would collaborate on material projects and share resources at the same time as working towards a common philosophical platform. As I wrote in MAGPIE 15, “Much more than a simple mutual aid society, such a federation would be the consolidation of a coherent international paedophile and children’s liberation movement out of the present chaos of tiny national groups working largely oblivious of one another”. This initiative was very much a personal commitment of my own – my committee colleagues were not all so inspired by this euro-vision. I had learned through PIE that there were groups in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, yet we knew virtually nothing about these people and their organisations, what they were doing in their own countries, or how their political analyses differed from that of PIE. Any contact we had established had been of a token kind, genuine in spirit but superficial in practice, so it was safe to assume that these groups were in the same state of ignorance about us. It seemed important to me that a full and penetrating dialogue be established at least with the strongest of them.

Inevitably, there were language obstacles. We mustered a few members to translate from French, German and Dutch for us, but although our files were brimming with magazines from these groups we could hardly ask people to translate whole magazines, and in any case one could not always rely on forming an accurate view of a group’s thinking merely by reading its general literature. (There had been no language barrier for Tom O’Carroll when he represented PIE at an Oslo conference ‘Amnesty for Love and affection’ hosted by the Norwegian group, NAFP, in 1979. There had even been discussions there on forming a new, broad-based international group called ‘Amnesty for Child Sexuality’, but nothing had come of this.)

The Open letter included a proposal for an early ‘summit’ conference of interested groups to discuss the general concept of an IGA-type alliance, and areas of practical collaboration between us. The most enthusiastic responses we received came from people and groups who had least to gain from the proposed alliance: “I am in complete agreement with your plans,” wrote Valida Davila; “Some people are ruined by oppression and persecution, and others are fired to fight back. I see your committee has chosen the latter road.” “We think the idea of an international association for paedophiles excellent,” wrote REVOLT of Sweden; “If there is anything we can do to support, never hesitate to ask.” Pasteur J. Doucé of the Centre du Christ Libérateur, Paris, wrote: “If I can be of any help in the formation of an international paedophile fellowship please let me know.” An anarchist commune for young people in Nuremberg, the Indianner, said that although they had deep reservations about the German group, DSAP, they still wished to “join a basic form” with us.

The groups themselves were not prepared to take a lead. They wanted to see PIE set up the conference itself. What better demonstration of the poor grasp our friends had on the political realities for PIE? We were possibly the only group among them which was unable to hold a general meeting for its own members without grave risk of injury to those attending, and prosecution of the organisers. After the events of 1977 for PIE, did anyone seriously expect an international paedophile conference to be permitted in the UK? NAMBLA chose to “wait and see what leadership develops on these concepts”. The paedophile wing of the Dutch civil rights umbrella organisation, NVSH, felt that their priorities should be domestic, and that international co-ordination should be left to the auspices of the IGA itself. NAFP in Norway “sympathised” but wanted “more concrete ideas”. [6]

The first months of the following year saw the emergence in France of a new paedophile organisation – the Groupe de recherché pour une Enfance Différente – and four of us from PIE sped along to its inaugural congress in November. Also present on that occasion were David Thorstad representing NAMBLA, Frits Bernard representing DSAP, and a member of the Belgian Paedophile Studygroup [sic]. The atmosphere at that opening day was something I had not experienced before even at PIE’s 1978 AGM – an intensity, an electric urgency of expression that welled as much from the floor as from the platform. The strength of the GRED committee was plain to see, as one after another they all addressed the meeting with equal vigour and self-assurance, and everyone it that packed hall (including, to our delight, a handful of women paedophiles) was involved, not quietly receiving the transmitted wisdoms of the committee. With the promise of an imminent reduction in France’s homosexual ‘age of consent’ from eighteen to fifteen, the liberation of children was for these people far from a remote utopian objective.

I came away from that conference profoundly frustrated, both with the inadequacy of PIE and my own inadequate French. I went to listen, but came away having understood little that I’d heard. I went to contribute my views, but came away without having said a word. I went to take part, but was obliged merely to observe. It’s not entirely unreasonable, of course, that a French group meeting in France should conduct its meeting in French, but I had rather hoped that, at least in the workshop on international collaboration, some concession would be made to a humble Anglophone like myself. Unfortunately, GRED’s English was only a little better than my French. One might think such a lesson in futility would have made me reconsider the practicality of collaboration on the level suggested by the Open Letter but, on the contrary, I felt all the more keenly how much we had to gain from a close dialogue and mutual co-operation with people such as GRED. If we left them with a rather poor understanding of PIE and what we had to deal with over here, that was entirely our own fault, of course, but even among the extrovert committee of GRED, and in its journal, PETIT GREDIN, there was a hint of the same parochialism displayed by the NVSH paedophiles and others, confining their analysis of the problems and solutions within national boundaries. Perhaps PIE was unique in this respect – that more than half our membership lived abroad, scattered among twenty or so countries, and it was plain to us that the ignorance and intolerance of paedophilia knew no frontiers, as with the inhibitory myths of childhood. While the police and the agents of ‘moral’ conformity were concerting their efforts internationally against us, would we not even collaborate in our own defence, if for no better motive?

Another item under preparation for the PIE Press Service at that time was a comprehensive directory of paedophile/children’s liberation groups – the first such guide ever to be published in the English language, filling in a little detail to that cold, unwelcoming expanse of acronyms: SAP, DAP, DSAP, PAC, AKP and so on. Questionnaires were distributed hot on the heels of the Open Letter, and the information that came back immediately helped to dissipate our own ignorance a little. We discovered, inevitably, that some of the groups had already collapsed. In Germany, for example, the Deutsche Studie und Arbeitsgemeinschaft Pädofilie had disintegrated over an ideological clash between anarchists, conservative reformists, and revolutionary socialists – notably about the nature and extent of freedom it wished to seek for young people. Blackmail threats had come into play here too, as with SYBOL in Australia, but this time one paedophile against another, to the utter damnation of those that made them. NAFP in Norway also, sadly, dissolved. And for each group that vanished another would suddenly appear elsewhere on the map – Stiekum in Belgium, for instance.

At the GRED conference it was agreed that the groups represented there would all follow NAMBLA’s example in joining the IGA itself and through it lobbying the gay movement directly for firmer support. The extent of our links with the gay political scene was an essential aspect of PIE’s strategy (insofar as PIE had such a thing) which I want to consider separately but, in the absence of a constructive dialogue with gays (or anyone else) in our own country about the radical means to accomplish our short and long term objectives, other paedophile groups abroad remained the only people from whom alternative strategies could be learned, our own analysis refined, different perspectives examined. Practical alteration to the law and its institutions is an objective necessarily specific to one’s own country, but awakening a whole culture to the living realities of sexuality and of youth is the promulgation of an idea, a new system of living, and is not confined to the arbitrary frontiers of states.

Prodigal Son? _ Or A Cuckoo in the Nest?

1983 was the first time in PIE’s nine-year history that a handful of members carried a PIE banner at the London Gay Pride march. The banner read simply: ‘Adults Loving Children loving Adults’ – a bisexual extension of the famous BODY POLITIC caption. This bold initiative was largely due to the efforts of one EC member, Leo Adamson, who, in a very short time of involvement in PIE, had propelled the group a deal closer to the gay movement than it had been for a considerable while. As a member of GYM (Gay Youth movement), Leo was able to speak for PIE at their annual conference ‘Gym’ll Fix It’, and he also took an active role in the group’s lobby of Parliament. In July ’83 he represented PIE at the IGA conference in Vienna. One could say that PIE had waited a long time for individuals with Leo’s stamina and conviction to come along and fulfil this vital liaison role.

Eric Presland, writing in CAPITAL GAY, [7] rejoiced in the appearance of PIE’s banner at the Gay Pride march, and bade us a hearty ‘Welcome back!’ While there was no doubting the sincerity of Presland’s support for PIE, nor his personal commitment to the liberation of children, there was an assumption behind his remarks that PIE had somehow drifted away from the gay movement in recent years, had now seen the error of its ways and returned – like the prodigal son – to its spiritual home. But it was not PIE that moved away from the gay movement in the UK, it was the gay movement that moved hastily away from us once the muck began to fly; and not because it viewed PIE as too reformist, sexist or reactionary – these tags were slapped on us much later – not because our proposals were insufficiently radical; they were too radical by half for the majority of gays. If we had concentrated, as NAMBLA had done in the US, simply upon sexual relationships between men and teenage boys, gays might have been rather more sanguine about solidarity with us. We were not prepared to barter away the interests of so many paedophiles and of pre-teenage children to realise that support.

If anything, the political leaning of the EC had become further to the Left than ever before, though unfortunately there was no output from PIE to attest to this. Committee may have been radical in its sympathies, but was singularly reticent to express this thinking through MAGPIE or CONTACT. [8] Repeatedly it was put to them that committee should buckle down and talk through some coherent policy positions on key questions – I prepared a discussion paper on pornography to set this process going – but there was no enthusiasm at all for the hard graft of policymaking. Little wonder then that Pie was seen as complacent and insular when it could not produce a single political position or line of analysis to promote wider debate. Those people who troubled to look for evidence of PIE’s philosophy or political credentials were left to glean what they might from the tone and content of MAGPIE, or from documents published years ago by a very different EC – the ‘Questions & Answers’ booklet [9] and our ‘Evidence to the Home Office Criminal Law Revision Committee’. [10] I don’t think there was anyone active in PIE at this time who was happy with the proposals contained in the ‘Evidence’ paper; many would have liked to see them publicly rescinded. All in all, if gays regarded PIE with some suspicion as being an unknown political quantity we had no-one but ourselves to blame for that.

“I don’t think the time is yet read,” wrote an editor of REVOLT in answer to our Open Letter, “for a great association that would support both gays and paedophiles. There are still too many prejudices in the various camps, and paedophile liberation has some very specific aspects which certainly would be overlooked (or neglected) in a general gay association.” I entirely agree with that view. Whereas those paedophile groups that had sprung initially from the gay movement (PIE, NAMBLA, GRED) had tended to survive without the umbilical intact, those which tried to submerge back into the gay movement, becoming just one of several special interest groups within it, (NAFP for example) expired in the process. It is manifestly obvious that the struggles and obstacles faced by paedophiles in the UK today, and indeed the major arguments marshalled against us, bear a striking resemblance to those which gays themselves were confronted with a scant few decades ago. Many of the tasks that face us are the same – combatting the monolithic heterosexuality of ‘educational’ propaganda, for one – and there is great scope here for joint action, but our demands of society are far from being identical, and nor are they at the same stage of accomplishment.

To pluck a metaphor from the mouths of our critics, in any relationship between paedophiles and gays, it is gays who are demonstrably the stronger partner, far greater in size and power, their social status much higher. In contrast, paedophiles are weak, vulnerable, and – as a political force – lacking in experience, our status just about the lowest there is. Can true equality ever be realised in such a relationship? Will gays not simply abuse their power advantage to silence or control paedophiles? Does the gay movement really care about the needs and aspirations of its younger protégé?

Well, you may be sure that PIE did not endorse that kind of negativistic approach. The assumption that the strong will tend inevitably to exploit the weak is true of fascists, not of sexual groupings. I believe that the gay movement in the UK neglected PIE’s struggle to establish a discrete paedophile consciousness, as it has largely neglected the predicament of gay people younger than sixteen or seventeen. From its position of comparitive [sic] strength it had much to offer us by way of philosophical analysis as well as options for positive action. Instead, we found ourselves forced consistently onto the defensive, perpetually having to justify our very sexuality, to avouch our responsibility as caring people. We were nothing beyond a coffee-table controversy to most gays, and our demands for acceptance and support were given barely more credence here than that which society gives to demands for gay equality. I’m afraid the movement itself has much to answer for the continuing misery and frustration gay children in this country are compelled to endure.

It was a measure neither of PIE’s ineptitude, nor of the political vacuousness of British paedophiles, that so few radical activists materialised among us. It was rather too facile to apply to us the logic of gay and feminist activism, as though the realities were no different for a paedophile coming out in a militant way. Every risk that a gay or lesbian accepts in entering a career of sexual politics, on whatever level, is multiplied many times for a paedophile doing likewise. It is a simple equation of greater risks equalling fewer volunteers. Beyond this rather elementary observation, it is in the nature of paedophilia that the greater number of us will channel their whole energies into working with and for children (however misguidedly), whether this be as youth workers, teachers, nurses or, yes, as scoutleaders. Individuals who would have been of immense value to a group such as PIE either never contemplated joining because their attention was squarely focussed on working with the young, or shied away from deeper commitment for fear the publicity would disable them from continuing such work. True, many of these people themselves inadvertently abet the social conditioning of youth, but they are sincere in the belief that their work is beneficial and constructive. The essential point is that a paedophile’s natural first loyalty is to children – not to other paedophiles.

Unlike gays and feminists, who seek the company of people like themselves for social and sexual reasons, and then develop a political consciousness within that society, drawing strength from their community for ‘coming out’ and embarking on political work, paedophiles do not tend to gravitate so readily into one another’s company, (those that would have no means of doing so, of course) and the breeding medium for radicalisation is so much less fertile for this often-overlooked reason. In the company of a thirteen year old boy one can learn a good deal about the realities of powerlessness and dependence and the frustration of being thirteen in this society – all the more so from a girl – but this is a long way from assimilating a commitment to political struggle. The younger the children a paedophile seeks for company, the more this argument applies.

Thanks in large part to PIE, some paedophiles did befriend one another, but all too often in such meetings the differences of perspective were more apparent than the congruences. There was a commonality of interest without a commonality of awareness. Therefore among paedophiles this consciousness has to be cultivated in an altogether more deliberate and artificial way. Those paedophiles who regard themselves (sometimes mistakenly) as the most revolutionary are generally those that move largely in gay circles. Undoubtedly, coming out as a paedophile via the gay movement increases one’s exposure to radical though – though anyone acquainted with CHE might laugh at this – but it may also leave one with a smug and false sense of security.

While my own sexual tastes extend to eighteen or nineteen year old guys, I confess I never had much inclination to join a gay group or frequent any gay clubs. I think my perspective might have been rather less parochial if I had, but this is to illustrate that there are many paedophiles like myself who wish to work in close harmony with gay society, not to join it. To those who say, “So why didn’t PIE make more effort towards a rapprochement with radical gay groups?” I reply, “Why didn’t the stronger, more numerous, and better-equipped gay groups approach PIE with advice, criticism, active support, even when we were reeling in the wake of an Old Bailey trial?” Why should we have had to make all the running? Let me cite one or two instances of the positive vibrations PIE was receiving from the mighty ‘λ’.

At the 2nd annual conference of the IGA (Barcelona, 1980), the only group to abstain from a general motion calling on member organisations to support paedophile groups more vigorously was Britain’s CHE, who insisted on their exception being noted for the record. At GYM’s 1982 lobby of Parliament (which only twelve of some four hundred MPs felt obliged to attend), it was a vice-president of CHE, Martin Stevens, MP (Conservative, needless to say), who favoured the retention of the homosexual age of consent at twenty-one (for males), whilst others present were quite willing to negotiate an initial reduction to eighteen. Stevens’ rationale – if we may dignify it by that term – was that if homosexual behaviour was legally sanctioned among teenagers, “teenagers might in later years regret their youthful flings”. Similarly, at the IGA’s 1983 Vienna conference, it was Michael Brown of Britain’s Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality who supplied the most stentorian opposition to every paedophile motion put before the conference. In this case, where one of the motions called upon PIE to urge all other paedophile groups to affiliate as we had done, Brown was joined by Denmark’s F48, Norway’s DNF48, and Lavender Left of New York, who had apparently determined by explicit resolution to vote against all paedophile-supportive motions. The excellent ‘Gay Youth Charter’ composed by GYM in 1982 was rejected by CHE’s own conference until a reference to paedophilia had been expunged from it. A comparison between GYM’s ‘Gay Youth Charter’ and CHE’s ‘Charter for Gay Rights’, published in the same year, is extraordinary – the one is detailed, uncompromising, bold and lucid; the other bland, timid and cursory.

CHE’s dilemma was summarised by their own Law Reform Committee thus: “CHE has hitherto directed its campaign towards achieving equality under the law relating to heterosexual and homosexual behaviour. The reasons for this, while in large part tactical, are nonetheless important. The argument for equality is much easier to explain to a prejudiced audience and can be forcefully advocated on grounds of simple justice.” It goes on to ask, “Would adopting a position in favour of the abolition of all ages of consent laws risk appearing, in the eyes of the general public, to be so extreme as to make (CHE’s) aims on other issues more difficult to achieve; or has it reached the position where no further significant advance can be made without working – in collaboration with other organisations – for reform of these and the other laws relating to sexual behaviour generally?” [11]

It was the same dilemma which confronted broader civil rights groups like the NCCL (National Council for Civil Liberties) when the rights at issue were those of PIE. Any association with our particular cause threatened to undermine their own political credibility cross the board. PIE was the hottest potato of all, and triggered off all kinds of atavistic terrors in more respectable reformist groups. We were therefore sacrificed on the altar of short-term tactical compromise.

Not to confine this criticism to gay and civil rights groups however the producer of London Weekend Television’s ‘Gay Life’ programme (screened once a week in the late night horror slot) promised me there would be a programme on paedophilia in the second series to which PIE might be allowed to contribute. Alas, there was not. Among the helplines which consistently declined to give PIE’s address to paedophile callers were Icebreakers, London Gay Switchboard, Brighton Gay Switchboard, and Friend. One of these told me their solicitors had advised them that by passing out our address it might be construed that they were acting as agents for the organisations.

The fact that PIE was not exclusively homosexual represented part of the reason for this moratorium. GAY NEWS and TIME OUT both quickly zeroed in on this objection, though as with the ubiquitous power argument, it often serve as a radical justification from the mouth for a decidedly unradical prejudice in the mind. I think it stood to the credit of the PIE EC (whose most active members had always been boylovers) that we did not cave in under such pressure. No heterosexual paedophiles ever stepped forward to defend their own ground, and this made it rather difficult for us to answer the challenges of the gays and feminists with total conviction. Between gays and our heterosexual members the strand of mutual acceptance was very thin indeed (between them and feminists it did not exist at all).

David Thorstad, while still spokesperson of NAMBLA, expressed his own position all too clearly: When Anita Bryant would say that gay men are child molesters, they would say ‘Oh no, we don’t do that; gay people are not molesters, it’s the heterosexual who are the molesters’. I’ve used that argument myself; I believe it’s true.”

Many heterosexual paedophiles are just as ready to swallow society’s stereotype model of gays, their masculinity squirming uncomfortably at the prospect of too close an association with the world of such caricatures. This kind of stupidity is an obstacle we can all do without.

No-one will be astonished to hear that the facet of gay politics in the UK for which PIE felt the closest affinity was gay youth, and that GYM came top of our list of groups to form an alliance with. The first meeting between members of our two committees only reinforced this feeling. As we sat about a table in a London pub, no more than a dozen of us, it was not a bunch of middle class, middle-aged liberal paedophiles confronted with a bunch of radical gay teenagers suspicious of our motives. In fact the majority of both committees were in their mid-twenties. The youngest PIE representative was twenty-one, the oldest GYM representative, twenty-six. Some suspicion was evident on GYM’s part, or rather a wry scepticism about PIE’s political soundness, but it was expressed with candour, not hostility. For our own part, the only major criticism of GYM was its arbitrary self-imposed age limit of twenty-six (a strange paradox in a group whose existence is a reaction against arbitrary age boundaries), in that this tasted a little of ageism in reverse – the idea being that, without an upper age limit, GYM would be taken over by older gays (older than the then committee guiding lights), or that gays would flock to it like moths to a flame in search of teenage boyfriends.

Strategically, so much more can be accomplished under the banner of gay youth than would ever be possible for an overtly paedophile organisation, but that apart, GYM has a freshness and directness which PIE lost long ago. Whereas we talked years back of producing a general information video, GYM have gone and made one. While PIE made ginger overtures to carefully-chosen MPs, GYM staged a general lobby of Parliament. While PIE agonised over whether or not we dared to call another AGM, GYM revels in mass meets.

It is time that gay society in this country woke up to the crucial role it has to play in the foundation of a stable, vigorous and independent paedophile movement which is committed to radical change. What emerges may not be PIE, nor will it be a clone of the gay movement itself, for paedophiles are more than simply gay and straight adults who like their partners particularly young. Ours is a whole different sexuality, our needs and priorities are very different. We are brothers with the gay world, not twins.

PIE in the Face of Fleet Street

Journalism is one of those unsavoury professions – advertising is another – in which an individual’s potential for success is inversely proportional to that person’s scruples. Note that I do not say there are no journalists of conscience or integrity in Fleet Street, only that such people had never been to the fore when the focus of attention was on PIE, or paedophile matters, or rights (in their totality) of people under sixteen, and that such exotic blooms must seem strange indeed in that arid, thorny habitat. Doubtless there remains one detective at Scotland Yard who really believes the police are the servants of the community, and not its warders; or doubtless Thatcher has one Cabinet Minister who genuinely believes in equality of opportunity. These are all, however, statistical freaks. If we find journalism itself to be venal and corrupt – as I believe it is – then this is a profound cause for alarm. As one American commentator observed succinctly, (but glibly), “The news media have become Orwell’s Big Brother of ‘1984’ – all pervasive, all influencing. The freedom of the press is eating away the freedom of the individual”.

Television long ago supplanted religion as the opiate of the working class, and most of the criticisms I make here of the press apply with equal force to the broader media, notably television. There is a disturbing trend towards tabloid-style presentation in TV news programmes, with the same crass, superficial coverage, the same rampant sexism and imperious moral tone, and the same calculated imbalance. Recent reports, for example, of a mother seeking legal compulsion on doctors to inform parents before prescribing contraceptives to girls under sixteen were invariably followed or preceded by progress reports from police investigating the sexual murder of a five year old girl. Such judicious editorial juxtapositions are common. (A contemporary report in a local Harrow paper on similar demands from the ‘Harrow Child and Family Protection group’ appeared on the same front page as an overtly sexist pin-up – of a fifteen year old girl.)

As to the quality of the coverage – in a Central TV news report on the swelling number of teenage runaways in the midlands (‘minors’ voting with their feet?), it was emphasised throughout that the principal fear was not of physical, but ‘moral’ peril; that girls would be “drawn into drink, drugs and prostitution”, and that boys would “fall into the hands of homosexuals”. (TV journalists, like their Fleet Street counterparts, do not care to use the word ‘paedophile’, you may notice.) As always, the people who had most to say on the matter, the people most directly affected, whose anxieties and exasperations had driven them to take off in the first place, were the only people not consulted. It might have been a report on lost dogs or stolen cars. So much for the objectivity and impartiality of British television news.

Every year since PIE had come into being, during the slow news time of parliamentary recess, the minions of the soft-porn tabloids had scurried out with their indignation and their power-winder cameras to rake together another shock story about the group. We were a silly-season staple for the NEWS OF THE WORLD, the SUNDAY PEOPLE and the DAILY STAR. The danger with papers of this vulgar, facile kind is that they are widely dismissed as being of no consequence to significant trends in popular opinion. The NOTW is generally regarded as a joke, but without the implicit malevolence and cruelty behind the joke being fully appreciated, or the extent to which the paper’s four million readers are being duped by the fantasies of its squalid-minded editor and staff. There is no room here to catalogue all the misshapen, libellous reports that have appeared concerning PIE over the last few years. An analysis of the coverage of the Old Bailey trial alone would require a full chapter, and in any case, such a virulent poison permeates this sea of press cuttings that the mere task of reading them all through is grossly offensive and unhealthy for one’s state of mind. Confronted with such wholesale, indiscriminate hatred a sense of proportion is difficult to maintain. There had been several major stories on PIE since Tom O’Carroll was convicted, each of which had repercussions far beyond the immediate distress inflicted on the committee members named, and illustrate well the harm which the gutter press can cause.

The first of these stories (NOTW, March 22nd., 1981) was occasioned by PIE having to open a new post Office box, the sponsor of our previous box, David Grove, having died. The Post Office leaked the home address of our new sponsor, Peter Bremner, to the NOTW so fast that the reporters were at his door before the box had even been used, and before the Executive Committee itself, let alone our members, knew where the P.O. Box was located.

Inside, the paper ran a feature on PIE, and the child pornography industry, being careful to blur any distinction between the two. The reporters were Charles Sandell and George Edwards. ‘The Dreadful Web of Child Corruption’ began as follows: “The evil men of Britain’s child sex organisation, the Paedophile Information Exchange, are just the tip of an iceberg. Behind them lies a web of pornography and degradation that spreads its tentacles worldwide – and even involves the Mafia.” After another couple of paragraphs which could leave no doubt in the reader’s mind that PIE was in fact a front for the manufacture and distribution of pornographic material, Sandell and Edwards went on: “The magazines… they produce do not stop at sexual abuse. Some show the systematic slow torture and even murder of children and young people.” Now if that was not a cut and dried case of libel, what is? Who could blame the public for its outrage against PIE when such nightmarish tales could be published about us with complete indemnity?

Someone else who spreads his tentacles worldwide is Rupert Murdoch, the Jehovah of yellow journalism, and the essence of this NOTW story quickly resurfaced as far away as Australia and in Sri Lanka where, in the SUNDAY OBSERVER (April 5th), PIE was described as “the sick porn merchants of the West”. Sri Lanka, like the Philippines, had long been celebrated among paedophiles and gays for its tolerance to homosexuality in general, and sudden government moves late in 1981 to curb sexual contact between local youth and Western tourists have been attributed in part to the scare campaign triggered by the NOTW. Perhaps this is overestimating the impact of that tawdry little paper, but the snowball effect of press hysteria was a very real phenomenon, as later stories demonstrated.

It was an open secret among anyone linked to the Executive Committee that for four years I was employed by a firm of electrical contractors, Complete Maintenance Ltd, to monitor a control panel of alarm systems at the Home Office, Westminster. The job entailed practically no work on my part, beyond attending the panel, and in fact I had a furnished office completely to myself seven days a week on a rotating shift basis. Much of PIE’s less sensitive file material was stored in locked cabinets there, where no police raid would ever have found them. Each year my security clearance was renewed by Scotland Yard without my connection with PIE being discovered. I’d known from the start that such a marvellous snook could never be cocked forever and sure enough the News of the World got hold of this information eventually. The paper contacted the Home Office immediately of course and gleefully drew this oversight to their attention. My security clearance was cancelled on the spot, my employers notified and I found myself not sacked but ‘rendered without employment’ – on the same day that reporter Alex Marunchak greeted me on my doorstep. ‘Child Sex boss in Whitehall Shock’ ran the headline.

And what do you suppose? – “Home Office security chiefs knew all about Steven Adrian Smith’s links with PIE”, claimed the report; “A Home Office spokesman said, ‘We’re aware of Smith’s background, and since the NEWS OF THE WORLD contacted us he has been told he’s no longer acceptable to us. He no longer works here. It would be true to say that he would still be here if you hadn’t been in touch.’” This silly bit of official face-saving apart, Marunchak went on to concoct a brief interview with myself. Instead of slamming the door in his face, which I seem to recall having done, I appear to have told him (with a swirl of my opera cloak), “Yes, I’m the chairman of PIE. So you’ve found out!” and so on. There was possible libel here too, for he alleged that at an EC meeting I had “bragged of (my) relationships with boys and urged members to organise a ‘dirty weekend’ with children at a south coast hotel.” This is imputing to me a specific criminality, but nonetheless – we were advised by a solicitor – whether I won a libel suit or not, and I stood every chance of doing so, that the sympathies of the jury would be wholly against me, and any damages derisory.

Some of us had fondly hoped that my inevitable discovery would at least throw such egg on the face of the government as to oust the Home Secretary (then, Mr. Whitelaw), but in the event, this story was curiously not picked up by any other paper (obviously, the ‘ruling class’ had to be protected), and our own attention was diverted by a plague of visits from DAILY STAR reporters the very next week. (Incidentally, the extent of security chiefs’ knowledge of my activities did not prompt them to investigate the content of my filing cabinets and a carload of PIE files was safely spirited from the building before it could occur to them to intervene.)

Once upon a time a reporter in the alternative press wrote (with just a hint of sarcasm) that it was about as difficult to ‘infiltrate’ PIE as to infiltrate Piccadilly Circus. He was absolutely right. One of the hazards of keeping our door wide open (as any counselling group must) is that all manner of creepy-crawlies are apt to find their way in along with more welcome visitors, and such a one was Charles Oxley, principal of two public schools, Christian fundamentalist, and wizened protégé of Mary Whitehouse. [12] Under the name of David Charlton he joined PIE with offers of practical help in EC work. He was good enough to type out for us Tom O’Carroll’s copious non-fiction booklist, and to photocopy at his own expense many other items for the PIE Press Service. As with anybody else who expressed a willingness to work, he was first met by an EC member to assess his character and reliability, then invited along to a couple of committee meetings. His sensational findings formed the basis of a four-page spread in the DAILY STAR (‘Child Sex Spy Tells All’ – August 21st, 1982) and many subsequent radio, press and police interviews. On the strength of just two meetings with the EC, Oxley had become the Establishment’s trusted authority on PIE. Who was taken in the more by his fantasies, PIE or the Establishment, is open to question. STAR reporters Paul Henderson and Barry Gardner played Woodward and Berstein [sic] to Oxley’s ‘Deep throat’.

Four committee members were named – David Joy, Peter Bremner, Lee Edwards and myself, and photos appeared of three of us (my mother was later to comment that the STAR photo was one of the best of me she’d seen!) It was no coincidence that the three committee members who were to be raided by the Obscene Publications Squad, almost exactly a year later, were David Joy, Peter Bremner and Lee Edwards. Not content with publishing our addresses, the DAILY STAR carried photos of our homes too, for greater ease of identification by neighbourhood vigilantes, mums’ armies, and neo-fascist groups.

The text itself was rather lame, even amusing in comparison to the previous year’s NOTW extravaganza, and only of interest for the crude, obvious manner in which colour was added. To convey the impression of PIE as a shifty, back-street organisation, our homes were variously described as “dingy”, “seedy”, and “an old mansion that comes straight from a horror movie”. Meetings were arranged, it said, “through a complicated exchange of letters and coded telephone calls” using “secret codes and passwords”. This was total fantasy and a familiar lie printed about the group – arrangements were far more mundane and prosaic than that, I’m afraid. Oxley knew that no pornography had been handed round at the meetings, but he was determined to create that impression at least: “Various paedophile books and magazine were mentioned and passed around” he hinted darkly. As I remember, Oxley took away one of these magazines himself for closer inspection, and never returned it – it was the latest issue of PAN (Paedo-Alert-News).

The news-gathering tactics of the DAILY STAR rate a mention here. We learned later that they had used menaces toward several children in Lee’s home street who would not answer their questions (Lee was staying with a family at the time, and the two daughters were tailed by the press for several days). When this proved fruitless, they set up a couple of young boys to accost Lee in the High Street and make conversation just long enough for him to be photographed form a parked car across the road. (Even when he called on me, Henderson had attempted to force his way into my house.) It was a standard routine for reporters on this kind of story to make a point of visiting all one’s neighbours and filling their heads with who-knows-what horrific yarns. There was a knife attack on Lee shortly after the story appeared, but as Lee is an ex-boxer he managed to send his assailant away with a bloody nose, never to return. Another standard hurdle with these reports was the local press follow-up, a boringly predictable after-shock when your local paper contrives to regurgitate the story for those of your neighbours who missed it the first time around. In this particular instance the STAR itself ran a follow-up story a few days later (‘Ban the PIE Men’) in which glory-hunting Tory back-bencher, Geoffrey Dickens, vowed he would table a Private Member’s Bill at the next session of Parliament which would proscribe PIE explicitly, and outlaw any other pro-paedophile organisations. [13] Dickens was the same stalwart who named diplomat Sir Peter Hayman, under House of Commons privilege, as the PIE member whose identity had been concealed throughout the trial (some six months after Hayman had been publicly identified in PRIVATE EYE magazine). Dickens did not win the Private member’s ballot, as chance would have it, and nothing more was heard of that pledge, but it seemed to us a serious threat at the time. Even a bungling oaf of Dickens’ calibre could hardly have failed with such an intimidatingly populist Bill, had he won the ballot.

By the winter of ’82, the papers were full of the Geoffrey Prime affair. Prime was exposed as a Russian supermole who worked at the government’s intelligence HQ at Cheltenham. Imprisoned for sex offences against young girls, as well as spying, it was alleged, unsubstantiated of course, that he either had links with Pie or was actually a member under an assumed name. As with the much earlier Sir Peter Hayman affair (he was the former British high Commissioner to Canada), and the later revelation that I myself and an EC colleague, Barry Cutler, were both employed on security at the Home Office, this latest scandal must have caused considerable embarrassment to the government. By now, PIE’s name must have been truly hated in the corridors of power. [14]

In June, 1983, the NOTW ran yet another of its regular silly stories, this time claiming that top TV stars and MPs were members of the Exchange. No names were mentioned, of course – except those of EC members. As a result of this and follow-up stories in such scandal sheets as the STAR and the SUN, committee members Mike Williams and Richard Travell lost their voluntary work as a scoutmaster and Sunday School teacher respectively. Travell was later denounced by his father, a church minister, and forced to move out of his home.

It would be possible to go on and on about the shock/horror stories concerning PIE, but this would serve little purpose since the point has been made. Suffice it to say that press harassment of the group was real, and it seemed that reporters were prepared to use any means, fair or foul, to ensure the organisation was destroyed. The time is coming when something will need to be done about the press in this country – and the sooner the better.

Final Words

If paedophiles have little faith in the press, they have certainly got even less for the criminal justice system in this country, for being a paedophile is an invitation for every sort of injustice there is. While baby batterers walk away with derisory sentences after being slapped on the wrist and told not to do it again, people whose only ‘crime’ is that they love children can expect to have the book thrown at them and endure years of attacks in squalid prisons from real criminals. One can inflict horrendous physical suffering on a child, but if one is unfortunate enough to be a paedophile who has consensual sex – oh well, that’s classed as worse than murder.

Similarly with ‘corporal punishment’ which is, in truth, nothing more than a euphemism for legal assault. This practice is widely supported in these isles, and it is no coincidence that the organisations and people who were most opposed to PIE were the very ones who endorsed it most. The message is clear: abuse is okay as long as it is socially approved.

Back in its earlier days, PIE itself initiated a campaign against this practice and received letters of support from such well-known people as Baroness Wootton, and Sir Alfred Ayer, the philosopher. But PIE, being a tiny organisation, could only do so much.

For PIE, the time has now run out; but the ideas behind it will continue to survive.

Editor’s note: Soon after the above article was written, its author along with two other PIE EC members were arrested on incitement charges in connection with issue No. 6 of the group’s internal bulletin, CONTACT. Before the trial, Steve Smith fled to Holland where he still resides. The two other defendants were subsequently found not guilty of the incitement charges, but guilty of a lesser charge. After renewed threats to proscribe PIE, the group finally succumbed to political pressure, and the organisation disbanded in early summer, 1985. Because of this, all articles in this book referring to PIE, including the above, have had the tense changed from present to past.


1. A journal of PIE
2. Lee Edwards was later alleged (though unproven) to have given or sold confidential information about PIE and its members to the NEWS OF THE WORLD, which published the details, much of them erroneous, in a front page splash.
3. I refer, of course, to the notorious Conspiracy to Corrupt Public Morals trials of early 1981.
4. Tom O’Carroll (Peter Owen, London, 1980).
5. ‘Men Loving Boys Loving Men’, by Gerald Hannon (BODY POLITIC, March/April, 1979).
6. It was Kenneth Clarke in CIVILISATION who said that ‘nearly all the upward steps in the history of civilisation have been internationalist steps.”
7. CAPITAL GAY (July 15th, 1983).
8. CONTACT! Which was edited by myself, was the internal bulletin of PIE.
12. Oxley was, at the time of writing, chairman of the right wing National Campaign for Law and Order, which incidentally supports hanging and corporal punishment, and deputy chairman of Mary Whitehouse’s Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association.
13. Even revelations that he was consorting with two other women, despite the fact that he was married, didn’t stop Dickens attacking PIE. Hypocrisy has no bounds, it seems. I often wonder what the dickens the man would do if it weren’t for paedophiles???
14. Well before the Hayman affair, another Establishment figure, Lord Bingham, had also been revealed as a PIE member.

[ADDENDUM: The ‘Lord Bingham’ in question here was Richard Maurice Clive Bigham, Viscount Mersey (1934-2006), who admitted PIE membership and contact with a 10-year old girl, who would remove her clothes when offered money and sweets by him; the girl’s mother went on trial in Manchester Crown Court in 1978 on charges of inciting one of her daughters to commit gross indecency with Bigham. See ‘Peer’s son in sex case ‘revolted”, Glasgow Herald, July 20th, 1978]

UPDATED: Alan Doggett, first conductor of Joseph and Jesus Christ Superstar, and the Paedophile Information Exchange

[A full collection of Andrew Norfolk’s articles on Colet Court, St Paul’s, and Alan Doggett can be read here]

An article was published in the Daily Mail in December (Guy Adams, ‘Apologists for Paedophiles: How Labour Deputy Harriet Harman, her shadow minister husband and former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt were all linked to a group lobbying for the right to have sex with children’, Daily Mail, 14/12/13, updated 20/12/13 ), which pre-empted the rush of media coverage which has emerged in the last two weeks. This concerned the connection between the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman, her husband Jack Dromey, Shadow Minister for Policing and former union official, and former cabinet minister Patricia Hewitt, all involved with the National Council for Civil Liberties in the 1970s and 1980s, which was affiliated to PIE (and took out an ad in their journal Magpie in 1979). I have blogged at length reproducing documents relating to NCCL and PIE (see here, here, here, here, here, here and here), and also on the Whitehall senior civil servant (formerly a church minister and teacher of theology in India, later a musicologist and classical scholar) Clifford Hindley, who has been identified as the individual who secured government funding for PIE.

But another name appeared in the December article, which has not really been investigated further prior to this article: that of boys’ choir conductor and teacher Alan Doggett (1936-1978), who had an extended and important relationship with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. A letter about the suicide of Doggett in 1978 appeared in Issue 10 of Magpie (Letters, Magpie, Issue No. 10 (no date), p. 4) and a notice of his memorial service in the subsequent issue (‘Alan Doggett – Memorial Service’, Magpie, Issue No. 11 (May 1978), p. 2 – both this and the letter can be read in the fourth of my PIE blog posts linked to above), to both of which I will return presently. The Mail article named Doggett as a member of PIE; a source close to the heart of current police investigations has confirmed to me that this was definitely the case.

Doggett is listed in the second Magpie article as having worked as conductor of the London Boys’ Choir (erroneously titled here – this was the London Boy Singers), and was to be remembered for his ‘friendliness, integrity and loyalty’. But his claim to fame is stronger than this; as has been chronicled in various books and articles about or by Lloyd Webber and Rice, he was responsible for commissioning and conducting Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, conducting the recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, and sharing the conducting for Evita, as well as writing his own musical, Jason and the Golden Fleece, inspired by these earlier examples. A scholarly article argues for Doggett’s close involvement with Lloyd Webber and Rice, saying that ‘he was effectively a third member of the team prior to the international success of Jesus Christ Superstar’ (David Chandler, ‘’Everyone should have the opportunity’: Alan Doggett and the modern British Music’, Studies in Musical Theatre, Vol. 6, No. 3 (2012), pp. 275-289 (quotation from p. 275) – this article mentions nothing about the more troubling aspects of Doggett’s life, other than mentioning in passing that he committed suicide), whilst Andrew Lloyd Webber paid fulsome tribute to Doggett in an article published in the Mail in 2012 (‘’I owe my success to an abseiling vicar’ says Andrew Lloyd Webber as he opens up about the highs and lows of his career’, Daily Mail, September 24th, 2012).

In this article, I give an overview of Doggett’s life and work, and appeal to those who may have known or worked with him in (especially those who studied at Westminster Under School, Colet Court School, or who sung in the London Boy Singers or in the larger massed boy choirs he assembled) to come forward if they have any relevant information.

Alan Doggett was born on November 29th, 1936, in Epsom, Surrey. His father was Kenneth Raymond Doggett, who edited the shipping journal Dock and Harbour Authority. Alan grew up in Iver, Buckinghamshire, where he took piano lessons from an early age, and attended Colet Court, before going on to read history at Selwyn College, Cambridge (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 277 – all other information not sourced elsewhere comes from here. Some of Chandler’s information on Doggett’s early life comes from correspondence with Doggett’s sister Jennifer Acornley, Ian Hunter, Doggett’s successor at Colet Court, and Julian Lloyd Webber). One account describes him as ‘a discreet homosexual’ who ‘ was enthusiastic about music but only modestly gifted’ (Michael Walsh, Andrew Lloyd Webber: His Life and Works (Harmondsworth: Viking, 1989), p. 37). His first job was as a history teacher at Westminster Under School, where he doubled as a music teacher and led the school choir (ibid). In this capacity he taught the young Julian Lloyd Webber (b. 1951), who attended the school between 1961 and 1963 and was a member of the choir (Tim Rice, Oh, What a Circus: The Autobiography (Coronet Books, 1999), p. 131). Through Julian, Alan Doggett came to meet his father William Lloyd Webber, and began to take an interest in the compositions of Julian’s brother Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948), helping him with notational matters (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 37). At some point during this period, Doggett also served as a vicar-choral at St Paul’s Cathedral, alongside Ian Hunter, who would become his assistant at Colet Court and later his successor (Jonathan Mantle, Fanfare: The Unauthorised Biography of Andrew Lloyd Webber (M. Joseph, 1989), pp. 30, 41).

In 1963, Doggett was appointed as Director of Music at Colet Court, an independent boys’ preparatory school established in 1881 which is linked to St Paul’s School, and whose headmaster from 1957 to 1973 was Henry J.G. Collis (1913-1994). Some prominent alumni of Colet Court include Greville Ewan Janner, Baron Janner of Braunstone (1928-), Sir Paul Lever (1944-), Paul Anthony Cartledge (1947-), John Cody Fidler Simpson (1944-), Sir Nicholas Felix Stadlen (1950-), Lloyd Marshal Dorfman (1952-), Jonathan Simon Speelman (1956-), the Conservative MP Dominic Grieve MP (1956-), Oliver Tom Parker (1960-) and Barnaby David Waterhouse Thompson (1961-) (David Bussey, John Colet’s Children: The Boys of St Paul’s School in later life (1509-2009) (Oxford: Gresham Books, 2009), pp. 157, 169, 172, 174-175, 182, 185, 188, 193, 196-197; parliamentary profile of Dominic Grieve).

At Colet Court, Doggett he brought in a system of vocal training based upon that of the Vienna Boys’ Choir (most distinct from traditional English methods), as well as finding external performance opportunities for the choir (Gerald McKnight, Andrew Lloyd Webber (London, Toronto, Sydney & New York: Granada Publishing, 1984), p. 85; Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 277). He also worked as organist at the school, at least by December 1964 (At least by December 1964. See advert in The Musical Times, Vol. 105, No. 1462 (December 1964), p. 936. Doggett had a letter published in The Musical Times in August 1966, entitled ‘Let the Children Sing’, just talking about the nature of school choirs; he was then listed as belonging to St Paul’s Junior School (the same thing as Colet Court). See The Musical Times, Vol. 107, No. 1482 (August 1966), pp. 687-688).

In 1964, Doggett also set up a choir at Emmanuel Parish Church, West Hampstead; his address at the time was given as SW1 2580 (see advert in The Musical Times, Vol. 105, No. 1451 (Jan 1964), p. 64). The vicar at the church during this period was The Reverend Jack Dover Wellman (The Rev Dr Peter Galloway, ‘A short history and guide to Emmanuel Church West Hampstead’) , who appears to have been an eccentric figure who wrote two books entitled A Priest’s Psychic Diary, with introduction by Richard Baker (London: SPCK, 1977) and A Priest and the Paranormal (Worthing: Churchman, 1988). Wellman also appeared on an edition of the late night Channel 4 programme After Dark, on April 30th, 1988, to discuss the subject ‘Bewitched, Bothered, or Bewildered?’, chaired by Anthony Wilson (see ‘After Dark 2’).

In 1965, Doggett already became more closely associated with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, helping out with some of the demonstration recordings of their musical The Likes of Us, written that year, about the life of Thomas Barnardo. Already on these recordings the Colet Court choir featured as the homeless children who Barnardo was helping, in stage cockney accents (Rice, Oh, What a Circus, p. 131; Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 277, Mantle, Fanfare, p. 30). Rice described him as an ‘extremely camp teacher, who was some ten years older than I was’, and ‘a talented music master, though a less talented composer, always on the lookout for a new way of instilling enthusiasm for music into his young charges (aged eight to thirteen)’ (ibid).

But at some point whilst working at Colet Court, Doggett began to systematically abuse young boys there; since the appearance of the first version of this article, and the important subsequent articles by Andrew Norfolk in The Times (Andrew Norfolk, ‘Teachers ‘abused boys at Osborne’s old school”, ”The teacher sat us on his lap until his face went very red”, and ‘Friends to stars had easy access to boys’, all The Times, March 25th, 2014; Norfolk, ‘Boys punished for telling of abuse by teacher’, The Times, March 28th, 2014), numerous former pupils have come forward to testify about their abuse at the hands of Doggett (and other teachers at Colet Court and St Paul’s). One pupil, ‘Luke Redmond’ (not his real name), was sexually assaulted by three different men at Colet Court by the time he reached the age of 12. These were Doggett, the dorm monitor Paul Topham, who went on to become an Anglican priest, and was questioned under caution by police in 2000, though no charges were brought before his death in 2012, and a housemaster known as ‘Alex’ Alexander, who took pleasure in punishing boys in a sexualised fashion before taking them on his lap and giving them sweets and physical affection. On Doggett, the final printed version of the article says the following (not all included in the link above):

Luke’s abuse by Alan Doggett, Colet Court’s director of music, was a once-only indecent assault during the boy’s compulsory audition for the choir. [From earlier version of article: Doggett’s auditions of boarders were always when pupils were dressed for bed. Luke stood by the piano. As he sang, Doggett’s hand explored beneath the waistband of his pyjamas.]

A far worse fate awaited another boy in his dormitory, a year younger than Luke, who was angelic in both voice and looks. He was Doggett’s chosen one, summoned far too often from their dormitory to spend long hours at night in the choirmaster’s bedroom. (Norfolk, ”The teacher sat us on his lap until his face went very red”).

Another account by ‘Stephen’, one of the boys who eventually reported Doggett, leading to the latter’s leaving the school, spoke of what amounts to child prostitution, which boys receiving money from Doggett for allowing him to sexually abuse them:

“He had one particular favourite who received regular visits in the dormitory at night. He’d abuse the poor boy without seeming to care that we could all see and watch what was happening.”

Other ex-pupils spoke this week of open gossip among the boys that “half a crown” was the “going rate for a session with Doggett”. One said that his year group even coined a new verb: to be “Doggoed” was to be groped and fondled. (Norfolk, ‘Boys punished for telling of abuse by teacher’)

In late 1967, Doggett contacted Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, to request a cantata for the school’s annual spring concert. The headmaster of Colet Court, Henry Collis, had been quickly won over by Doggett’s proposal, despite some conservative doubts about setting a biblical story to popular music (McKnight, Lloyd Webber, pp. 85-86). To Lloyd Webber and Rice, Doggett made clear that he wanted something short and sharp, ideally a cantata on a religious theme, a story through song, though giving them carte blanche over the subject matter (Michael Coveney, The Andrew Lloyd Webber Story (London: Arrow Books, 2000), p. 53; Rice, Oh, What a Circus, p. 131; Mantle, Fanfare, pp. 41-42). Doggett nonetheless suggested a biblical subject, thinking of what Michael Coveney refers to as that sort of unbuttoned Christian sing-along represented by such pieces as Herbert Chappell’s The Daniel Jazz (which he had produced the year before), Michael Flanders and Joseph Horovitz’s Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo and indeed Benjamin Britten’s exemplary Noye’s Fludde (Coveney, The Lloyd Webber Story, p. 53). Rice found the story of Jacob’s son, Joseph, who was landed in trouble by his dreams and coat of many colours, leading his brothers to sell him into slavery in Egypt, where he becomes a prophetic guru to the Pharaoh, in The Wonder Book of Bible Stories (ibid; Rice, Oh, What a Circus, p. 132). This would become Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Lloyd Webber and Doggett worked together at the music room of Colet Court whilst the work was being composed, and Lloyd Webber was prepared to accept suggestions from the choir (Mantle, Fanfare, p. 42; Rice, Oh, What a Circus, pp. 133, 135).

The world premiere of Joseph took place on Friday March 1st, 1968, at 2:30 pm, in the Assembly Hall of Colet Court, conducted by Doggett himself, an ad hoc pop group called The Mixed Bag, including Rice (who took the part of Elvis/Pharaoh) and singer David Daltrey, a cousin of Roger’s (from The Who), who led the principal solo numbers for Joseph himself (see Rice, Oh, What a Circus, pp. 136-142, for a detailed account; also McKnight, Lloyd Webber, pp. 87-88, for Ian Hunter’s account). The school was itself about to move from its 1890 premises in Hammersmith to new buildings across the river in Barnes, and this performance would be the last in the old Assembly Hall (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 37). The first half of the concert consisted of performances by the pianist John Lill, and both Julian and William Lloyd Webber; for Joseph, Ian Hunter played the piano and Julian played the cello (Stephen Citron, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber: The New Musical (London: Chatto & Windus, 2001), p. 117). Several hundred parents were present and clapped politely (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 37), but also on that day, a representative of the music publisher Novello’s, who had been invited to the premiere by Doggett and had given it an advance listing in what was then their flagship periodical, The Musical Times (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, pp. 279-280 – Chandler is sceptical about the account offered later in Rice, Oh, What a Circus, p. 148), offered to take on the piece, and pay £100 for it, as an educational work for schools (Lloyd Webber, ‘I owe my success to an abseiling vicar’).

The next performance took place at Westminster Central Hall, on May 12th, 1968, and involved 300 boys from Colet Court, conducted by Doggett (advert in The Musical Times, Vol. 109, No. 1503 (May 1968) p. 464. It had been organised by William Lloyd Webber, who was organist and musical director at Central Hall, and who played the organ in the performance (Hunter played the harpsichord) (Mantle, Fanfare, p. 45). The first half of the concert, attended by around two thousand people, including many parents, consisted of performances by the pianist John Lill, and both Julian and William (Citron, Sondheim and Lloyd Webber, p. 117; Lloyd Webber, ‘I owe my success to an abseiling vicar’). One boy in the choir was Nicholas Jewell, who had persuaded his father Derek Jewell, pop critic for the Sunday Times, to attend the performance (McKnight, Lloyd Webber, pp. 88-89). Jewell published an extremely positive review, which recognised the importance of Doggett’s role, the following weekend in the Sunday Times, on May 19th, 1968 (see Mantle, Fanfare, pp. 46-47, for the review; see also McKnight, Lloyd Webber, pp. 91-93, Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 282), which caused jubilation amongst all involved with the production.

Eight weeks later, a recording was being made for Decca at the studios at Abbey Road of an expanded version for augmented ensemble with solo voices (a cast consisting of Terry Saunders, David Daltrey, Malcolm Parry, Tim Rice, John Cook, Bryan Watson) and rock musicians. The twelve or so Colet Court choirboys served as a backing group, with Doggett conducting and a ‘Joseph Consortium’ with William Lloyd Webber helping out on organ, and Martin Wilcox on harpsichord; some vocal backing was provided by Andrew and Tim Rice (Mantle, Fanfare, p. 47; Citron, Sondheim and Lloyd Webber, p. 148; the recording was Scepter/Capital (S) SMAS 93738. See Jerry Osborne, Movie/TV Soundtracks and Original Cast Recordings Price and Reference Guide (Jerry Osborne: Jerry Osborne Enterprises, 2002), p. 1982; see Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, pp. 281-282 for Rice and other’s attempts to marginalise the importance of Doggett and Novello’s in this process). Jonathan Mantle points out that ‘Half the boys of Colet Court were bussed over to sit at the sides of the grand Victorian hall and make up the choruses’ (Mantle, Fanfare, p. 45), but it is not clear whether these amounted to the twelve singers he mentions, or constituted others as well. Whichever, a large percentage of boys at Colet Court in 1968 would have been involved in this performance. A further performance was given in St Paul’s Cathedral on November 9th, 1968, again with Doggett conducting, William Lloyd Webber on organ, and received a positive review by Ray Connolly in the Evening Standard (Mantle, Fanfare, p. 51; McKnight, Lloyd Webber, pp. 98-99).

But at some point between the Westminster performance in May 1968 and the recording in November 1968, Doggett left Colet Court; the exact date is unclear. The following accounts have been provided by former pupils:

Stephen (his surname is withheld), the pupil who ended Doggett’s Colet Court career, said that he and a friend decided to speak to the school’s headmaster, Henry Collis, after Doggett indecently assaulted both 11-year-olds as they sat on each side of him during a televised football match in May 1968.

“It was the Manchester United v Benfica European Cup Final. We were sitting on the floor and Doggett’s hands were groping inside our pyjama bottoms.

“He wouldn’t leave us alone. He’d already had a go at me in the dormitory on quite a few occasions,” Stephen said. After the match, the two pupils decided that “he’s got to be stopped”. They informed Mr Collis, who was headmaster of Colet Court from 1957 to 1973 and served as chairman of the Independent Preparatory Schools Association.

Stephen said: “When I next went home on exeat that weekend, the school had telephoned my father to complain that I’d made up terrible stories about Doggett. Dad asked me what had been going on. When I told him, he said he believed me and I’d done the right thing in speaking out, but when I got back to the school the two of us were summoned to Mr Collis’s study.

“I can still see us standing in front of his desk on the Monday morning.He was furious. He said we were wicked for making up such awful lies. Mr Doggett was so appalled and embarrassed by the disgraceful things we’d said that he’d decided to leave the school. We should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves. He gave us detention.”

Stephen said that another boy in their year suffered far worse crimes at Doggett’s hands: (Norfolk, ‘Boys punished for telling of abuse by teacher’)

The Manchester United/Benfica match in question was the 1968 European Cup Final, at Wembley Stadium, which took place on May 29th, 1968, thus just two-and-a-half weeks after the second performance of Joseph in Westminster Central Hall. This is consistent with Gerald McKnight’s assertion that ‘Doggett’s remarkable vision was barely completed when he left the school’ (McKnight, Lloyd Webber, p. 86).

Other accounts differ as to the reasons of veracity thereof of his departure; Michael Walsh writes of his having ‘been let go at Colet Court, with rumors of his homosexual predilections swirling about him’ (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 67), whilst Stephen Citron claims Doggett was ‘let go at Colet Court because he had sexually molested one of the choirboys’, causing his career to go into a tailspin (Citron, Sondheim and Lloyd Webber, p. 151 n. 5); whereas Mantle just says that Doggett ‘left his job at Colet Court’, though later that ‘he had left his post with the choir of Colet Court, but he had been unable to leave them alone’, leaving little doubt who ‘them’ were (Mantle, Fanfare, pp. 91, 130). The account by ‘Stephen’ suggests that Doggett left of his own volition, though it is very possible that some pressure was brought upon him to take this decision. Tim Rice writes in his biography, looking back at this incident from the vantage point of Doggett’s suicide in 1978, that:

The only previous time in ten years that Andrew and I had come across such rumours concerning Alan, the allegations were proven to be exactly that, as the time and place of the supposed transgression clashed precisely with a recording date at which all three of us were continually present. It has been known for young boys, and more commonly their parents, to manufacture or exaggerate incidents when they know and (understandably) disapprove of a teacher’s inclinations. (Rice, Oh, What a Circus, p. 401)

However, Rice did not discount the possibility that the allegations which would surface ten years later were true, making clear that he was not claiming ‘that Alan was squeaky clean throughout his musical dealings with his singers’ (ibid). His successor in the position was his former assistant at the school, Ian Hunter (ibid), who would go on to present Joseph again various times at the school (McKnight, Lloyd Webber, pp. 99-100); Hunter would also go on to become Deputy Headmaster of Colet Court at some time around 1973-74 (my thanks to another former Colet Court pupil for confirming this to me).

Rice’s inclination not to believe the 1968 allegations needs to be revisited (and perhaps his autobiography rewritten) in light of the latest information. Furthermore, there are questions to be asked about what Hunter and others knew about Doggett’s activities at the school, which could hardly have been very secret if carried out with many boys and in open view of others.

Doggett’s subsequent teaching positions after leaving Colet Court have become clearer due to information supplied by various people since the initial version of this article. Michael Walsh and Michael Coveney both mention Doggett’s teaching at the City of London School at the time when Lloyd Webber and Rice wrote their short-lived musical Come Back Richard in November 1969 (from which just one title single was released by RCA that month), which Doggett conducted at the school (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 59; Coveney, The Lloyd Webber Story, p. 58; see also John Snelson, Andrew Lloyd Webber, with foreword by Geoffrey Block (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004), p. 222 n. 9), but Chandler claims that his only connection was through being invited to adjudicate the school’s Junior Music Competition in 1969 (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 282, n. 4). Walsh also writes that Doggett ‘had caught on at another London school and then abruptly left to lead a choir called the London Boy Singers [see below]’ (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 67), but without clarifying if he is again referring to the City of London School here.

Since the first appearance of this blog article and the subsequent articles on Doggett in The Times, two individuals have come forward to confirm that Doggett did indeed work at City of London School on a more permanent basis after leaving Colet Court (thus contradicting the account given in Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 282 n. 4, based upon information provided to him by Terry Heard, archivist at City of London School), teaching rowing as well as music (the latter probably only at the junior school).

Furthermore, one woman has contacted me to confirm that Doggett was also Head music teacher at St Mary’s School for Girls in Wiltshire Lane, Norwood, Middlesex (now part of Haydon School) in West London for several years in the 1970s (approximately 1972-75). In 1974, both Lloyd Webber and Rice came to give a talk and share their experiences (see comment from ‘louise’ here). This visit is also confirmed by a comment by Geraldine Maidment (née Stanley) on Friends Reunited boards. Doggett was the first male teacher allowed to teach at St. Mary’s, a school with around 600 girls (it is possible he had been excluded from teaching boys, but not girls, though this at present is just speculation); the girls apparently gave him something of a difficult time, but he gladly allowed them to bring pop records to class and regularly sing numbers from Joseph.

Furthermore, a comment posted below this by Tim Waygood indicates that Doggett taught music at Culford School for just around two terms in 1976-77, where he was resident teacher at Cadogan House, one of three live-in teachers . Waygood recalls Doggett taking boys to his room and beating their bare backsides, and describes him as a ‘terrifying man with a penchant for punishing boys’. In one case, he beat an 11-year old so badly with a hairbrush that he bled; Doggett left the school under hushed circumstances soon afterwards. Waygood was 12 when he heard he had killed himself. Apparently every boy knew how dodgy Doggett was, and there were suspicions about other teachers at the school.

Doggett also taught from August 26th to September 2nd 1969 at one of the Adult Summer Schools with concurrent Choirboys’ Courses for the Royal School of Church Music; this took place at Dean Close School, Cheltenham; fellow teachers included Geoffrey Barber, Michael English, Allen Ferns, Geoffrey Fletcher, W. J. Goodey, Richard Greening. (The Musical Times, Vol. 110, No. 1516 (June 1969), p. 561).

Doggett’s evangelism for popular music with religious themes was undiminished after his departure from Colet Court, and he published an article to that effect in 1969 (Doggett, ‘Pop here, my Lord?’, English Church Music 1969, pp. 37-40, cited in Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 278). Feeling a great pride in Joseph, Doggett advertised for ‘recruits’ in spring 1969 for a ‘mammoth school performance’ of the work, to be held in St. Paul’s, but it appears that this never took place (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 284; this includes a reproduction of the advert).

Doggett continued to make recordings with Lloyd Webber and Rice following that of Joseph; dates here are unclear, so that it is also unclear whether what Rice refers to as ‘Alan Doggett’s boy choir’, which he dubbed ‘the Wonderschool’, was the Colet Court choir or the London Boy Singers. Recordings were made of ‘Bike’, a Syd Barrett number which had appeared on the first Pink Floyd album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), and also of the Everly Brothers’ ‘Problems’, as well as some songs with the Mixed Bag and David Daltrey, but none of these were ever released by Decca. One which was a single featuring a solo choirboy who worked with Doggett; at present I am unclear as to the title of this song, but the B-side was a version of ‘Any Dream Will Do’, with changed lyrics, recorded in 1969 (Rice, Oh, What a Circus, p. 166).

Around Christmas of 1969, Doggett had heard what would become the theme tune for Jesus Christ Superstar, and suggested to Lloyd Webber and Rice that they might use this for a musical based upon the Daily Mail Air Race; the composers decided instead upon the theme of Christ on the cross (McKnight, Lloyd Webber, p. 109). The recording of the new work (an album which preceded stage performances) was made in 1970. Doggett once again conducted the orchestra and a children’s choir (who are unidentified on the recording), together with singers Murray Head, Ian Gillan, Yvonne Elliman, Victor Brox, Brian Keith, Johnny Gustafson, Barry Dennen and Mike D’Abo, some of whom recorded their contributions after the orchestra and choir had finished in the studio. The part of the priest was played by Paul Raven, then the name of Gary Glitter, who of course was later convicted of multiple child sexual abuse and pornography charges. The orchestra featured strings from Malcolm Henderson’s City of London Ensemble, with Alan O’Duffy as engineer (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 67; Rice, Oh, What a Circus, pp. 198-199). Doggett also conducted Lloyd Webber’s first film score in 1971, for Stephen Frears’ film Gumshoe (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 283).

But Lloyd Webber and Rice noticed that Doggett’s conducting was not really up to professional standards, and he seemed out of his depth with the more hard-rock sections of the Superstar recording, and so he was replaced first by Ian Hunter, then for the 1973 film version by André Previn (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 67; Citron, Sondheim and Lloyd Webber, p. 151 n. 5; Mantle, Fanfare, p. 91).

This would not however signify the end of Doggett’s collaborations with Lloyd Webber and Rice; there was a new surge of interest in Joseph at late 1972, for which Doggett was brought back to act as musical director for a production at the Edinburgh Festival, directed by Frank Dunlop, together with some medieval mystery plays. With some changes to the lyrics, the performance of Joseph was nonetheless relatively faithful to the original Doggett production (Rice, Oh, What a Circus, p. 286). This production was then taken to the Roundhouse in London and to the Albery Theatre in the West End, and also televised and broadcast on the ITV network on December 24th, 1972, then again on December 23rd, 1973. The Albery performance was paired with a new Lloyd-Webber and Rice work, Jacob’s Journey, thus yet another premiere for Doggett (Mantle, Fanfare, pp. 95-96; Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 285).

In 1970, Doggett became Director of the St Barnabas Singers (in Holland Park), who met on the first Sunday of each month. An advert for the choir indicated that the term’s programme would begin on October 4, including new setting of canticles written for the choir by Betty Roe. The address given was 23 Addison Road, W14. (The Musical Times, Vol. 111, No. 1532 (October 1970), p. 1050). He also served as organist at St Barnabas Anglican and Methodist Chuch, from some point around this time; the vicar of this church at the time of his death in 1978 was the Rev. Pat Kirwin (‘Sex case choirmaster killed on railway line’, Evening News, February 8th, 1978).

Then, by December 1971 at the latest, Doggett was working for the London Boy Singers (LBS) (sometimes mistakenly referred to as as the London Boys’ Choir). This was a group founded first in 1961 in order to supply a concert boys’ choir in England, and through the enthusiasm of Benjamin Britten, who served as President. It was initially known as the Finchley Boys’ Choir, formed from the Finchley Children’s Music Group. At first the LBS was run by a Board of Governors, with Eric Walter White as chairman; during this time they performed the premieres of Britten’s King Herod and the Cock and the Twelve Apostles, both dedicated to the choir, in June 1962 in Aldeburgh. The first artistic director was John Andrewes, followed by Jonathan Steele, who was conductor from the outset. However, Steele, broke with Britten and the Governors in 1966. The choir would continue through into the 1970s, and an archive is maintained by the London Boy Singers Association (see ‘London Boy Singers Association’ for more details).

According to one account written after Doggett’s death by a writer who appeared to know Doggett and his work well, Doggett became director of the LBS as early as 1964 (Colin Ward, ‘The saving grace of worldliness’, New Society, July 9th, 1981, p. 72). This is certainly not the account given by the official pages listed above, nor does it concur with the page of archived concert programme of the Finchley Children’s Music Group, which does not mention Doggett once (but mentions Steele twice). A major concert in March 1970 was conducted by Steele (Ronald Crichton, ‘London Boys Singers. St Anne’s and St. Agnes’, Financial Times, March 23rd, 1970, p. 3).I have found no evidence of an earlier involvement of Doggett’s with the choir, so conclude that his work with them probably post-dated Britten’s involvement with them. In December 1971, he was working together with David Rose, and both of their names were given for audition forms (see The Musical Times, Vol. 112, No. 1546 (December 1971), p. 1226). Tim Rice inaccurately refers to the LBS as having been ‘the choir he [Doggett] had formed since leaving regular school employment’ (Rice, Oh, What a Circus, pp. 351-352), but it had a longer history than that. In 1973, Doggett who had at some point earlier become Associate Director, was appointed Director of the LBS in succession to Steele (Musical Opinion, Vol. 97 (1973), p. 428). In this capacity, one commentator argues that he brought the choir to international fame (Citron, Sondheim and Lloyd Webber, p. 151 n. 5). By 1975, a Paul Terry was writing to the Daily Mirror in gushing terms about the LBS, pointing out that they ‘have sung more than 210 part-songs in their concerts over the past six years – all from memory and in nine languages, including Russian, Hebrew and Welsh!’, their average age was 13½, and they were ‘just ordinary lads from schools all over London who love singing’, who had performed in as different locations as the West Country and Rome (where they had been the previous Easter, this was probably a trip to the Vatican referred to in a later article) and elsewhere in Europe (Letter from Paul Terry, Caithness Road, London, ‘Songsters’, Daily Mirror, August 26th, 1975, p. 16; Anthony Holden, ‘Tragic end for the music man’, The Sunday Times, February 19th, 1978).

Amongst the concerts of which there is documentary record of his conducting with the choir are one with Timothy Bond on the organ, at St. Vedast, Foster Lane, EC2, on July 11th, 1974 (The Times, June 6th, 1974, p. 7), one at the Exmouth Pavilion on August 3rd, 1975 (The Musical Times, Vol. 116, No. 1590 (Aug., 1975), p. 732), and one at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral on July 30th 1976 (The Musical Times, Vol. 117, No. 1598 (April 1976), p. 295).

Doggett also conducted a recording of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, with the City of London Ensemble, and Frankie Howerd as narrator, Polydor Carnival 2928 201 (1-25), which was reviewed in an issue of Gramophone from 1972 (p. 110). This version had been prepared by Rice, and Rice and Lloyd Webber were credited as producers on the recording (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 283). This was not the only art music he conducted during these years; he would also conduct the UK premiere of Schoenberg’s Sonata Fragment (1941) in 1974 (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 276, n. 1).

Doggett turned to trying to create a cantata/musical of his own along the lines of those of Lloyd Webber and Rice (perhaps, as Chandler suggests (‘Alan Doggett’, p. 284) as a way of realising his vision of a ‘mammoth school performance’ of Joseph); this would be Jason and the Golden Fleece, for which he wrote the music, and co-wrote the lyrics with the Hampstead poet Rita Ford (1931-1985); it was described as ‘A New Musical for Schools’ (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, pp. 285-286). The work received its first concert performance at St Barnabas Church, Addison Road, London W14 (where he worked with the St Barnabas Singers mentioned above) on Wednesday June 27th, 1973, hosted by City of London Productions (Advert in The Musical Times, Vol. 114, No. 1564 (June 1973), p. 589). A choir of 250 children were involved, a combination of the LBS, the Islington Green school choir, and also a selection of ‘largely untrained children’ from St. Barnabas and St Philip’s schools, and St Peter’s school in Hammersmith (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 286). The familial resemblances of this work to Joseph, not least in terms of both works’ use of a narrator, have been commented upon by various people, though also its weaknesses compared to the work of Lloyd Webber and Rice, both by critics at the time and later writers (see Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, pp. 285-287; Chandler is concerned to defend this work against the idea it might simply be a poor man’s Joseph). At the outset it received positive reviews from Hilary Finch and Barbara Denny, reviewing for the South Kensington News and Chelsea Post and Kensington News and Post (cited in Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 285).

The work would receive a further performance in a revised version on March 9th, 1977 at Westminster Central Hall, with large forces drawn from many London schools (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 287). This performance, however, received a markedly downbeat review from Merion Bowen, who wrote that the work ‘was not at all edifying’ and that Doggett’s music displays little of the flair shown by Andrew Lloyd Webber and others in the same vein, and Ford’s lyrics aren’t exactly inspired’ (Merion Bowen, ‘Jason and the Golden Fleece’, The Guardian, March 10th, 1977).

Despite having been replaced for the film version of Superstar, Doggett was involved in part in the conducting duties for Lloyd Webber’s score for the 1974 film of The Odessa File (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 283). Also, at some time in the mid-1970s, whilst Lloyd Webber and Rice were working on Evita, Rice also wrote some lyrics for a children’s album, Barbapapa, which was a spin-off from a Dutch TV series, and included Ed Stewart on the recording; Rice brought in Doggett and the LBS for the sessions (Rice, Oh, What a Circus, p. 325).

When it came to the recording of Evita in 1976 (the first production would not come until two years later, after Doggett’s death), Doggett was credited as ‘Children’s Choirmaster, Musical Coordinator (names of all the main performers can be found here); the main conductor and choir director was Anthony Bowles. Rice would later write that Doggett ‘was gently relegated to directing the London Boy Singers’ (Rice, Oh, What a Circus, pp. 351-352), though he appears to have been quite happy in his allotted role (Mantle, Fanfare, p. 116).

The end came for Doggett in early 1978. As with his leaving Colet Court, accounts differ of the actual events. Michael Walsh writes that ‘When one of the boys [of the LBS] accused Doggett of molestation – apparently the accusation was false – the conductor was arrested and, as a condition of his bail, was forbidden to have any contact with his chorus’ (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 67). Stephen Citron, who as mentioned earlier reports the molestation at Colet Court as an established fact, says that on this occasion Doggett was again ‘accused of molestation – this time presumably falsely – he was forbidden to have any contact with his chorus’ (Citron, Sondheim and Lloyd Webber, p. 151 n. 5). Michael Coveney writes that Doggett ‘was still teaching and running his boys’ choirs but he was threatened with allegations about his private life and preferred not to risk public disgrace’ and that:

The tragedy is that it later emerged there was nothing on the files that was ever going to make any kind of case against him in court. Lloyd Webber remains convinced that Doggett would never have been guilty of taking advantage of any young person in his charge: ‘His main talent was in helping children to make music. He was convinced that every young person had music in him or her, and that it was never too late to stop learning. (Coveney, The Lloyd Webber Story, p. 112).

All three such writers assume either that Doggett was innocent or that the case against him would not stand up in court; Mantle on the other hand writes about ‘forbidden love’ which ‘took other, sadder forms’ and reports the ‘allegation of indecency’ right after arguing that ‘he [Doggett] had been unable to leave them alone [after leaving his post at Colet Court]’, presumably a reference to a proclivity for boys (Mantle, Fanfare, pp. 130-131). McKnight does not even seem to have registered the event, claiming that Doggett died in 1973 (McKnight, Lloyd Webber, p. 99), whereas Rice hedges from committing himself to a view of Doggett’s guilt or innocence in 1978 (unlike in 1968) (see below). Another book on Lloyd Webber by John Snelson (Snelson, Lloyd Webber) only mentions Doggett once in passing in the main text, and briefly in two endnotes, so does not consider his death at all. But in most cases the defence or denial seems beset by doubt on the parts of the authors, suggesting their verdicts may reflect what they wish to have been the case rather than necessarily what did transpire.

Doggett was due to conduct a further performance of Jason and the Golden Fleece at the Royal Albert Hall on February 23rd 1978, with a choir of a thousand singers, entitled ‘The London Boy Singers And a Massed Choir of 1000’ who he had selected and coached, as well as many other children playing recorders and percussion, all from around 34 different schools; the performance was to be on behalf of Help the Aged. A few adult celebrities were also involved, including Ed Stewart, Ian Lavender, and Barney the Clown (‘Concert’s lost conductor’, The Guardian, 24/2/78; Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 287). An article from three years after his death (to which I will return below) mentioned that according to some press reports, police had intended to interview every one of these thousand boys (Ward, ‘The saving grace of worldliness’, p. 72).

What is clear is that, following an investigation by detectives in Hammersmith, Doggett was charged on February 8th, 1978 in West London Magistrate’s Court and remanded on bail of £1000 (on condition that he made no contact with any member of the choir or their parents), hours after which, in a depressed state, he travelled back to his birthplace of Iver, and lay down on a railroad track so as to be run over by a train (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 67; Citron, Sondheim and Lloyd Webber, p. 151 n. 5; ‘Sex case choirmaster killed on railway line’, Evening News, February 8th, 1978; ‘Sex-case death’, Daily Mirror, February 9th, 1978, p. 3; ‘Sex case man killed’, Daily Mail, February 9th, 1978, p. 9; ‘Concert’s lost conductor’, The Guardian, February 24th, 1978). Immediately after Doggett’s death, one unnamed friend was quoted as saying that he did not think Doggett ‘could face the shame of having the whole issue dragged through the courts’, whilst the Rev Kirwin, vicar at St Barnabas, described Doggett as ‘a friend for ten years’ who ‘was one of the kindest and most helpful persons I have known’ (‘Sex case choirmaster killed on railway line’)

Doggett had sent handwritten suicide notes to a few friends (one article claims there were four, including one to his father, one to an unnamed clergyman, one to Salisbury – ‘Sex case choirmaster killed on railway line’, Evening News, February 8th, 1978; another that there were two, to his sister and a clergyman – ‘Concert’s lost conductor’, The Guardian, February 24th, 1978), which were delivered a few days later (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 67). One of these was to Rice, who received two envelopes, dated a week apart, upon returning from a trip to Australia, both from Doggett. The first was a plea for an opportunity to earn some royalties from work he continued to do with his boys’ choirs on Joseph; the second was the suicide note. Rice quotes part of it in his autobiography, and other sections were quoted in an article published eleven days after Doggett’s death:

I am sorry if any of you have been hurt or will be hurt by the events of the past few days. Do not grieve, do not feel remorse, do not feel ‘We should have done more’. (Anthony Holden, ‘Tragic end for the music man’, The Sunday Times, February 19th, 1978).

We all have to sail our own ship through life and this ship has capsized. No one could have helped, it was my destiny. Pray for me, my parents, family and friends. The way I have chosen, the way of the Greeks, though hard, is best. I am sorry I have not completely lived up to it. (Rice, Oh, What a Circus, p. 400; section from ‘We all..’ to ‘…my destiny’, in Holden, ‘Tragic end’, above).

But remember me, please, for the good things, the happy times. The meals, the drink, the conversation, the good companionship. Remember the best bits in my character; there were, i hope, more pluses than minuses in the mixture. (Holden, ‘Tragic end’).

Rice, writing about the ‘Allegations of impropriety with young boys’ which ‘had apparently surfaced (not for the first time)’, whereupon ‘Alan had been arrested and charged’, leading to his suicide (ibid), wrote the following in his autobiography:

I say ‘not for the first time’ but I cannot believe that Alan was truly a danger, or even a minor menace, to the many boys he had worked with over the years. The only previous time in ten years that Andrew and I had come across such rumours concerning Alan, the allegations were proven to be exactly that, as the time and place of the supposed transgression clashed precisely with a recording date at which all three of us were continually present. It has been known for young boys, and more commonly their parents, to manufacture or exaggerate incidents when they know and (understandably) disapprove of a teacher’s inclinations. I am certainly not saying that this was the case with the circumstances that led to Alan’s awful end, or that Alan was squeaky clean throughout his musical dealings with his singers. However I suspect that there was a lot less to the cause of his tragedy than met the eye – just enough to render him incapable of facing the humiliation and shame that he knew he had brought upon himself. It was hard for me to believe that Alan, working with boys so closely for so many years, could have got away with any such behaviour for so long without being caught and hard to speak about him at his funeral, which I readily agreed to do. He played a crucial part in Andrew’s and my success, was an excellent choirmaster, and was never less than a highly amusing and generous companion. (Rice, Oh, What a Circus, p. 401)

Lloyd Webber and Rice themselves published a ‘Tribute’ in the Evening Standard a week after Doggett’s death (February 15th, 1978, p. 25), saying that ‘[w]e ourselves owe him a great deal’ (cited in Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 277).

In the next issue of Magpie, the following text appeared:

Dear Sir,

‘Letters’ is a most acceptable way for members to express their opinions. Usually I don’t, but this time I am so shocked and distressed as a paedophile, and lover of music, that I will sound off.

On February 9th the Director of the ‘London Boys Singers’ was a troubled man. He attended the Magistrate’s Court, accused of ‘Indecency’ with a 10 year old boy.

I know none of the facts of his story, but can well imagine the innocence with which this act of love and affection had taken place.

No doubt Mr. Doggett, considering his social position, found his contact with the law enforcement people to be unacceptable to him. He was bailed, pending trial. He went to a pub and talked a while, wrote some letters to friends and relatives and then threw himself under a train.

If this man chose death as a means of protecting his beliefs towards Paedophilia, I wonder how many of those, who consider the bloody futile laws of this land to be correct and proper, would be willing to support their theories with their life?

It is of the utmost importance that Paedophiles be permitted to express themselves without oppression. It is the ONLY way to be sure that tragedies of this nature will be averted in the future.

My most sincere condolences to the members of the London Boy Singers.

Your loss is total.

Paul Andrews. (Letters, Magpie, Issue No. 10 (no date), p. 4)

Andrews was a treasurer of the Paedophile Information Exchange, at least in September 1978, when his house was raided, together with those of chairman Tom O’Carroll, secretary David Grove, and a Mr Ralph Alden (Gerard Kemp, ‘Child sex leaders raided’, Sunday Express, June 18th, 1978); Andrews had retired from this position by November 1979. He appeared in court with O’Carroll and Grove on July 26th, 1979 at Bow Street Magistrate’s Court on a charge of ‘Conspiracy to Corrupt Public Morals’ (at least as reported in Pan: A Magazine of Boy Love, Vol. 1, No. 3 (November 1979), p. 6). It is not clear from the letter whether Andrews knew Doggett personally, but the tone of the letter suggests some familiarity with the case.

The February 23rd performance of Jason and the Golden Fleece at the Royal Albert Hall became a memorial concert for Doggett, also in aid of the organisation Help the Aged (‘The show that must go on’, News of the World, February 13th, 1978). Michael Stuckey, who had worked alongside Doggett for the 1972 productions of Joseph, took over the conducting (Walsh, Lloyd Webber, p. 67; Citron, Sondheim and Lloyd Webber, p. 151 n. 5; ‘Concert’s lost conductor’, The Guardian, February 24th, 1978; Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 285). The concert was reviewed enthusiastically and with some poignance by none other than Derek Jewell, who had been so important in bringing Joseph to the attention of a wider audience ten years previously (Derek Jewell, ‘Joy fills the Albert Hall’, The Sunday Times, February 26th, 1978). The work would also receive a further performance in 1979 at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing, with an adult cast of around 25, and with Hugh Janes, who would later obtain the rights to the work, as narrator (Chandler, ‘Alan Doggett’, p. 285).

Another article appeared in Magpie in the following issue, this time from an anonymous contributor:

A letter in Magpie 10 reported and commented on the recent suicide of Alan Doggett three weeks before he was to conduct the London Boys Choir, together with massed choirs of other children at the Albert Hall. On the night of that concert the programme contained an insert describing Alan Doggett’s years of dedicated service and paying tribute to his friendliness, integrity and loyalty.

Shortly after this date a requiem mass was said for him at the Holy Cross Priory in Leicester by the Reverend Father Michael Ingram.

On Saturday 20th May a memorial service will be held to commemorate Alan’s life and work. It will start at 3 p.m. and will be held at St. Barnabas Church, Addison Road, London, W14, taking the form of a choral evensong, performed by the London Boys Choir.

These religious functions, one Roman, the other Anglican must be seen not only as ceremonies of intercession and remembrance, but also as containing an element of protest. It would seem to be true that in today’s society religious organisations provide almost the only vehicle whereby such a protest can be made. (‘Alan Doggett – Memorial Service’, Magpie, Issue No. 11, May 1978).

Father Michael Ingram, a Dominican priest, was himself a contributor to multiple issues of Magpie (see my other blogs for some examples of this), writing amongst other things about his supposed counselling of young boys over their sexual hang-ups and difficulties with their parents. He was found guilty in August 2000 of sexual offences, including one serious sexual offence, one offence of gross indecency, and four of indecent assault, against six boys committed between 1971 and 1978 (‘Former priest guilty of sex abuse’, The Tablet, August 19th, 2000, p. 26). A series of reports from the trial in the Leicester Mercury (from July 31st to August 15th, 2000, covering the course of the trial) detailed the awful events and traumatic experiences of Ingram’s victims as revealed in court, and how Ingram preyed upon those from under-privileged families and broken homes, some of them referred to him by social services. Ingram would also encourage boys to compete for his attentions and affection, especially on holiday trips. A letter to The Tablet in 2012 (Ingram had died in 2000) spoke of Ingram’s involvement with PIE, and also contribution to the book The Betrayal of Youth; Radical perspectives on childhood sexuality, intergenerational sex, and the social oppression of children and young people, edited Warren Middleton (London: CL Publications, 1986) (Middleton was a PIE Executive Committee member and former editor of Understanding Paedophilia – see my blog post here for samples from this publication), which featured many essays from individuals connected to PIE (and by feminist writer Beatrice Faust and gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell – see here for a list of contents and quotes). Nurse was surprised that despite the openness with which Ingram expressed his views on the desirability of sexual relationships between adults and children, he was still ‘remained in active ministry and was permitted to work with vulnerable and disadvantaged children’ (Richard Scorer, ‘Turning a blind eye’, The Tablet, November 10th, 2012, pp. 18-19).

Over three years after Doggett’s death, an article in New Society looking back at his plight also bears consideration, and suggests the author knew Doggett and more about the situation than he is revealing. This author was Colin Ward (1924-2010), a writer for anarchist publications, noted for an important book The Child in the City (London: The Architectural Place, 1977) (for more details on Ward, see Ken Worpole, ‘Colin Ward obituary’, The Guardian, February 22nd, 2010). Ward’s article is worth quoting from in detail, and is quite shocking by contemporary standards:

Chaps in pubs and clubs nod sagely at the mention of schoolmasters, scoutmaster and choirmasters. We all know what motivates them. It’s a bit embarrassing, to say the least, for all those people in these occupations whose devoted service is untinged by sexual attraction, but the stereotype exists and is quite often true.

Every now and then someone breaks ranks and points out (as the therapist Dr Richard Hauser did, to the accompaniment of a chorus of parliamentary questions) that if there were some machine for screening out those with a sexual attraction towards children, the caring professions would lose their most valuable people).

But publicly we brush aside ordinary wordly truths taken for granted by the chaps in pubs and clubs, or, worse, treat them as sudden terrible revelations. The recent moral crusade against paedophiles in the United States has led to all sorts of worthy people abandoning their voluntary activities in the boy scouts or in the Big Brother organisation (of adult males befriending boys from fatherless families) for fear of being identified with them.

It is interesting to see that the homosexual lobby there is sufficiently self-assured to fight back and to defend in the courts the right of its own paedophile minority to be scout leaders or Big Brothers, just as it is encouraging to read that the city authorities in Amsterdam have allowed a known paedophile – with a prison sentence behind him – to adopt a troublesome 13 year old boy from a children’s home. To harness people’s wayward and personal predilections to a socially desirable end is a mark, not of irresponsibility, but of civilisation. (Paeophilia, it is worth repeating, means the attraction of men towards boys. It’s pederasty when it turns into sexual activity.)

[……..]If Lewis Carroll had been born 100 years later, he, with his delight in taking nude photographs of his little girl friends, would find himself in the dock at the Old Bailey, charged under the Protection of Children Act, 1978.

Consider the cases of two choirmasters. Years ago, a celebrated college director of music (now dead) appeared before a private university court following charges that he had molested a choirboy. He was reprimanded and went back to his honoured place at High Table and to his work with the choir he had made world-famous. Contrast his experience with that of Alan Doggett. If you know Doggett’s name it is because you saw it on the record sleeve of Evita, where he is described as musical coordinator, though he did not live to see the stage production. He was found dead on a railway line three years ago.

On the very day that the coroner pronounced a verdict of suicide, he was to have conducted at the Albert Hall, a charity performance of his “pop extravaganza,” Jason and the Golden Fleece, with a thousand schoolboy singers and instrumentalists. He was a music teacher who had commissioned from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, then in their teens, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as a school opera. Later he was their musical director for Jesus Christ, Superstar. In 1964 [probably an erroneous date] he had become the director of the London Boy Singers, an ensemble founded at the instigation of Benjamin Britten in 1961. Everyone in the musical world paid tribute to his immense energy and his inspired teaching.

The day after his death, friends received through the post a note from him which said, “We all have to sail our own ship through life, and this ship has now capsized. No one could have helped. It was my destiny.” On the day of his death, he had been committed for trial on a charge of committing an act of indecency with a minor. According to the press, the police had intended to interview each of the thousand boys in the Albert Hall production.

I know young men who were members of that choir and who remember Alan Doggett with immense gratitude and respect. I have myself a family of young musicians, who, if any unexpected extra-musical experiences came their way, were sensible enough to handle them in their own way and keep quiet about them.

What is absolutely appalling is the degree of retribution exacted by the community for minor indiscretions which have been going on, as we all know, since the days of the ancient Greeks. In common, I imagine, with many readers of this journal (though only Tailgunner Parkinson, who is always ready to stick his neck out, spoke up for him), I reacted with horror and unbelief at the two-year sentence passed on Tom O’Carroll, after a re-trial.

He was found guilty, you will recall, under one of those obsolete statues which have to be dug up on these occasions, of “corrupting public morals” by publishing the information bulletin of the Paedophile Information Exchange. There was no evidence that he had committed any offence against any child. (The only charge of this nature against him was withdrawn last month and he was awarded costs).

[….More on O’Carroll and Paedophilia: the radical case…. – this awful publication can be found complete online here]

Another court case, involving incest, followed by the murder of a father by his daughter, which was reported on the same day as the result of the PIE trial, presents the other side of the argument. Statistically, the commonest known form of child-adult sexual activity is father-daughter incest. The enormous publicity given to cases of the sexual murder of children shouldn’t blind us to the fact that such instances are no more typical of the paedophiliac scene than rape-and-murder is characteristic of ordinary sex.

Of the millions of grams of sexual fluids ejaculated every night, most are expended in socially harmless ways, and, in spite of Roman Catholic teaching, not many of them are involved in the reproduction of our race: something for which we should all be thankful. But are we really so worried if some boy in the summer camp is masturbating with the youth club leader, instead of by himself? Don’t we all know that the investigation of the offence is ten times as traumatic as the actual experience itself?

[….More on O’Carroll….]

What really touched me about his [O’Carroll’s] book was the way he quoted his glowing testimonials as a teacher. I am sure that he is a marvellous teacher and that this is a by-product of his sexual inclinations. But this has not saved him, or hundreds of other men like him, from the horrors of a jail sentence on this kind of charge. The Department of Education has a blacklist, which we aren’t entitled to see, on which his name must be underlined.

Yet if we delve into personal memories, we find that innumerable experiences with people like him, far from involving any kind of violence or painful physical penetration, have simply been an aspect of growing up. I can remember the fumbling fondlings of a PE teacher as flattering, rather than terrifying. My wife remembers the attentions of a beloved teacher as yet another initiation into the joys of sex.

Here, as in so many other aspects of social life, there is a fantastic gap between what we all know to be true and our accepted public attitudes. Something we can learn from those old gents in pubs and clubs is the saving grace of worldliness.

This is common of the type of language, rhetoric and ideological assumptions which permeate pro-paedophile discourse. It portrays paedophilia as natural amongst those in the teaching or caring professions, makes any other view out as being akin to a witch-hunt, advocates ‘keeping quiet’ as the only ‘sensible’ response on the part of children, attempts to legitimise the practice by reference to historical figures (and the ancient Greeks), appropriates gay liberation towards its own ends, evokes the cultured (in this case musical) aspects of paedophiles, justifies masturbation of minors, claims that to investigate such offences is worse than the offences themselves, and betrays a type of Stockholm syndrome when speaking of one’s own experiences of sexual abuse. And it is most telling that the only two names who Ward discusses in detail are Doggett and O’Carroll.

Various accounts of Doggett’s character help to complete the picture. Jonathan Mantle shows the awkwardness of ‘the prematurely balding Doggett with his thick black spectacles and his vulnerability to mockery’ which contrasted strongly with the ‘mop-haired, feminine looking youth whose facial hair seemed to be concentrated in a pair of thick, black eyebrows which rose and fell incessantly’ of Lloyd Webber (Mantle, Fanfare, p. 42). Mantle also writes:

Doggett was a split personality: outwardly a charming, witty man, a competent keyboard player and arranger and a highly successful architect of the Colet Court choir, but inwardly a nervy, intense homosexual of unhappy inclinations which would eventually destroy him. He had taken a shine to Andrew at an early age and became his self-appointed musical minder, making sure the young composer’s phenomenal aptitude for tunes was translated into music whose time signature always worked and bars added up correctly. (Mantle, Fanfare, pp. 30-31)

He further suggests that Ian Hunter, whilst appreciating deeply what Doggett was able to do for the Colet Court choir, had ‘few illusions about the more volatile aspects of his personality’ (Mantle, Fanfare, pp. 42-43); McKnight quotes Hunter as saying that Doggett ‘was not very brilliant musically’, but had a great ‘ability to communicate with kids’ (McKnight, Lloyd Webber, p. 86).

Gerald McKnight refers to Doggett as ‘a sad, pathetically mixed-up man in private life’, though ‘his passion for music endeared him to Dr and Mrs Lloyd Webber’, who the composers regularly ragged, using instructions such as ‘With un-Doggett-like expression!’ and ‘Doggett Mobbed!’ (McKnight, Lloyd Webber, pp. 85, 99).

Mantle points out however how central a part of Lloyd Webber’s social circle was Doggett (together with David Crewe-Read, Gray Watson, Bridget (Biddy) Hayward and Jamie Muir), whilst implying that Doggett’s place in this circle depended upon ‘past glories’; in his later work with Lloyd Webber, according to Mantle, he came to ‘ look more and more like a man who had been left behind’ (Mantle, Fanfare, pp. 117-118, 131).

The second Magpie article, with its reference to the two religious services ‘containing an element of protest’ and how ‘religious organisations provide almost the only vehicle whereby such a protest can be made’, is ominous, and suggests a deeper knowledge of Doggett and his activities. The inquest found that Doggett had only written two letters, which he had posted from Paddington Station on the evening he died – one to his sitter and the other to a clergyman (‘Concert’s lost conductor’, The Guardian, February 24th, 1978; this article dates the inquest as taking place three weeks previously, but this is impossible because of the date of Doggett’s death) (there was no mention of the letter to Rice). Who was the clergyman in question?

Otherwise, the article by Colin Ward, the fact of their having been two different pieces on Doggett in Magpie, and the fact that in all of these cases the language is quite typical of paedophile parlance (especially in PIE publications), combined with the various accounts of Doggett’s abuse of children in both 1968 and 1978, certainly indicate that more information is needed to establish the truth. Doggett was indeed a fully paid-up member of PIE; as many such members have been implicated in international child abuse and pornography networks, as well as rings of abusers, the implications are extremely disturbing for one who worked with such a range of children (I would estimate around 1500-2000 just for the period 1968-78, after Doggett left Colet Court).

Doggett’s story is tragic, and he undoubtedly needed help and support such as might have avoided involvement with the dark world of PIE instead. But the potential tragedy for many who worked with him, and how this all might supply further important information about the workings of PIE and its involvement with abuse networks, remains the important question today. At the time of David Chandler’s article in 2012, Ian Hunter was certainly still alive; others interviewed included Roger Ford (husband of the late Rita), and Julian Lloyd Webber. There were literally thousands of boys who studied with Doggett (who would be in their 50s and 60s at the time of writing), so many who could shed further light onto what exactly went on, not to mention the many other musicians who worked with him, and others mentioned in this article. I appeal to those who knew Doggett to help to establish further the truth about and extent of his activities once and for all.

Anyone wishing to speak under conditions of complete confidentiality is welcome to e-mail me at ian@ianpace.com , and I can give advice regarding what to do with any information.

Further on Alan Doggett – child prostitution and blaming victims at Colet Court School

Following the reports by Andrew Norfolk in The Times this Tuesday on abuse at Colet Court and St Paul’s School, including by director of music Alan Doggett (see my blog post from earlier this week for details and links to the text of the Times articles) a new article (Andrew Norfolk, ‘Boys punished for telling of abuse by teacher’, The Times, March 28th, 2014 – behind a paywall – full text can be read here) reports many former pupils of the schools having contacted the paper after reading the first article. In particular, several have helped to provide further information about the activities of Doggett, as follows:

Several ex-pupils described Doggett’s routine “fondling” of boys in their beds. Three said they were abused by the choirmaster, who was conductor on the first recordings of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. Doggett resigned after his abuse was exposed in 1968, but it is understood that St Paul’s did not report the allegations to police or to education officials, which was required by law.

He went on to teach at City of London School and became director of an acclaimed choir before killing himself in 1978.

Stephen (his surname is withheld), the pupil who ended Doggett’s Colet Court career, said that he and a friend decided to speak to the school’s headmaster, Henry Collis, after Doggett indecently assaulted both 11-year-olds as they sat on each side of him during a televised football match in May 1968.

“It was the Manchester United v Benfica European Cup Final. We were sitting on the floor and Doggett’s hands were groping inside our pyjama bottoms.

“He wouldn’t leave us alone. He’d already had a go at me in the dormitory on quite a few occasions,” Stephen said. After the match, the two pupils decided that “he’s got to be stopped”. They informed Mr Collis, who was headmaster of Colet Court from 1957 to 1973 and served as chairman of the Independent Preparatory Schools Association.

Stephen said: “When I next went home on exeat that weekend, the school had telephoned my father to complain that I’d made up terrible stories about Doggett. Dad asked me what had been going on. When I told him, he said he believed me and I’d done the right thing in speaking out, but when I got back to the school the two of us were summoned to Mr Collis’s study.

“I can still see us standing in front of his desk on the Monday morning.He was furious. He said we were wicked for making up such awful lies. Mr Doggett was so appalled and embarrassed by the disgraceful things we’d said that he’d decided to leave the school. We should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves. He gave us detention.”

Stephen said that another boy in their year suffered far worse crimes at Doggett’s hands: “He had one particular favourite who received regular visits in the dormitory at night. He’d abuse the poor boy without seeming to care that we could all see and watch what was happening.”

Other ex-pupils spoke this week of open gossip among the boys that “half a crown” was the “going rate for a session with Doggett”. One said that his year group even coined a new verb: to be “Doggoed” was to be groped and fondled.

Doggett’s resignation was one of several occasions when St Paul’s allegedly failed to inform police after concerns were raised about sexual misconduct by teachers. (Norfolk, ‘Boys punished for telling of abuse by teacher’)

In Norfolk’s article from earlier this week, the testimony of another boy, ‘Luke’, who had been abused by three teachers at the school before the age of 12, recalled how:

A far worse fate awaited another boy in his dormitory, a year younger than Luke, who was angelic in both voice and looks. He was Doggett’s chosen one, summoned far too often from their dormitory to spend long hours at night in the choirmaster’s bedroom. (Norfolk, ”The teacher sat us on his lap until his face went very red”).

The Manchester United/Benfica match in question was the 1968 European Cup Final, at Wembley Stadium, which took place on May 29th, 1968, thus just two-and-a-half weeks after the second performance of Joseph in Westminster Central Hall (detailed in my earlier account of Doggett’s life and activitiesa revised version of this in light of the new information can also be read here). Eight weeks after this performance (thus in mid-July 1968), Doggett made the recording of Joseph for Decca at Abbey Road Studios, and in November of that year gave a further performance at St Paul’s Cathedral. Assuming that ‘Stephen’ made the complaint soon after the abuse during the cup final, this means that Doggett was continuing to conduct a choir of boys for recordings and performances after he had left Colet Court. More widely, this opens up the disturbing possibility, if not likelihood, that the choirs singing on the first recording of Joseph (and quite likely Jesus Christ Superstar as well) were being systematically abused at the time by their conductor.

Furthermore, if ‘half a crown’ was ‘the going rate for a session with Doggett’, then child prostitution of boys of ages around 10-12 was going on flagrantly at the school. And for Doggett would come into a dormitory and abuse a boy in front of the others is itself a form of abuse of all the boys in that dormitory.

There seems no little doubt to my mind that, if these allegations are true, that Colet Court and St Paul’s School were during this period a haven for serial abuse of boys below the puberty, sadistic punishment for sexual gratification of teachers, child prostitution, and intimidation and blaming of victims by the shameful headmaster, Henry Collis. This is a shameful history for any school, but alas it would seem as if Colet Court/St Paul’s were far from alone in many of these respects.

That these sorts of unspeakable things have remained hidden for so long is itself an outrage, but I hope that some can take consolation from the fact that the truth is finally able to come out, and their experiences be recognised.

Others who studied at these schools and now hold prominent positions – such as the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (who was after Doggett’s time, but may have known some of the other abusive teachers) and Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC (who studied at the school when Doggett was a teacher) – should themselves be demanding action and proper investigation into how such abuse could be allowed to happen. Tim Rice wrote the following in his autobiography:

The only previous time in ten years that Andrew and I had come across such rumours concerning Alan, the allegations were proven to be exactly that, as the time and place of the supposed transgression clashed precisely with a recording date at which all three of us were continually present. It has been known for young boys, and more commonly their parents, to manufacture or exaggerate incidents when they know and (understandably) disapprove of a teacher’s inclinations. (Tim Rice, Oh, What a Circus: The Autobiography (Coronet Books, 1999), p. 401).

It would be informative to hear what Rice’s thoughts are on these new allegations, also those of both Julian and Andrew Lloyd Webber, and of Ian Hunter, Doggett’s colleague and successor as Director of Music at the school (who later became Head himself). How much did anyone know about this abuse at the time?

I will update my long article on Doggett later to take account of this new information, and will continue to update it with any subsequent information which comes to light.

One thing is for sure: Colet Court and St Paul’s School need to do everything in their power to help and support the boys who suffered as a direct result of the school’s negligence and complicity, as does every other school where similar things occurred. If these means some must close, so be it.

Peter Tatchell and Dares to Speak


The controversy surrounding a letter that Peter Tatchell wrote to the Guardian in June 1997 has never gone away. Here is the original book review of Dares to Speak (edited by Joseph Geraci, who also edited the European paedophile magazine Paidika), followed by Peter Tatchell’s letter to the Guardian, Guardian readers’ responses, and finally Tatchell’s response to his critics. Tatchell now claims his original letter was edited by the Guardian, but for some reason he didn’t complain about this in his second letter to the Guardian.

The book review

The Observer, 22nd June 1997

Why Dares to Speak says nothing useful, by Ros Coward

Twenty years ago, paedophile groups caused a real problem for gay liberation politics. The majority of gay men didn’t think paedophilia had anything to do with combating discrimination against homosexual adults. But a small minority tried to use the movement to free “boy-love” from its social…

View original post 829 more words

New revelations on Alan Doggett, and Colin Ward’s 1981 article on Doggett and Tom O’Carroll

Following my article from earlier this month on conductor, Colet Court director of music, director of London Boy Singers, Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice collaborator and Paedophile Information Exchange member Alan Doggett (1936-1978) three articles appeared in today’s Times by Andrew Norfolk, giving testimonies and details of how Doggett abused boys as well as information on five or six other abusers at Colet Court and St Paul’s School (for which Colet Court was the prep school). These are Andrew Norfolk, ‘Teachers ‘abused boys at Osborne’s old school”, ”The teacher sat us on his lap until his face went very red”, and ‘Friends to stars had easy access to boys’, all The Times, March 25th, 2014; and can be accessed via the links given at the excellent Spotlight blog.

Norfolk’s report adds to my own blog post through the testimony of ‘Luke Redmond’ (not his real name) who had been sexually assaulted by three different men at Colet Court School by the time he reached the age of 12. These are Doggett, the dorm monitor Paul Topham, who went on to become an Anglican priest, and was questioned under caution by police in 2000, though no charges were brought before his death in 2012, and a housemaster known as ‘Alex’ Alexander, who took pleasure in punishing boys in a sexualised fashion before taking them on his lap and giving them sweets and physical affection. On Doggett, the final printed version of the article says the following (not all included in the link above):

Luke’s abuse by Alan Doggett, Colet Court’s director of music, was a once-only indecent assault during the boy’s compulsory audition for the choir. [From earlier version of article: Doggett’s auditions of boarders were always when pupils were dressed for bed. Luke stood by the piano. As he sang, Doggett’s hand explored beneath the waistband of his pyjamas.]

A far worse fate awaited another boy in his dormitory, a year younger than Luke, who was angelic in both voice and looks. He was Doggett’s chosen one, summoned far too often from their dormitory to spend long hours at night in the choirmaster’s bedroom.

A year later, another boy cried foul and Doggett was forced to resign, though his crimes are understood to have gone unreported by St Paul’s. As a result, it was a decade before he finally appeared in court, charged with offences against a 10-year-old choirboy, born in the year the teacher left Colet Court. (Norfolk, ”The teacher sat us on his lap until his face went very red”).

It has been suggested that Doggett’s treatment of Luke was common with many boys who he auditioned. Norfolk also details in concise form the information contained on my earlier blog post: Doggett’s teaching first at Westminster School (where he taught Julian Lloyd Webber) then Colet Court from 1963 to 1968, his commissioning of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, which was first performed at Colet Court during Doggett’s final months there, his dismissal from the school, then work at City of London School, continued association with Lloyd Webber and Rice, conducting the first recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, then directorship of the London Boy Singers, with whom he worked for the album of Evita, as well as Doggett’s suicide in 1978, just before being about to conduct a massed choir of 1000 school boys, after he was charged with the offences against a 10-year-old choirboy. He also mentions the tributes to Doggett by leading Paedophile Information Exchange figures Paul Andrews and Michael Ingram, and Doggett’s own PIE membership.

That Doggett worked with over 1000 young boys after his dismissal from Colet Court, not to mention his PIE membership and links to other major abusers, raises sinister possibilities – that there could have been widespread abuse of Savile-like proportions. Once again, I would ask anyone with further information to come forward if they feel able to.

As well as the three teachers mentioned by Luke, Norfolk lists three other alleged abusive teachers at Colet Court/St Paul’s; two of them unnamed, the other geography teacher and rowing coach Patrick Marshall, who was questioned as part of a police inquiry into abuse of a 15-year-old boy in 1979-1980. Elsewhere, Norfolk’s scrupulous investigations have drawn attention to how teachers at 130 independent schools in the UK have been implicated in sexual crimes against hundreds of boys, including 64 where at least one male teacher has been convicted of sexually abusing boys, and a further 30 where a member of staff has been sentenced for possession of images of child abuse. These include the likes of Eton, Marlborough, Millfield, Oundle, Tonbridge, Downside School, Somerset, Haderdashers’ Aske’s, Ampleforth, Wellington College, King Edward’s School Birmingham and The Oratory School, Reading. A comment by the Independent Schools Council referred just to the ‘abuse of trust by a small number of predatory individuals’ and wanting to point out that ‘these cases are largely historic’ (Andrew Norfolk, ‘130 private schools in child abuse scandal’, The Times, January 20th, 2014). A report from 1996 in the Sunday Times spoke of Scotland Yard investigating a possible paedophile ring involving public schools, in which context the names of leading PIE members Peter Righton and Charles Napier were mentioned (Stephen Grey, ‘Police investigate public school paedophile ring’, The Sunday Times, August 25th, 1996), leading to a range of raids the following month, including at Harrow School (Eileen Fairweather, ‘Paedophile ring alleged at top public schools’, Evening Standard, September 19th, 1996). A range of public schools were raided in 1997 as part of an investigation into a suspected child pornography ring (Jason Benetto, ‘Public schools raided in child porn inquiry’, The Independent, November 22nd, 1997). The enquiry, named Operation Fledgling, was later revealed to have targetted in particular Eton College, as well as various of the other schools listed above (‘Eton targeted in paedophile inquiry at top public schools’, The Sunday Times, August 6th, 2000). Furthermore, the suicide in 1997 of Adrian Stark, director of music at Leatherhead School, Surrey alerted police to activities at other schools, with raids on independent schools in Durham and Sedbergh in Cumbria, at the same time as a report by Sir William Utling drew attention to the particular dangers faced by children living away from home (Peter Hetherington, Duncan Campbell, Rebecca Smithers and David Brindle, ‘Suicide pointed police to top schools’, The Guardian, November 22nd, 1997).

Whilst Operation Fledgling was abandoned in 1998, there is clearly much more remaining to investigate about vast numbers of allegations into widespread abuse as a common occurrence at Britain’s most prestigious public schools, and more widely about the brutalising and exploitative hierarchical culture of such institutions, by which the values of dog-eat-dog and survival of the fittest may have been passed down from generation to generation.

In my last post, I quoted extensively from the article by Colin Ward, author of The Child and the City (London: Architectural Press, 1978), in New Society which linked Doggett and Tom O’Carroll (Ward, ‘The saving grace of worldiness’, New Society, July 9th, 1981), and served as an apologia for paedophilia. I reproduce the article below, together with a response which appeared a few weeks later (Ken Smith, ‘Paedophiles’, New Society, July 23rd, 1981).

Ward article 1

Ward article 2

Response to Ward 1

Response to Ward 2

PIE – Documentary Evidence 6 – Chairperson’s Report 1975/76

The following is the complete text of the PIE Chairperson’s Report from 1975/76, authored by Keith Hose, the first chair of PIE after the organisation had moved from Scotland to London. It contains important information relating to NCCL, the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE), and the National Association for Mental Health, MIND. Some of the writing referred to in The Guardian can be read here. See also this and this.


PIE c/o/ Release, 1 Elgin Avenue, London W9

BL Cup 351/61

The year that has passed since our inaugural meeting in 1975 has been an extremely important one for PIE and Paedophiles. We have seen our membership shoot up from 43 to 171, a successful London group which meets regularly has been formed, the contact page is now sent out once a month, and the Newsletter which is already greatly improved is to be turned into a magazine. On the campaigning side PIE will go down in the pages of history as contributing to changing social attitudes to sexuality. We have spoken in support of paedophilia to many groups, numerous letters have been written to newspapers and various other bodies, and articles have appeared in several journals. Hundreds of letters from paedophiles all over Britain, and abroad, have been answered.

Among our major achievements are the following:
The passing of a motion at the Campaign for Homosexual Equality’s conference in Sheffield, August 1975, in which the delegates held that paedophilia was an important subject. The result of which was the first positive publicity ever achieved on the paedophile issue in a British national daily newspaper in which the guilt free paedophiles viewpoint was expressed. Positive articles appeared in the Guardian, the Times Educational Supplement, Time Out and Gay News. This achievement, although slightly marred by an attack by John Torode a few days later, was magnified by the resulting discussion of the issues in both CHE and which appeared in the national press as a consequence of the motion.

Another conference causing quite a stir was the ‘Sexual Minorities Workshop’ held by MIND, the National Association of Mental Health, in September last year. At that I spoke about my own personal experiences as a paedophile. Not as an adult, but as a child growing ujp with an awareness of sexual feelings and of the social taboos. This awareness gradually formed from my earliest memories of them at 7 and 8 to the extreme guilt and isolation I felt when I became conscious of the unacceptability of first my homosexuality and then my paedophilia at 16 and 23. The candid nature of my speech shocked some conference delegates and touched others, and the lively and electric workshop group that followed effected many there. MIND-OUT the magazine of the institute ran a precis of my speech and published PIE’s address. However, not everyone likes to be told the truth, and News of the World reporters visited the offices of Tony Smythe the director of MIND after the conference to ask, in what I was told was rather an impertinent manner, why he was giving support to paedophiles. A female social worker who attended the conference also complained to Tony Smythe, and it was when criticising evidence supplied to the Criminal Law Revision Committee, in an article in the TIMES that Ronald Butt quoted part of the speech I gave at MIND.

The evidence that we supplied to the Home Office Criminal Law revision Committee in November 1975, proposing the abolition of ‘ages of consent’, and the removal of consensual sexual activity at all ages from the criminal law, was our most ambitious achievement so far, and I have been told by researchers and people involved in other pressure groups that it is the best evidence on the ‘age of consent’ issue they have seen to date. However, despite sending out a well prepared press release together with the report, to a comprehensive list of newspapers, radio and television companies and press agencies, the media coverage was sparse. Peace News, Gay News, Time Out and a little later Ronald butt in the Times carried mentions of the report, and I had unreported interviews with the Scotsman and the Daily Mirror, but there seemed to be a deliberate editorial silence. In fact the more I see printed about paedophilia and the more newspapers who refuse to publish letters of reply and journalists refuse to publish letters of reply and journalists refuse even to speak to me on the telephone, the more I feel that except for a few newspaper and magazines there is a policy to write only the negative arguments about adults who are sexually interested in children.

But despite the low level of press coverage of our PIE report it has affected many people who have read it. At a meeting of the Gay Rights sub-committee of the NCCL that I attended, changes were proposed to the draft NCCL evidence, including an incorporation of a few of the ideas and a couple of research quotes from our evidence. Copies of our evidence were sent to the executive of NCCL before their decision on their policy in this area was reached, and some of the proposals of the gay rights sub-committee were adopted. The section on paedophilia in the report would undoubtedly not have been as positive had it not been for our lobbying. Our report therefore had some effect on the NCCL evidence, which because of the sensational press coverage, has done more to raise the issue of the ‘age of consent’ than any other document. As a source of positive ideas and arguments towards paedophilia our report will continue to influence researchers, pressure groups and paedophiles who read it for a long time.

Presently we are near to the completion of the first stage in two other areas of work. We are compiling evidence on the ‘treatment’ of paedophiles with anti-libidinal drugs, that is chemical castration. We are particularly interested in those who are or were sex-offenders and who were treated with drugs such as Androcur, Benperidol, Oestrogen, etc. However, any information on this particular ‘treatment’ or any other maltreatment (including aversion therapy, physical violence etc) of paedophiles in or out of prison, is useful. We have started a campaign against this chemical castration, and we attempted to pass a motion calling on the NCCL AGM to condemn the practise [sic] on sex-offenders, but a move to refer the motion to the Executive Committee of NCCL was passed marginally. It is important therefore that we collect enough evidence to force this committee to use their organisation to campaign against chemical castration in the coming year. I spoke for the motion openly as a paedophile and this and another paedophile proposal certainly went a long way to educating NCCL members attending the meeting about paedophilia.

Data obtained from the PIE survey has been collated, and a report written, which will be published shortly. This contains some interesting results. PIE is no longer an exclusively male homosexual paedophile organisation. More and more male heterosexual and male bisexual paedophiles are joining. Another interesting fact is that the majority of our membership also relate sexually to adults as well as children. We must realise that we are a pan-sexual organisation and may have to work on all sexual liberation issues, while concentrating on paedophilia and children’s sexuality. In our survey, to help explain our results, it has been postulated that the definition of sexuality plays an important part in who is defined or who defines themselves as paedophile. An act which is objectively or subjectively defined by one person as sexual may not be by another person. This definition varies from culture to culture, sex to sex and from person to person. Females are treated differently from males and many acts which are regarded as being sexual in men are not regarded to be so in women. For instance, two men embracing is considered more a sexual relationship than two women embracing which is considered to be more of an emotional relationship. This could effect the definition of a woman as a paedophile, and explain why PIE has such few women members. Paedophilia is used to describe a sexual relationship with a child. Men are seen more in terms of sex than women and therefore would be more likely to define themselves as such. But this should not be used as an excuse nor the sole reason why we have such few women, and considering the nature of women’s oppression as woman, we should accept that a group in which the vast majority of members are men is not likely to attract women. PIE should as soon as we have enough women to do it, try to set up a separate group for women. We should allow them to use separate advertising and campaigning if necessary to attract more women paedophiles to join the fight with us.

As with a group for some areas of the UK, a group for those male paedophiles interested in little girls is already a viable proposition. A group can be formed on, a letter writing basis if someone co-ordinates this. How about volunteer co-ordinators for this, or any regional groups contacting the PIE executive committee as soon as possible?

Despite all this progress and activity, any achievements have been made under difficult circumstances. The press and police harrassment [sic] of PAL, the Playland Trial and the ‘Johnny Go Home’ programme have all contributed to make sure paedophiles remain oppressed. The ‘expose’ of PAL caused panick [sic] among some of the then serving E.C. members of PIE. Michael Hanson had planned to resign many months before the Sunday People article because of a move to live in Greece. Other E.C. members however, caught fright and it was left to me and co-opted E.C. member Warren Middleton to keep PIE alive. We did this believing that the only way for PIE to survive was to seek out as much publicity for the organisation as possible and that if we got bad publicity we would not run into a corner but stand and fight. We felt that the only way to get more paedophiles joining PIE, particularly more male heterosexual paedophiles and female paedophiles in general was to seek out and try to get all kinds of publications to print our organisations name and address and to make paedophilia a real public issue. But PIE has not come out of all this without receiving all kinds of attacks. John Torode in the Guardian wrote three articles condemning us and our ‘Sheffield motion to CHE’. The hysteria in this article showed that even some of those who are regarded as serious and liberal journalists cannot even discuss paedophilia rationally. Ronald Butt, not the most egalitarian of people, wrote an attack on our aims and my speech to the MIND conference and this was printed as the Times newspapers somewhat pathetic contribution to the discussion on sexual law reform. The NCCL evidence was received with a kind of paranoia by editors and journalists. The Daily Telegraph was still twitching with snide editorials about it weeks after it had been released. Some members may see these attacks as nothing but harmful and I would agree they are biased against us, but even some of the worst attacks have quoted some of what we say, and some of the quotes are even in context. The Ronald Butt article is an example in question, although he attacks Lord Beaumont savagely he obviously believes that we will be condemned by our own words. What I say is let them continue – we will win in the end!

More serious a handicap for PIE was the loss of our British Monomark address. This was as a result of the News of the World (they seem fond of us) harrasment [sic] of the staff of this mailing service. The directors reused to handle our mail from then on, despite our obvious victim role in the whole affair. As a consequence we had no address for a period of 2 or 3 weeks. Through very hard work a new address was found. Many commercial firms refused to handle our mail after they heard about British Monomark and some were too expensive, and because we felt the same thing might happen again, we tried alternative and left wing organisations. We knew that it was more likely that they would accept we had a right not to be molested and help us. RELEASE did, and we are truly grateful to them. They have assured us that visiting News of the World reporters would not get a comfortable ride. Since we used to pay for the BM address, I move that we give release the same amount each year in donations. At the moment we pay them nothing. The loss of our address meant that many letters sent to us have had to be destroyed and that many people despite being informed of our new address may refer people to our old address by mistake. It is a mammoth task contacting again all those organisations informed of our existence and let me apologise publicly to any we may have overlooked.

We have had an extremely rough ride due to outside attacks but this has not been the only cause of hardship. With inflation and the rise in membership we have been running at a very substantial loss. Approaching a 50% loss! If it had not been for donations generously given in the past, particularly by Warren Middleton and past Newsletter editors, there would be no PIE. Despite this we have improved the Newsletter size and content, we have now started to run the contact page once a month, meetings in London are meeting more regularly and a series of campaigns and special projects are under way. We do this not because we are mad, but because we believe we are still only doing the minimum to achieve our aims. We want to see many more improvements to the services to our members, but to do this we have been forced to raise the membership to four pounds for U.K. and Ireland (Two pounds for non-earners) and seven pounds in other countries. Yet to achieve all that is necessary we need more money still. We have a number of ideas for making money for PIE, and need others, and help, to bring our ideas into practise [sic]. If you think you can help lease make contact with the E.C.

Keith Hose
8th May 1976

Back cover says ‘This report was adopted at the Annual General Meeting 8th May 1976.’

PIE and the Home Office: Three+ members/supporters on inside, funded, magazine printed and phone line

The extent to which the Paedophile Information Exchange established a thorough presence at the Home Office in the late 1970s and early 1980s is now becoming clear as more information becomes available. What transpires is alarming:

(a) According to a whistleblower who worked under senior civil servant (Assistant Secretary) Clifford Hindley, Hindley dismissed the objections of another member of staff to government money going to PIE, who received a total of £70 000 between 1977 and 1980. A recent report has quoted the whistleblower saying this funding was at the request of Special Branch, who may have been pursuing some undercover operation to monitor paedophiles; late former Home Office Minister Tim Raison must, according to the whistleblower, have approved the application. After early retirement in 1983, Hindley published a series of pro-pederastic articles on music and classical Greece in scholarly journals. whose arguments were scarcely-disguised PIE propaganda.

(b) PIE chair Steven Adrian Smith (who replaced Tom O’Carroll), also known as Steven Freeman, used a telephone number at the Home Office as the contact point for PIE, whilst he was working there as an electrical contractor, on behalf of firm Complete Maintenance Ltd. According to his own account, Smith stored file material in cabinets at the Home Office and received full security clearance from Scotland Yard, (Keith Dovkants, ‘Child sex ring’s ‘Home Office Link’, Standard, November 7th, 1984; Alex Marunchak, ‘Child-Sex Boss in Whitehall Shock’, The Sun, August 15th, 1982; Steven A. Smith, ‘PIE, from 1980 Until its Demise in 1985’, in The Betrayal of Youth: Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People, edited Warren Middleton (London: CL Publications, 1986), pp. 215-245). Smith claims he was provided with a furnished office as part of his contract, from which he could use the phone line, but another source connected to the Home Office informs me that it was unthinkable that such a contractor would be given access to a Home Office phone line. Smith was later said in court probably to have actually published the PIE magazine (which would then have been Minor Problems) in the Home Office itself (Sue Clough, ‘Paedophile jailed over child porn material’, Press Association, December 16th, 1991).

(c) PIE Secretary and Treasurer Barry Cutler was also employed in the Home Office in the early 1980s, until being discovered by the News of the World, whereupon he was sacked (Michael Parker, Stuart White and Alex Marunchak, ‘The Nasty Nine: Bosses who mastermind the secret web of filth’, News of the World, August 28th, 1983). Cutler was also highly active in the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, acting in 1999 as a spokesperson for the organisation on the abolition of Clause 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act (Graeme Wilson, ‘Fury at move to drop schools’ gay propaganda ban’, Daily Mail, August 23rd, 1999), and remaining on their Executive Committee at least as late as 2010.

(d) A Whitehall civil servant received a series of slides with images of abuse of young boys and obscene letters delivered to his departmental address. When this was discovered, one colleague’s protests that these materials should be handed over to the police were ignored, and it was treated as a purely internal matter (‘Two-year cover-up on dirty pictures’, Daily Express, November 25th, 1983). It is not known whether this was one of the three individuals above.

(e) Adrian Fulford (now Lord Justice Fulford), who was named last week in the Mail on Sunday as a key organiser of the so-called Conspiracy Against Public Morals to support key PIE figures, and wrote an article defending PIE (Martin Beckford, ‘High Court judge and the child sex ring: Adviser to Queen was founder of paedophile support group to keep offenders out of jail’, Mail on Sunday, March 9th, 2014), also acted as Smith’s defence barrister in a court case concerning publishing obscene material featuring children in 1991. Smith had previously fled to the Netherlands to avoid trial, and was tried after being deported by Dutch authorities (Sue Clough, ‘Paedophile jailed over child porn material’, Press Association, December 16th, 1991).

The Prime Minister or at least the Home Secretary need to make a statement about this level of PIE infiltration (involving three, possibly four individuals directly linked to the organisation) into the very government department responsible for law and order. Also, to answer the following questions:

(i) who was responsible for their employment (and dismissal or delay thereof) these individuals?
(ii) which ministers (Labour and/or Conservative) would have been aware of these individuals’s presence in the department?
(iii) which would have authorised the payments to PIE?

During the period of PIE’s official existence, 1974-1984, the Home Secretaries were Roy Jenkins (1974-1976), Merlyn Rees (1976-1979), William Whitelaw (1979-1983) and Leon Brittan (1983-1985); Ministers for Home Affairs were Lord Harris (1974-1979), Alex Lyon (1974-1976), Brynmor John (1976-1979), Lord Boston (Jan-May 1979), Leon Brittan (1979-1981), Timothy Raison (1979-1983), Patrick Mayhew (1981-1983), and David Waddington (1983-1987); Junior Ministers and Parliamentary Private Secretaries were Shirley Summerskill (1974-1979), Lord Belstead (1979-1982), Lord Elston (1982-1984), David Mellor (1983-1986) and Lord Glenarthur (1984-1986).

We also know that senior diplomat and MI6 officer Peter Hayman was an active member of PIE, and that members of PIE (including Smith – see above) received active political and legal support from a current High Court Judge (see Beckford, ‘High Court judge’, above); a further judge, now Chief Coroner, Peter Thornton, was also involved with the provision such support (Martin Beckford, ‘Now Chief Coroner is exposed as paedophile apologist who wanted age of consent to be 14’, Daily Mail, March 16th, 2014). Leading PIE member Peter Righton managed to wean his way into the whole social work and child protection world, occupying senior and influential positions (see a whole range of articles here), and his name has been linked to networks operating in public schools (see Eileen Fairweather, ‘Paedophile ring alleged at top public schools’, Standard, September 19th, 1996) and children’s homes. Not to mention PIE being affiliated to NCCL, who would take out adverts in two different PIE publications, Understanding Paedophilia and Magpie; current senior Labour politicians, including Deputy Leader Harriet Harman and Shadow Minister for Policing Jack Dromey were involved at the heart of NCCL at this time. The names of other senior politicians, including late MPs Peter Morrison (Conservative) and Cyril Smith (Liberal Democrat) have also been publicly linked to organised abuse involving young children in homes.

This is an extremely serious situation which demonstrates that the PIE network was able to infiltrate some of the upper echelons of British government and society in the 1970s and 1980s, This needs to be thoroughly investigated with proper resources and funding.

I also have clear information on the extent to which PIE members or sympathisers were very influential in different branches of academia – sociology, social work, child protection and the study of child abuse, criminology, music and the arts, and gender and sexuality studies. Some of their work was published by reputable scholarly journals (as I have detailed in the case of Hindley), and many obtained senior positions in leading universities. Various of their students continued to develop their ideas. To this day, some of their publications are still cited or otherwise used as if they were reliable and trustworthy, to such an extent that I believe elements of these professions have been corrupted.

Clear documentary evidence points to a highly-organised network with PIE at its centre; a network responsible not simply for the advocacy of paedophilia, but the organisation international rings of abusers and for the trafficking in child pornography. The seriousness of this cannot be underestimated. All politicians should be supporting the work of Tom Watson MP in trying to bring to light this awful network (which cannot be assumed to be merely ‘historic’), and address honestly the ways in which its activities and ideologies may have infiltrated their own parties.