PIE – Documentary Evidence 6 – Chairperson’s Report 1975/76Posted: March 16, 2014
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 CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT 1975/76.
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.
8th May 1976
Back cover says ‘This report was adopted at the Annual General Meeting 8th May 1976.’