PIE – Documentary Evidence 5 – Contact Ads

[NOTE OF WARNING: In absolutely no sense whatsoever does the printing of the below material constitute any type of endorsement; in fact the very reverse]

In Tom O’Carroll’s Paedophilia: The Radical Case (London: Owen, 1980), the most comprehensive and sustained statement of PIE propaganda available by the then-chair of the group, O’Carroll wrote:

The emphasis in PIE, during most of its short history, has been on campaigning, on producing what we have intended to be thought-provoking and controversial documents, such as our Evidence on the Age of Consent, and on seeking publicity for them. But, as already pointed out, our formally defined aims were much wider than this: they included giving ‘advice and counsel’, and/or legal help, to paedophiles who ask for it, and providing a means for paedophiles to get in touch with each other.

In other words we have always intended to be a ‘self-help’ group. In this respect we have something in common with a slimmers’ club, or Alcoholics Anonymous, though of course our philosophy of self-help has been vastly different to either. The point of paedophiles helping each other, as we have seen it, has not been to help each other to reform himself, to try and modify his sexual identity to fit in with the demands of society. The point has been one of learning how to cope with the fact of living in a hostile society. How to be paedophile without being suicidal about it, without feeling guilty just because other people expect you to. Guilt-ridden, anxious paedophiles are almost bound to become more relaxed, more happy as individuals, if for the first time in their lives they find themselves amongst other paedophiles who have learnt not to be depressed by their oppression.

How have we fared in this aim? What have we done to help paedophiles themselves?

Like PAL [Paedophile Action for Liberation], we have in the past had regular London meetings to which members could come along and chat about their problems and experiences, but beyond a doubt our most consistently successful service to members has been the Contact Page. As the name implies, this is a bulletin in which members who want to be put in touch with others place an advertisement, and wait for replies. The advertisers simply give their membership number, general location, and brief details of their sexual and other interests. Replies are sent to PIE, as with a box number system, so that until a measure of trust is built up between the correspondents neither is informed of the other’s address.

Obviously, we have always had to be very careful in the kind of ads we have accepted. The purpose has always been to put paedophiles in touch with each other, not with children, and once in a while we have had to turn down ads which could have implied the latter. Likewise we have been careful not to allow ads for the sale or purchase of erotica. Not surprisingly, the News of the World eventually turned its attention to our ads. These are some that caught their eye:

O’Carroll included several examples of ads which I will return to below. The Contact Page was separate from the rest of Magpie, but sent out to PIE members with copies of the journal (see ‘notes & news’, Magpie, Issue No. 2 (April 1977), p. 2). One individual named just as ‘D.B.’ was said to have been an editor of these contact pages (John Parratt (Warren Middleton), ‘As Much A Martyr as Wilde: An Account of the PIE Re-Trial and the Imprisonment of Tom O’Carroll’, Magpie, Issue No. 16 (Autumn 1981), pp. 6-8).

The copies of Magpie storied in the British Library, where I researched them, do not include the contact pages. Here I give a sample of ads from three different sources: O’Carroll’s book, Ken Plummer’s ‘The paedophile’s progress: a view from below’, in Brian Taylor (ed), Perspectives on Paedophilia (London: Batsford Academic and Educational Ltd, 1981), p. 117 (Plummer was a long-term sociology academic at the University of Essex, now an Emeritus Professor, who was closely associated with PIE, and may have disseminated its ideas through various of his students – I will return to this subject at a later date, but see this post on the invaluable Spotlight blog for more details; Taylor’s book was mostly a collection of PIE propaganda, including essays by Peter Righton (see above all this 1994 film about Righton and the series of posts here and Morris Fraser (see these posts and also the Righton documentary linked to before – Fraser had been tried on sexual offences against children even before the founding of PIE); the third source is the one ‘genuine’ piece of writing, Tim Tate, Child Pornography: An Investigation (London: Methuen, 1990), pp. 134-135. which features Nos. 273, 373, 379 and 390 from O’Carroll.

I leave others to assess the seriousness of an organisation featuring contact ads like this.

No. 273 Energetic middle-aged male sincere and discreet Iks boys 8-15 yrs and the various ways in which they dress. Int swimming. Wld lk to hear from others with similar ints.

No. 390 Male. Interested public school type boys, 12-16, either in football shorts or corduroy trousers, wd like to meet young male, 20-30, with similar interests. (S W London/Surrey).

No. 379 Male Int girls 6-13 wd lk to correspond/meet others with similar interests; music, sports, fashion, Hi-Fi, photography, dance, reading, films. (Blackpool).

No. 373 Doctor, male. Poet and author, interested photos little girls in white pants and little boys out of white pants. Wd like to hear from male or female with similar interests. All letters answered. Perfect discretion. (Reading, Berks).

No. 401 Anglican priest, south London, anxious to meet other paeds for friendship and help. (all O’Carroll/Tate)

Graduate schoolteacher (36) seeks mental – and spiritual companionship. Interest: languages, poetry, maths, current affairs, writing and chess. Keen to meet someone of about my age, or below, for friendship, specially someone who would like to accompany me (paying own expenses) for holiday over Christmas/New Year. Above all would like to share love and interest in small boys 8-14. Do write. I shall answer all letters.

Boys’ Brigade Officer would like to hear other boy lovers’ experiences. Interested in playing sport, choral music and drinking, but mostly in boys who have reached puberty 13-16. (Plummer)


3 Comments on “PIE – Documentary Evidence 5 – Contact Ads”

  1. […] PIE – Documentary Evidence 5 – Contact Ads (9/3/14) […]

  2. […] for two years in 1981 on the charge of ‘conspiracy to corrupt public morals’ based upon the contact ads section of Magpie, then to nine months in 2002 on grounds of importing indecent pictures of naked children, though […]

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