[UPDATE: @murunbuch, who runs the fantastic Spotlight blog, has tweeted to indicate his guess that the Home Office employee mentioned in this 1983 report in the Daily Express, who had pornographic photographs of children sent to his departmental address, was Hindley]
Both Exaro News and the Sunday People broke an important story yesterday concerning a senior civil servant at the Home Office who has been identified as blocking any objections to funding being distributed to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE). This civil servant was J. Clifford Hindley, who was head of the Home Office’s voluntary services unit (VSU) and an assistant secretary at the Home Office, in which capacity he oversaw ‘co-ordination of government action in relation to voluntary services and funding of certain voluntary organisations’, with the VSU dealing with ‘community programmes’ (David Hencke and Alex Varley-Winter, ‘Revealed: Whitehall official who blocked objections to fund PIE’, Exaro News, March 1st, 2014). Hindley was also secretary to the Devlin Committee on Evidence of Identification in Criminal Cases (‘The Age of Consent for Male Homosexuals’, Criminal Law Review 595-603 (1986)).
One colleague of Hindley’s at VSU found that PIE had made a re-application to the department for funding in 1979 or 1980, and raised concerns with Hindley on the grounds that the organisation campaigned to legalise sexual relations with children. However, Hindley apparently just took away the paperwork and told his colleague to drop his objections. This individual recently approached Labour MP and leading anti-abuse campaigner Tom Watson, who took up the issue with current Home Secretary Theresa May, who ordered the permanent secretary at the Home Office, Mark Sedwill, to investigate; the individual has also been speaking to Operation Fernbridge, who are looking into grave allegations of children being procured for VIP guests at Elm Guest House in Barnes (ibid; see also Tom Watson, ‘After 30 years without an answer it’s time to find out who protected the infamous Paedophile Information Exchange’, Mirror, November 21st, 2013; and Stephen Wright, Tim Shipman and James Slack, ‘Labour MP calls for probe into state cash for Paedophile Information Exchange after claims files that prove it received taxpayers’ money have been shredded’, Daily Mail, February 25th, 2014; on Operation Fernbridge, see the range of articles here). Between 1977 and 1980, a total of £70 000 (equivalent to around £400 000 today) is said to have been given to PIE by both Labour and Conservative governments; the grant re-application which came up in 1979-80 was probably a renewal of a grant given since 1977. A Freedom of Information investigation has revealed that all Home Office files about PIE since 1979 have (legally) been destroyed. 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). It is not yet known whether any of these were aware or consulted about PIE’s funding.
The period in question falls within that during which PIE was affiliated to the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) and incorporates the police raid in 1978 on the flat of PIE member ‘Mr Henderson’, the alias of former High Commissioner to Canada and deputy head of MI6, Sir Peter Hayman, who was later named in Parliament by Geoffrey Dickens (Hayman was jailed in 1984 on charges of possession of child pornography, and died in 1992) (Kier Mudie and Nick Dorman, ‘Huge sums of TAXPAYER’S cash ‘handed to vile child pervert group’ by Home Office officials’, The People, March 2nd, 2014, at ; see also David Hencke, ‘Revealed: The civil servant in the Home Office’s PIE funding inquiry and his academic articles on boy love’, March 1st, 2014).
But Hindley is also a figure well-familiar to all of those of us interested in the operas of Benjamin Britten; in light of the revelation that he looks very likely to have been responsible for ensuring PIE’s government funding, I wish to consider a selection of his written work and in particular its recurrent and unhealthy fixation upon the theme of pederasty.
Hindley studied classics and philosophy at Oxford, then theology at Cambridge. Following this, he worked for a period as a minister in England, and also as a New Testament scholar, taking a position as Professor New Testament Studies at Serampore College, West Bengal, from 1959 (also serving as Deputy Librarian there, as well as literary editor for the Indian Journal of Theology) as well as being active in the church union movement in North India and publishing several articles (listed in the bibliography at the end). In 1964 he was a joint leader of the Protestant wing of joint Catholic-Protestant meeting on Christian social action problems at St Mary’s College, Kureseong, organised by Jesuit fathers (‘Joint Action’,The Anchor, Vol.8, No. 29, July 16th, 1964, p. 16). He finished his term at Serampore in 1968 (Katherine Smith Diehl, Carey Library Pamphlets: Secular Series; A Catalogue (Serampore, India: The Council of Serampore College, 1968), p. xi). Some time after this (it is not clear whether he left India straight away), Hindley joined the civil service (and appears to have abandoned his theological activities from this point onwards), whilst maintaining a strong interest in music as an amateur pianist and choral singer (see biographies of Hindley in The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 89, No. 1 (Spring 1994), p. 175 and Mervyn Cooke (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Benjamin Britten (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. vii, and here, here, and here). He was friendly with former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe (born 1929), who famously was tried (and acquitted) in 1979 on charges of attempted murder of and conspiracy to murder his lover Norman Scott; Thorpe and Hindley dined together at the Reform Club in London (Mudie and Dorman, ‘Huge sums of TAXPAYER’S cash ‘handed to vile child pervert group’’).
Hindley retired from the Home Office in June 1982 (‘People’, Community Care, May 20th, 1982), though three years later published a paper on the ‘The Age of Consent for Male Homosexuals’, (Criminal Law Review 595-603 (1986)), arguing against the recommendations of the Policy Advisory Committee on Sexual Offences (P.A.C.) who in a 1981 report had recommended reducing the male homosexual age of consent to 18; Hindley drew upon various other evidence to argue for equalisation of heterosexual and homosexual ages of consent.
Otherwise, following his retirement until his death in 2006, Hindley lived at least some of the time in Brent Way in Finchley (which address is given at the bottom of the first of his articles on Xenophon) and turned to writing academic articles on musical subjects, predominantly the operas of Benjamin Britten, and also on aspects of sexuality in Ancient Greece, before his death in 2006 (it is not clear if he knew Britten personally, as has been claimed; Hindley’s name does not appear in any of the Britten biographies). One biography cited him as in retirement as having specifically made a study ‘of aspects of ancient Greek pederasty’ (‘Notes on Contributors’, History Workshop Journal, No. 40 (Autumn, 1995), p. 295). The uncomfortable nature of some of these writings may provide a clue to understanding Hindley’s attitudes and inclinations.
It is very hard to deny that there are pederastic themes in some of Britten’s operas: most obviously The Turn of the Screw (1954) and Death in Venice (1971-73, rev. 1973-74) (relating to the arguable presence of such themes in the original literary works of Henry James and Thomas Mann respectively, though modified through librettists and Britten’s musical settings); and possibly also in Peter Grimes and Let’s Make an Opera (The Little Sweep). The works are however generally ambiguous, and for that reason have generated a variety of interpretations, in which context Hindley’s stand out for their unequivocality. Various biographers (not least the late Humphrey Carpenter in his Benjamin Britten: A Biography (London: Faber & Faber, 1992) and John Bridcut in Britten’s Children (London: Faber & Faber, 2006)) have gone to immense lengths to find out whether there was anything untoward in Britten’s relationships with the numerous boys with whom he worked for performances of his operas, works of children’s choirs, and so on; whilst it seems clear that Britten certainly greatly enjoyed the company of young boys, and appears to have been sexually attracted to them, only a small amount of evidence has been uncovered of any exploitation through enactment of these desires. That evidence there is includes the testimony of Harry Morris, who did accuse Britten of abuse (see Bridcut, Britten’s Children, pp. 46-53), and also various accounts chronicled by Bridcut of naked swimming and sharing of beds with boys aged as young as 11.
Hindley wrote eleven different articles on Britten during his retirement, almost all of which maintain an intense focus on the male homosexual/erotic elements to be discerned in the operas. He was far from alone or the first (or last) in this respect – such concerns are equally central to the writings of Philip Brett, Michael Wilcox or Stephen McClatchie, for example – but some of Hindley’s articles differed from the writings of these and others through their specific focus, sometimes quite obsessive, on man-boy love.
Hindley’s first published essay on Britten (Hindley, ‘Love and Salvation in Britten’s ‘Billy Budd’, Music & Letters, Vol. 70, No. 3 (Aug., 1989), pp. 363-381) dealt with the opera Billy Budd (1950-51), whose libretto was fashioned after Melville’s novella by Eric Crozier and E.M. Forster. This is a fastidious piece of research in which Hindley mines the archives to examine different drafts of the libretto, all of which inform his interpretations of parallel doomed homosexual interactions between Billy and the malevolent Master-at-Arms Claggart on one hand, and Billy and the Captain of the ship, Vere (‘Starry Vere’ to Billy), on the other. The character of Billy is certainly highly youthful, sings in sometimes abnormally high registers for a baritone when excited (as in his ode to Vere towards the end of Act 1), and is described by Vere as ‘such a fine specimen of the genus homo, who in the nude might have posed for a statue of a young Adam before the Fall’, and is supposed to look at Vere as ‘a dog of generous breed might turn upon his mater’. Elsewhere he is referred to as ‘Baby’ (by Dansker) or ‘Beauty’ (by Claggart), whilst one of the shanties includes the words ‘My Aunt willy-nilly was winking at Billy’ and ‘She’ll cut up her Billy for pie, For all he’s a catch on the eye’. Vere comes across in Hindley’s interpretation as a type of tortured father-figure for Billy; nonetheless, there is no obvious implication of Billy’s representing any type of pre-pubescent figure, simply an archetype of youth, strength (a ‘flower of masculine beauty and strength’ to Claggart) and a type of innocence married to an upright moral sense. But in this essay, Hindley makes explicit his belief that:
Whatever may be true of some of Britten’s other operas, the question of paedophilia is, I think, not to the point in Billy Budd. While there is some difference in age (unspecified in the opera) between Vere and Billy, they are both grown men, acting in a world of men. They may be contrasted with the midshipmen, who are portrayed as boys with unbroken voices. (p. 364, n. 8)
However, in another article from two years later (‘Britten’s “Billy Budd”: The “Interview Chords” Again’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 78, No. 1 (Spring, 1994), pp. 99-126), Hindley looks in detail at one notorious passage from the opera, from Act 2, Scene 2, where a series of thirty-four triadic chords (the so-called ‘interview chords’) are heard whilst Vere communicates to Billy (in a room offstage) the verdict of the drumhead court that he is to be sentenced to death. This passage had been extensively analysed by others (most notably in Arnold Whittall, ‘’Twisted Relations’: Method and Meaning in Britten’s Billy Budd’, Cambridge Opera Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2 (1990), pp. 145-171) in terms of their dominant tonal centre and recurrence elsewhere in the opera, and how a gradual resolution of the more remote harmonies this might be interpreted in terms of themes of Vere’s redemption. Hindley (pp. 99-103) interprets these chords as effecting a modulation from F major into C major, against which the F major opening of the next scene, where Billy lays in irons, acts to convey a sense of a ‘fresh start’. Furthermore (pp. 103-106) he deduces, by an examination of its recurrences through the course of the opera, that the key of F minor can be seen to represent ‘malign fate’, also drawing attention to how deeply the concept of fate which stands above human agency has been analysed in Melville’s novella, not least by poet William Plomer, a friend of both Forster and Britten. With this in mind, Billy (who Hindley argues ‘is not the childish subordinate depicted by Melville, but a man capable of reflecting on fate’ (p. 106)) is seen as the instrument by which Vere is ‘saved’ from such fate, by virtue of being loved by him; a love which cannot be made explicit since the opera was written at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in the UK and deeply taboo (pp. 106-107). Viewing F major as the key associated with Billy, and C major as that with Vere, Hindley presents the chord sequence (which becomes increasingly tranquil) as ultimately representing a calming of Vere from the distraught figure he was when faced by the prospect of informing Billy of his forthcoming execution; ‘Vere’s peace of mind is secured through Billy’s love, which accepts that the duty of the commander must override the feelings of the lover’ (p. 110).
But it is at this point where Hindley looks to link this passage with others in Britten’s output with more clearly pederastic elements. First he evokes an essay by Christopher Palmer examining the third of Britten’s Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente, specifically his setting of Hölderlin’s Sokrates und Alcibiades (Christopher Palmer (ed), The Britten Companion (London: Faber and Faber, 1984), p. 264), in which Palmer points out Britten used a similar sequence of triads:
Warum huldigest du, heiliger Sokrates,
Diesem Jünglinge stets? Kennest du Größers nicht,
Warum siehet mit Liebe,
Wie auf Götter, dein Aug’ auf ihn?”
[Why do you court, holy Socrates/Always this youth? Do you know of nothing greater?/Why do you gaze with love/As if at the Gods, your eyes on him?]
Furthermore, Hindley cites Humphrey Carpenter’s suggestion (Carpenter, Britten, p. 137) that W.S., to whom the song is dedicated, was Wolfgang “Wulff” Scherchen, son of the conductor Hermann Scherchen, who Britten met in 1934, when the boy was just thirteen (Bridcut, Britten’s Children, p. 55), and has been claimed to be ‘the figure who embodied Aschenbach’s (and Britten’s own) dilemma in Death in Venice: the enchantment he found in the beauty of boys’ (ibid). Some more recent scholarship has concluded more definitely that a sexual relationship was consummated between Britten and the young Scherchen, but not until four years later (Paul Kildea, Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century (London: Allen Lane, 2013), pp. 138-145), the only such sexual encounter Britten apparently had with anyone other than his long-term lover Peter Pears. Carpenter, as cited by Hindley, suggested the song implied a happy love affair; Hindley seems very keen to link this (at a time before Kildea’s dating of their sexual encounter) with the relationship between Billy and Vere, and brings in his own link with (around fourteen-year old) Tadzio in Death in Venice, by remarking on Britten’s use of a triadic sequence when Aschenbach’s desires are first stirred by the boy in Act 1, Scene 5 of the later opera, writing ‘Whilst most of these passages were composed later than Billy Budd, a number of earlier triadic sequences within the opera itself seem already to have come to signify a form of erotic desire’ (p. 111). To Hindley, the use of triadic sequences signifies an ‘erotic desire’ which is primarily to be linked to its later pederastic manifestations. Later in the essay, Hindley also links a hint of a Lydian inflection in C in the triadic sequence in Budd to a use of a similar musical device in Britten’s early work for piano and orchestra Young Apollo op. 16 (1939), known through Britten’s letters to have been inspired by Wulff, and also to Tadzio’s music in Death in Venice (Hindley, pp. 113-114).
Another essay of Hindley’s, from the same year as the first essay on Budd, is this time concerned with The Turn of the Screw (Hindley, ‘Why Does Miles Die? A Study of Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw”’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1 (1990), pp. 1-17) (a two part video of the opera can be viewed here and here). Here, drawing upon the earlier work of Patricia Howard (Patricia Howard (ed), Benjamin Britten: The Turn of the Screw (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985)), Hindley considers two categories of interpretation for Henry James’s novella: the first being that the ghosts of Peter Quint and Miss Jessel, who hover around the children Miles and Flora respectively, represent some objective form of evil which the figure of the Governess battles against; the second holds that they represent an externalisation of the Governess’s own neuroses. Whilst allowing that James’s work is ambiguous, Hindley (pp. 1-2) maintains that the second interpretation is not applicable to the opera by Britten, with libretto by Myfanwy Piper (with whom Hindley had corresponded in 1989, though I have not had an opportunity to read the correspondence – it is kept at Tate Gallery Archive GB 70, Reference Number GB 70 TGA 200410/1/1/1846, dated August 15th, 1989 – see here). Drawing attention to the fact that there is one scene (the closing scene in Act 1) in which Miles and Quint interact without the Governess’s being present, Hindley argues if Quint was a figment of her imagination, then so must be Miles (not allowing that this scene, and that in Act 2, Scene 5 also discussed, might both simply be projections of her most feverish paranoia).
Piper gives words to both Quint and Miss Jessel; Hindley is little interested in the latter (whose presence, musical characterisation, and ambiguity in relationship to Flora are to my mind more striking than those between Quint and Miles, even if they do assume a secondary plot role). To Hindley, Quint’s words communicate ‘ambition, adventure, wealth, a degree of double-dealing, admittedly (“the smooth world’s double face”), but above all the realization of mysterious but deep desires’, and he goes on to write:
Quint expresses a desire for power in leading on the natural curiosity of the boy and the responsiveness which he shows to an older man. But the same may be said of the Governess in her wish to dominate Miles. In none of this do we feel the kind of ghoulish evil which will demand a death. (p. 3 – Miles dies at the end of the opera)
In order to present as benevolent a view of Quint as possible, and thus absolve the possibility he might be viewed as a mysterious and predatory stranger seeking to manipulate and sexually abuse a young boy, Hindley draws once again upon Christopher Palmer’s work, arguing that Quint’s music, making extensive use of celesta and harp, with pentatonic harmonies, has roots in the exotic music of the Balinese gamelan (which Britten had come to know through the work of Colin McPhee, who he met in New York when Britten had left the country at a time of military conscription in 1939, and with whom he would later record some of McPhee’s Balinese transcriptions for two pianos – see Adam Sherkin, ‘The fateful meeting of Benjamin Britten and Colin McPhee’, Musical Toronto, November 10th, 2013) to produce a music which represents to Miles ‘the opening of magic casements, a world of enchantment and glamour, of preternatural, supernatural, unattainable beauty’ (Christopher Palmer, ‘The colour of the music’, in Howard (ed), The Turn of the Screw, p. 105, cited Hindley p. 3). Palmer interprets this as being associated with evil, but Hindley, drawing upon the fact mentioned by Palmer, that Britten avoides the conventional symbol of evil, the interval of a tritone, the diabolus in musica, holds that the score implies ‘beauty and goodness’ for the situation between Quint and Miles. As the late Philip Brett pointed out, however, the orientalist tropes upon which Britten draws can equally signify dread as well as allure, and as such might be read other than as unequivocally affirmative (Philip Brett, ‘Eros and Orientalism in Britten’s Operas’, in Brett, Music and Sexuality in Britten: Selected Essays, edited George E. Haggerty, with introduction by Susan McClary and afterward by Jenny Doctor (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006), p. 142). If there is ‘evil’ in the Screw, for Hindley (rarely very interested in female characters at all) this has to be assigned to Miss Jessel rather than Quint (p. 4).
Piper drew upon a line from W.B. Yeats’ poem The Second Coming – ‘The ceremony of innocence is drowned’ – in her libretto (sung by Quint and Miss Jessel at the beginning of Act 2), which she said Britten suggested was a theme of the whole work (Piper cited in Patricia Howard, ‘Myfanwy Piper’s The Turn of the Screw: libretto and synopsis’, in Howard (ed), The Turn of the Screw, p. 49). Against conventional malign interpretations of this line, Hindley argues:
What is “the ceremony of innocence,” and is its drowning a bad thing? A ceremony is an artificial sequence of actions which may have a meaning assigned to it by convention and tradition but which has no intrinsic rightness or authority. Applied to a child, the phrase suggests that in infancy the child accepts everything it is told: its standards of behaviour are derivative. Whether in obedience or disobedience, it follows the judgments imposed upon it by adults. But this acceptance of conventional standards (for no other reason than that they are conventional) can last long into adulthood. In that sense, adults, too, can engage in the “ceremony of innocence.” They can have a kind of unquestioning naïveté about what is going on. They, too, can be described as “innocents”. Drowning the ceremony of innocence, therefore, while it may be taken to refer to a corruption of primal purity, may equally well signify the release of the convention-bound spirit into a world of more mature and sophisticated experience. (p. 5; in n. 6 of this page Hindley draws a parallel with Yeats’ evocation of the breakdown of conventional standards in Europe as a result of the First World War)
When such ‘drowning’ entails the sexual abuse of a child by an adult, it might well suit the purposes of the adult in question to portray this as a ‘release of the convention-bound spirit into a world of more mature and sophisticated experience’ (and here we begin to enter the sort of rhetoric to be found in the PIE journal Magpie – see my earlier posts here and here). There is, however, a perfectly reasonable way of arriving at Hindley’s type of argument above, if one views the drowning of innocence as a by-product of emerging sexuality in general. Hindley, citing the words sung by both Quint and Miss Jessel, ‘Day by day the bars we break/Break the love that wraps them round’, argues that ‘sooner or later the bars [the love of parents or guardians] must be broken if the child is to grow up’ (p. 6). This would concur with an interpretation of the Governess as an over-protective figure who cannot cope with the children developing a will – and a sexual being – of their own, and also resonates with Britten’s routinely misogynistic characterisation of matriarchal figures (as with Miss Sedley (and, in a more complex fashion, Ellen Orford) in Grimes, both Albert’s mother and Lady Billows in Albert Herring, Miss Wingrave in Owen Wingrave and others).
But Hindley goes much further than this. First he writes of the appearance of these lines that ‘It has the mien of an affirmation rather than a threat’ (p. 6), then presents the ‘innocence’ which is lost as being that of the Governess, her ‘unquestioning and naïve acceptance of conventional values, a world in which conflict is virtually unknown and where there are no mysteries’ (p. 7 – I find it hard to imagine that Hindley’s sentiments could not equally be applied to many social or child protection workers). Then he examines Quint’s vocal music, and considers Peter Evans’ interpretation of Quint’s opening calls to Miles as ‘the directly exercised evil influence of the ghosts on the children and, through the terrifying spectacle of the increasing guile and malice which floods their still childish natures, its extension to the governess’ (Peter Evans, The Music of Benjamin Britten (London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1979), p. 215, cited Hindley p. 8), as well as Patricia Howard’s identification of the fact that the music by which the Governess expresses her wish to protect the children is almost identical to that used by Quint to corrupt them (Howard, ‘Structures: an overall view’, in Howard (ed), The Turn of the Screw, p. 72f), but rejecting this interpretation as follows:
But once Quint’s influence is no longer seen as intrinsically evil, but (potentially, at least) as beneficial, then a solution to the problem suggests itself, one which arises out of the interpretation here offered of the phrase “the ceremony of innocence is drowned.” Read as a metaphor for the maturing of experience, the phrase need not carry the disquieting overtones of “corruption.” To replace the restrictions and limitations of childhood by the free and wide experience of the adult is more gain than loss. No doubt in this process each must make his or her own way, but (as Socrates said of philosophy) governesses, tutors, and the whole process of nurture and education should be the midwives to assist at the birth of the mature personality. (p. 9)
On one level Hindley might seem reasonable, but he conveniently brushes over the fact that Miles is still a child (his voice has not yet broken, so he has not fully reached puberty). In this light, his sentiments draw upon the rhetoric of paedophiles, presenting their own sexual exploitation of not-yet-sexually-developed children as an essential stage in the children’s own maturing, and thus almost as a selfless act in the child’s own interests. Were Quint merely a metaphor for something within the child themselves, this would not apply, but for Hindley this is clearly not the case; instead he wishes to suggest it is part of an external educative process for Miles:
The term “tutelage” seems the best available. It has the added merit of implying a degree both of personal concern and of authority or control over the young person committed to one’s charge-a form of power which both the Governess and Quint in varying degrees seek to exercise over the boy. Let us then call the music associated with it the ‘”Tutelage” theme. (p. 10)
From this view, the music associated with the Governess’s attempts to protect the children from abuse and exploitation are portrayed by Hindley purely in terms of her own submission to the patriarchal authority of the guardian who has commissioned her (p. 10), when it comes to Quint’s music, Hindley affirms:
If the relationship of tutor or governess may deepen into love, we must now address the question which the partial lifting of taboos in recent years has allowed to feature more prominently in the discussion of this opera-the implicit homosexual relationship between Quint and Miles. No doubt the ban on all forms of homosexual relationships at the time the opera was written would have excluded any direct representation of “the love that dare not speak its name.” But given the inevitable reticence of language, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Mrs.Grose’s description in Act I, Scene 5, points to a sexual relationship. Quint, she says, was “free with everyone, with little Master Miles.” He “liked them pretty,” and “had his will, morning and night. (pp. 10-11 – Hindley is referring to the real non-ghost Quint who had been present in the house before his death and her arrival).
Hindley is sure to be aware of Oscar Wilde’s interpretation, as given in his trial, of Lord Alfred Douglas’s 1894 poem Two Loves, from which the phrase ‘The love that dare not speak its name’ comes:
“The Love that dare not speak its name” in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as the “Love that dare not speak its name,” and on account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so the world does not understand. The world mocks at it and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it. (cited in the transcript of Wilde’s trial)
What exactly constitutes a ‘young man’ is of course debatable, but the same-sex aspect of such love is not its key attribute, rather the age difference between the participants. Intergenerational sex by no means equates to paedophilia (though research into the former has been used cynically by groups representing the latter – see Veronique Mottier, Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction, (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 104-106) nor is there any reason to declare it illegitimate when both parties are of an age where they are deemed able to grant sexual consent, but this is clearly not the case in The Turn of the Screw. Hindley goes on to describe this in terms which almost read like a manifesto for sexually abusive teachers:
Whatever textual analysis may yield, for many listeners the matter will be settled by the music given to Quint when he is first heard in the opera. The beauty and yearning of his melismata on the name of Miles betoken love.15 It is equally clear from the music that this love is much more than a rather furtive physical affair. The music is also, of course, a version of the Tutelage theme. The appositeness of this link is seen when it becomes clear (in Quint’s subsequent words) that his relationship with Miles is not just that of a valet or house servant. It is about the opening of magic casements of experience for the boy. We recall that for the ancient Greeks training for adulthood was one of the functions of the socially regulated experience of love between men and boys. As K. J. Dover, probably our most outstanding contemporary authority on ancient Greece, has pointed out, they saw no clear dividing line between the educational and the erotic side of the relationship. (p. 11)
Here Hindley alludes to Kenneth J. Dover’s book Greek Homosexuality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978), specifically the following passage towards the end of the book:
Erastes and eromenos [the two pederastic roles; the former the older and active partner, the second the younger and more submissive one] clearly found in each other something which they did not find elsewhere. When Plato (Phdr. 255b) said that the eromenos realises that the love offered by his erastes is greater than that of all his family and friends put together, he was speaking of an idealised, ‘philosophical’ eros, and yet he may have been a little closer than he realised to describing the everyday eros which he despised. Indeed, the philosophical paiderastiā which is fundamental to Plato’s expositions in Phaedrus and Symposium is essentially an exaltation, however starved of bodily pleasure, of a consistent Greek tendency to regard homosexual eros as a compound of an educational with a genital relationship. The strength, speed, endurance and masculinity of the eromenos – that is to say, his quality as a potential fighter – were treated (and I offer no opinion on the unexpressed thoughts and feelings of erastai) as the attributes which made him attractive. The Spartans and Cretans went a stage further in professing to have much more regard for qualities of character than for bodily beauty (Ephoros F149; cf Plu. Agis 2.1, on the achievement of Agis, as a lame boy, in becoming the eromenos of Lysander). The erastes was expected to win the love of the eromenos by his value as an exemplar and by the patience, devotion and skill which he displayed in training the eromenos. At Sparta (Plu. Lyc. 22.8) the educational responsibility of the erastes was so interpreted that he bore the blame for a deficiency in courage manifested by his eromenos. ‘Education’ is the key-word in Xenophon’s evaluation of a chaste homosexual relationship (Lac. 2.13, Smp, 8.23), and Spartan terminology (‘breathe into …’, ‘inspire’ [Aelian Varia Historia iii 12, Hesykhios Ɛ 2475] = ‘fall in love with …’, and eispnēlos or eispnēlās [Kallimakhos fr. 68 Pfeiffer, Theokritos 12.13] = ‘breather-into’ = ‘erastes’) points to a notion that the erastes was able to transfer qualities from himself into his eromenos. On growing up, in any Greek community, the eromenos graduated from pupil to friend, and the continuance of an erotic relationship was disapproved, as was such a relationship between coevals. Homosexual relationships are not exhaustively divisible, in Greek society or in any other, into those which perform an educational function and those which provoke and relieve genital tension. Most relationships of any kind are complex, and the need for bodily contact and orgasm was one ingredient of the complex of needs met by homosexual eros. (Dover, pp. 202-203)
One shudders to think what safeguarding and child protection agencies would make of the above. Dover’s immensely influential book, the first major study of both homosexuality and pederasty in Ancient Greece, can be read as a historical study rather than an advocacy, drawing attention to protocols from Ancient Greece crafted to protect boys from any suggestion that the motivation for sexual relations was pleasure, and how it was socially coded as a rite of passage (see David M. Halperin, How to Do the History of Homosexuality (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2002), pp. 71-72, 141-143), Hindley takes an affirmative view, also linking the Ancient Greek view presented by Dover to that found in writings of Jeremy Bentham and Edward Carpenter (Hindley, p. 11, n. 16).
Dover’s book was also greatly favoured in a section of Magpie, which presented a ‘PIE Top 20’ (Magpie, Issue No. 14 (Oct.-Dec. 1979), pp. 4-5) of non-fiction books on and about paedophilia, of which Dover’s was one; the only others with a Greek theme were J.Z. Eglington’s Greek Love (New York: Oliver Lawton Press, 1964), which the Magpie writer pointed out argued the case for ‘love’ of pubescent boys, but ultimately came out against it; and Thorkil Vanggard’s Phallos: A Symbol and its History in the Male World (New York: International Universities Press, 1972, originally published in Danish in 1969). Eglinton and Vanggard had appeared in a shorter non-fiction book list (alongside the likes of the Dutch book Sex met Kinderen) in an earlier issue (‘Non-Fiction Book List’, Magpie, Issue No. 4 (June 1977), p. 8), before Dover had been published in 1978), and a further issue had a more extended consideration of Eglinton (‘Review’, Magpie, Issue No. 8 (no date given); reprinted from Gay News, Germany), alongside a detailed examination of a book by Yale professor Parker Rossmann, Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys (New York: Association Press, 1976). But Hindley’s affirmation of Dover’s view resonates strongly with a passage in an essay by the leading Dutch scholar and rights-advocate of paedophilia, Dr. Edward Brongersma, who wrote on multiple occasions for Magpie:
It asks for some psychological discernment to see that – and why – some experiences in this field may be a source of fear and anxiety to one child, while to the other they are something unique, fantastic and delicious. Children who haven’t been brought up in an unhealthy fear of everything sexual, who have had sexual play with comrades, who were not taught to be disgusted by the body and its functions and who don’t have an abnormally weak sexual impulse, will mostly react positively when approached by a sympathetic adult. In more than 50% of the cases they even take the initiative themselves.
Nowadays there are more and more expert authors who have an open eye for the positive effects such an affectionate relation may have. No wonder! Could real love, affection, sympathy, tenderness ever have a bad effect on the evolution of a human being? The ancient Greeks had their wisdom about this and in our present day the official Speijer Commission, appointed by the Dutch government, came to the conclusion that “in a number of cases (heterosexual as well as homosexual) initiation by an adult may result in a better evolution of the boy or girl concerned”. The German scientist Prof. Schlegel advances the opinion that sexual contacts with an adult may be as necessary at puberty as maternal love and tenderness in the first period of life. Mature sexual behaviour has to be learned by children’s sexual play as many ethnological researches show. If our society had better understanding of this, our adolescents would enjoy more sexual liberty and be less tempted to aggressive behaviour. (Dr. Edward Brongersma, ‘Paedophilia: The Effects’, Magpie, Issue No. 11 (May 1978), p. 5. It is worth noting how Hindley himself looked very positively at the findings of the Speijer Commission in his ‘The age of consent for male homosexuals’).
The wisdom of the Ancient Greeks could as well be used to legitimise slavery as paedophilia; more importantly, such allusions give such practices a mythical aura such as can be appealing to those purportedly of ‘taste’ rooted in antiquity (a view which permeates Germaine Greer’s odious pederastic book The Boy (London: Thames and Hudson, 2003)), to which is added the view that this is in the interests of the child, not the adult exploiting them. It is clear when Hindley writes that ‘Quint has already progressed to a warmth of love which the Governess only begins to approach in the course of the opera’ (p. 12) and that ‘Quint is not a monster but one who opens fascinating new opportunities to the imaginative boy’ (p. 15) where his sympathies lie. And in one footnote, Hindley’s real sympathies become abundantly clear:
In considering this relationship [between Miles and Quint] it should be remembered that (for reasons unexplained in the opera) Miles is without father or mother, and, although materially well provided for, he has been virtually abandoned by his only relative-his uncle and guardian. This kind of emotional deprivation is akin to that of a number of the boys described in recent case studies, where it has been found that in some circumstances sexual relationships between men and boys can be gentle, positive, and supportive, with no self-evident negative consequences. Cf. Theo Sandfort, The Sexual Aspect of Paedophile Relations (Amsterdam 1982); G. D. Wilson and D. N. Cox, The Child Lovers: A Study of Paedophiles in Society (London 1983). (pp. 15-16, n. 21)
(Wilson and Cox’s study was a serious piece of psychological scholarship based upon a sample of volunteers all from PIE, conducted with the aid of Tom O’Carroll)
Compare this to the following by Father Michael Ingram, convicted sex offender and regular contributor to Magpie:
What seems to have happened was that the boy was rather deprived of affection from his parents who were cold and undemonstrative. He had often allowed the man to cuddle him, and this sometimes led to the man feeling him inside his trousers. If one can make a strong attempt to mask the disgust this might evoke, and consider the possible damage done to the boy by being starved of love at home, by enduring the anger, fearful interrogation, and most of all by submitting to the formal repetition by the doctor of the acts which were causing all the trouble, one can see that the offender was the last one from who the boy needed protection. (The Rev Fr Michael Ingram, O.P. ‘”Filthy”’, reprinted from Libertarian Education, in Magpie, Issue No. 5 (July, 1977) pp. 5-6.
Or the following description of a cover picture in Magpie, saying it:
‘….is of a 12 year old boy full of joy and happiness despite being form a home where is own mother didn’t know his correct age, and where his father is a thief and a drunkard. This picture of inner peace was made just weeks before the police brutally interrogated him, jailed his benefactor and returned him to the “custody of his parents” with a statement that he “requires psychiatric counselling”.’ (Magpie, Issue No. 10 (no date), p. 12).
Around the same time as examining The Turn of the Screw, Hindley wrote the first of two articles on Britten’s last opera Death in Venice (Hindley, ‘Contemplation and Reality: A Study in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’’, Music and Letters, Vol. 71, No. 4 (Nov., 1990), pp. 511-523). That Mann’s 1912 novel Der Tod in Venedig deals with the frustrated and ultimately destructive erotic lusting after a boy of around fourteen by a much older man, is not in doubt, whilst the novel’s own references to the ideas of Plato have long been explored by critics. As elsewhere, Hindley is rightly concerned to look at the transmogrification of Mann’s original through its being transformed by the librettist (again Piper) and composer. From the outset, his sympathies are again clear, writing that an analysis of the changes:
suggests that Britten intended to show not only the obsession which destroyed Aschenbach but also the positive possibility of a sublimated love of youthful male beauty along the lines of the Platonic philosophy, a theme which in Mann is treated with the utmost ambivalence. In brief, what in Mann is represented, almost unquestioningly, as progressive self-abandonment to an obsession is transformed in the opera into a double movement, towards and away from a positive realization of the Platonic ideal. (pp. 511-512)
Hindley achieves this by playing up the significance of the Greek allusions, in particular the scene featuring the Games of Apollo, ‘a pinnacle of idealism’ in Britten/Piper, rather than ‘the beginning of a decline’ in Mann (p. 512), and a much more straightforward identification of the sun with Apollo and then with Tadzio in Britten/Piper (‘No boy, but Phoebus of the golden hair/Driving his horses through the azure sky/Mounting his living chariot shoulder high/Both child and god he lords it in the air’) (pp. 512-514). As he would do four years later in his second essay on Billy Budd discussed above, Hindley links the use of a Lydian inflection to the earlier Young Apollo, and evokes another of Britten’s Hölderlin settings, this time to the poem ‘Die Jugend’ (the fourth of the Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente) and its imagery of the sun as ‘Father Helios’ (Hindley, p. 514).
In terms of Britten and Piper’s rendition of those Platonic ideas which Hindley claims are ambivalent, hesitant and ambiguous in Mann (pp. 514-515), Hindley is once again unequivocally affirmative:
None of these hesitations and ambiguities are found in the treatment of the Platonic philosophy in the opera. On the contrary, the closing scene of Act I is a remarkably lucid exposition of the Platonic teaching on beauty and boy-love, surely intended to affirm an artistic credo, or, at the least, to present a serious option for Aschenbach. The basis of the symbolism here is set out in a letter from Myfanwy Piper to Britten dated 28 January 1972, in which she wrote: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that Aschenbach was a devotee of Apollo -that Apollo is the God whom he puts up against Dionysus and that Tadzio therefore also can and does represent Apollo in his mind . ’20 It is but a short step to using the Apollo/Tadzio symbolism as a means of presenting Platonic idealism on stage, in terms of music, voice and dance. While there is something in the criticism that the dances are overlong, they (and this whole scene) are no mere extraneous divertissement, but an essential part of the philosophical development. In response to the Voice of Apollo they present the doctrine that the Divine is manifest in a perfect human form. There is no hint of ambiguity (still less, covert sexual desire) in the Chorus’s declaration, commenting on the action in the manner of the chorus of ancient Greek drama:
Beauty is the only form
Of spirit that our eyes can see
So brings to the outcast soul
Reflections of divinity.
The thought is reaffirmed at the conclusion of the Games (‘Beauty is the mirror of spirit’), at which point Apollo demonstrates his identification with the boy’s beauty by taking over his theme. (pp. 515-516)
Hindley links this to a wider interest in Plato’s writings on male love amongst literary homosexual circles in England of which Britten and Pears were part, as well as the setting of Hölderlin’s Sokrates und Alkibiades mentioned before. But nowhere does he distinguish between love for an adult, or at least one who has reached an age of sexual maturity, and that for a child. On the contrary:
When the Voice of Apollo sings ‘He who loves beauty worships me . . .’, the opera invites us to see this new experience, mediated through Tadzio, as the culmination of Aschenbach’s artistic quest, the quest of one who in his maturity had built his art on simplicity, beauty, form, and one who ‘strives to create beauty’. But what is the next step? For Plato, it is to commune with the beautiful beloved in a relationship which will ‘beget spiritual children’-‘virtues and qualities and actions which mark a good man’ (p. 516, citing the Symposium).
Hindley also locates some text omitted from the final version of the libretto, from the reflection on artistic inspiration following the Games: ‘When genius leaves contemplation for one moment of reality/[When the flower is fruited, the child of body and mind…]/Then Eros is in the word’ (passage in square brackets omitted), and argues for a Platonic interpretation of these as ‘the engendering of ‘spiritual’ children (whether moral virtue or high art) through devoted association with a beautiful youth’, again in contrast to Mann, where they are associated with debauchery (pp. 520-521). And as in his interpretation of the Screw, Hindley maintains that when the Lady of the Pearls attempts to protect her son from Aschenbach, ‘she embodies the reaction of conventional society whose hostility to even a ‘Platonic’ and sublimated relationship Aschenbach, the famous writer, could not openly defy’, so that ‘she (and through her, society) must share in the responsibility for deflecting Aschenbach from a potentially ideal relationship which could have brought him fulfilment as an artist and as a man’ (p. 522). Actually, such a relationship might be just as likely to earn Aschenbach a prison sentence, and Tadzio a lifetime of bitterness, estrangement and self-hatred for allowing himself to be the victim, no matter Hindley’s implication (somewhat in the manner of Brongersma above) that through his smile at Aschenbach he is the agent of desire to which Aschenbach finds himself unable to do other than submit. If as Hindley argues, in Mann ‘any concern for the youth other than as an occasion for the artist’s self-expression is explicitly repudiated’ (p. 523), in the opera he sees ‘an affirmative vision of Platonism as a genuine option for the artist, developed and amplified by an emphasis on the significance of a real relationship with the beloved for the artist himself’, so that ‘Refusal of that ideal … leads to introverted sterility and degradation’ (ibid). Not only is pederasty to be celebrated, according to Hindley, but not to act upon it is to be met with patronising derision.
In a second article on the opera from two years later (Hindley, ‘Platonic Elements in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’, Music and Letters, Vol. 73, No. 3 (Aug., 1992), pp. 407-429), Hindley looks more deeply at the roots of the opera in Plato’s Phaedrus and Symposium, presenting clearly his view of Plato’s teaching on eros and beauty as follows:
The visible beauty of this world (particularly the beauty of a lovely youth) is a manifestation (in a myriad particular exemplars) of the eternal essence of Beauty, which in Plato’s thought is identical with the Form of the Good or ultimate reality. What moves men to respond to this beauty and share in this vision is eros or ‘love’, but Plato also taught that in its highest manifestation such love of beauty stops short of physical love-making, expressing itself rather in a communion of contemplation with the beloved and the begetting of ‘spiritual children’ such as wisdom and virtue. It is Plato’s later interpreters who applied this teaching to the work of the creative artist, who in creating beauty mediates an experience of the transcendent or, as others would express it, ‘the divine’. (pp. 407-408)
To Hindley, the first act of Britten’s Death in Venice is a presentation of this philosophy in terms of Aschenbach’s relationship to Tadzio, and the second demonstrates the destructive consequences of failing to act upon it (p. 408), in contrast to the view of Mann, in which the destruction is a result of occasioning upon this way of thinking in the first place. And the passage of Hindley above goes as far as to interpret Plato’s own interpreters (he cites R.C. Cross and A.D. Woozley, Plato’s Republic: a Philosophical Commentary (London: Macmillan, 1956) and W.K.C. Guthrie’s History of Greek Philosophy. 4: Plato: the man and his dialogues, earlier period (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975)) as implying that artistic creation amounts to a displaced pederasty. Throughout this essay (which contains a good deal of astute musical observations) the boy Tadzio is presented by Hindley as the embodiment of some transcendent beauty as well as an object of sexual desire, a Platonic ideal who is nonetheless viewed in utterly eroticised terms. If the pederastic themes are disguised in a somewhat high-flown philosophical, mythological and musical language by Hindley, there are no less palpable as a result, any more than in the ongoing theme of Platonic ‘sublimation’ which Hindley identifies in the opera and relates to Britten’s own biography (pp. 422-423). But this latter is something Hindley may regret in Britten:
In fact we are dealing with relationships between males, and that not in ancient Greece but in near-contemporary society. Even after the partial decriminalization of homosexual acts in England in 1967 it was difficult (particularly for those brought up under the previous era of repression) to advance such thoughts. If Britten had wished to advance them, he would undeniably have felt inhibited by the social pressures which dictated that such things should not be spoken of. Or was it that he was tortured by the tension between a commitment to the ideal of ‘sublimation’ and the urgent (but resisted) desire for a physical consummation? Could he have allowed himself to wonder, whatever his own rule of life may have been, whether to follow the normal Greek route of love for an adolescent boy might, in Aschenbach’s case, have yielded more for the artist than the austere path laid down by Plato? In either case, we would have an explanation both of the late appearance of the thought ‘The flower is fruited’ in the composition process and the decision to abandon it. (p. 423)
Britten did realise same-sex physical consummation (at least as far as is believed by his biographers) through his relationship with Pears, despite the repressive climate for the majority of his life which made such consummation illegal. To bemoan this repressive situation is more than legitimate, and would be in line with the reflections of many other commentators; but Hindley is going a stage much further in lashing out against the ‘social pressures’ which specifically forbade (and rightly continue to forbid) that such consummation could be achieved with an adolescent boy.
Hindley’s other Britten essays deal with operas in which such themes are less obvious, though. Since the appearance of Philip Brett’s article ‘Britten and Grimes’ (The Musical Times, Vol. 118, No. 1618 (Dec., 1977), pp. 995-1000, reproduced in Brett (ed), Benjamin Britten: Peter Grimes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), pp. 180-189), many commentators have interpreted the ostracisation of Grimes by the inhabitants of his village as a metaphor for societal estrangement of homosexuals. As Hindley himself points out in an essay partially devoted to this opera (Hindley, ‘Homosexual Self-Affirmation and Self-Oppression in Two Britten Operas’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 2 (Summer 1992), pp. 143-168), Brett went on to examine how earlier drafts for the opera made the theme of the love of Grimes for his boy apprentice explicit, only to be suppressed in later versions (Brett, ‘’Fiery visions’ (and revisions): Peter Grimes in progress’, in Brett (ed), Peter Grimes, pp. 47-87) , as pointed out by Hindley. Had they remained explicit, the opera would likely have been a much more contentious work both at the time of its premiere in 1945 and perhaps equally if not more so today (as some aspects of exploitation of child labour are deemed less acceptable, and awareness has heightened of child abuse). But Hindley is concerned to show how clues to a ‘specifically intergenerational homoeroticism’ (p. 143) can be found in the final work as it stands. The Grimes of George Crabbe’s original poem was a cruel exploiter of child labour, probably the murderer of the first apprentice, but Hindley argues that the Grimes of the opera is quite different; he is ‘innocent of that charge’ of murder of the first boy, to Hindley, on the grounds of the coroner’s acquittal (a remarkable statement of Hindley’s faith in the judicial process), whilst ‘the subsequent scenes of hallucination and even madness effectively exonerate him’ because ‘They carry the stamp of authenticity when Peter recalls his agony at having witnessed two deaths which he was powerless to prevent’ (p. 144). Even the most obvious indication of Grimes’s brutality, the bruise found by Ellen Orford on the second boy’s neck near the beginning of Act 2, to Hindley shows that ‘Grimes has a callous harshness, no doubt exacerbated by his ostracism from society, but such a temper falls short of sadistic cruelty’ (ibid). At all costs Hindley is concerned to defend Grimes, with callous disregard for the welfare of the boy (I would personally argue that the supposedly saintly character of Ellen is actually the primary villainess of the opera, as she is the only one of the townspeople actively to volunteer to help Grimes procure more child labour, and her aria to the boy upon discovering the bruise, ‘Child, you’re not too young to know’, and attempts to diminish the significance of his own physical ordeals compared to her affairs of the heart – the boy’s bruise serves mostly as an obstacle on the road towards her own dreams of union with Grimes – demonstrating self-serving hypocrisy, but that is for another article).
Hindley mentions a reference in an earlier draft of the libretto to a ‘nine-tailed cat’, about which Grimes says to the boy in the hut ‘Will you move/If the cat starts making love?’, a clear indication of sadism (p. 144), but as this was removed, the clear evidence for the Borough’s suspicions is apparently absent (that questions about what really happened with the first boy might be more than idle gossip is not countenanced by Hindley as a possibility). So Hindley looks to establish that Grimes as ostracised homosexual outsider is not merely a metaphorical or allegorical interpretation of the work, but a way of viewing its actuality. From Ellen’s Act 1 aria ‘Let her among you without fault cast the first stone’, relating to the biblical story of a woman taken in adultery, Hindley reads that Ellen is implicitly accusing the other villagers themselves of sexual misdemeanours (rather than her using a well-known phrase out of its original biblical context, which seems entirely reasonable), referencing the promiscuous urges of Ned Keene and Bob Boles (when drunk), the flirtatious nature of the nieces, and for that matter Mrs Sedley’s addiction to laudanum. The chant of the congregation, just out of the church, in Act 2, ‘Grimes is at his exercise’, is ominous in Crabbe’s poem (‘None put the question, – “Peter, dost thou give / The boy his food? – What, man! the lad must live / Consider, Peter, let the child have bread, / He’ll serve the better if he’s stroked and fed.” / None reason’d thus – and some, on hearing cries, / Said calmly, “Grimes is at his exercise.” // Pinn’d, beaten, cold, pinch’d, threaten’d, and abused – / His efforts punish’d and his food refused, – / Awake tormented, – soon aroused from sleep, – / Struck if he wept, and yet compell’d to weep, / The trembling boy dropp’d down and strove to pray, / Received a blow, and trembling turn’d away, / Or sobb’d and hid his piteous face; – while he, / The savage master, grinn’d in horrid glee: / He’d now the power he ever loved to show, / A feeling being subject to his blow’). In the opera, however, Hindley interprets the fact that this is a canon based upon the last line sung by Grimes before exiting as indicating that ‘Grimes’s fault, whatever it was, is to be seen as on a level with the failings of the rest of the Borough’ (p. 145, citing the setting of the phrase ‘Each one’s at his exercise’). But that very last line came right after Grimes physically hit Ellen, the woman who loves him, and Hindley is able to make light of both domestic violence and child sexual abuse in one foul swoop. For Brett, the break with Ellen at this moment ‘is only symbolic of his [Grimes’s] final capitulation to the values and judgment of society at large’ (Brett, ‘Britten and Grimes’, p. 997). For Hindley, however:
I differ with Brett concerning the point at which self-oppression begins its corrosive work in Grimes’s personality. It seems to me that at the moment of climax, when he cries “So be it, and God have mercy upon me,” Grimes is not abasing himself before the Borough, but is defiantly affirming his right to go his own way. It is only later that he succumbs to the unremitting campaign of ostracism and unfounded accusations, and buckles under the strain to the point of suicide. […]
The cause of the rupture between Peter and Ellen is her conclusion that he can never succeed in his proposed program of rehabilitation [in terms of becoming rich through fishing, and achieving bourgeois respectability that way, as discussed earlier by Hindley]. In considering his violent response, we must be aware of the psychological tension behind it. The one person to whom Peter had looked for help has repudiated him. As if to underscore Ellen’s words, the congregation sings “Amen,” and Peter, picking up their affirmation, declares “So be it! And God have mercy upon me.” Practically everything conspires to emphasize the climactic nature of this utterance. In particular, the music prepares for it by a reiterated pedal of 28 measures on F for the horns (Figs. 16-17), against which Ellen and Peter exchange words in a tonally ambivalent manner. Peter’s expostulations are in B-flat minor, and at the climax the role of the pedal F as a dominant is clarified by the cadence to B-flat major in which Peter’s words are set (Ex. 3). This phrase is then repeated (in diminution) by the orchestra to set off the extended chorus, which is dominated by the words “Grimes is at his exercise.” [….]
[On the omission of a stage direction ‘The boy screams’, after Grimes hits Ellen, from an earlier version of the libretto, followed by Grimes saying ‘Now we’ll see, young stranger, come / Where the road leads. Young stranger home’:]
The sequence of changes, however, suggests three inferences: (1) that Britten wished to avoid the original suggestion of “La” that the resolution of Grimes’s problems might lie in defiantly setting up an open relationship with the boy; (2) that the composer required, instead, some decisive verbal formula to match the musical climax denoted by the resolution of the reiterated pedal on F, referred to above; and (3) that the implications of the first suggestion (“To hell then”) were unsatisfactory. (pp. 147-148)
It should not be too difficult to arrive at a straightforward explanation for this scene: a frustrated Grimes lashes out violently at someone closest to him, who is also physically weaker, the townspeople are horrified, picking up on his final utterance in a cattish manner (perhaps also motivated by more abstract musical requirements for Britten), but continue to distrust Ellen herself for continuing to stand by a man who is violent towards both the woman who loves him and also the boy who has been entrusted to him. But this does not suit the twisted world-view of a Hindley: Grimes is presented as isolated through no fault of his own, driven to violence by abandonment by Ellen (who does not abandon him, simply loses faith in his mission) in a manner which comes close to blaming her for bringing the violence upon herself, but the road to true fulfilment is through the ‘open relationship with the boy’ which Britten ultimately shied away from including explicitly. Partner violence and the sexual abuse of children are both equally legitimised. The only character for whom Hindley shows any regard is Grimes himself; all the others (including the boys) are there to be despised as representatives of the much-detested society around or simply there to serve him.
Hindley’s two writings on Xenophon (Hindley, ‘Eros and Military Command in Xenophon’, The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 44, No. 2 (1994), pp. 347-366, and ‘Xenophon on Male Love’, The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 49, No. 1 (1999), pp. 74-99) focused upon the relatively small sub-section of Xenophon’s work dealing with eroticism and love, draw further upon ideas from Dover’s work. Here once again he misses no opportunity to dwell upon pederastic themes:
[A]s Sir Kenneth Dover has pointed out, the story of Episthenes in Xenophon’s Anabasis reflects the same belief in stiffening a fighting force with the powerful bonds of erōs. The historian himself, it will be remembered, intervened on behalf of this lover of boys and the young man he was seeking to save from execution, and spoke to Seuthes, the local ruler in whose service he then was, sympathetically of the company of fighting youths whom Episthenes had raised, chosen on the basis of their good looks. (‘Eros and Military Command’, p. 347)
Vice offers a life of pleasure, in which Herakles need not concern himself with weighty matters of war and public affairs, but may plan his life around the choice of whatever will delight him by way of the senses, including the love of boys. Nor need he be too scrupulous about the means employed to attain these ends. (ibid. p. 348)
For Xenophon the need for self-control and the perils of enslavement to bodily pleasure (above all, sex) are particularly important in those who exercise any kind of authority. Even when it comes to appointing a farm bailiff, he suggests, one should avoid a man who is excessively in love, because concern with his boy lover (paidika) may interfere with the punctilious performance of his duties.” Not surprisingly, then, the virtue of self-control is seen as essential for those who exercise military command. (ibid. p. 349)
The phrase [a Greek phrase which Hindley translates as ‘a very fine young fellow’] commonly denotes moral worthiness and is used by Xenophon as a term of general approbation, applicable as well to a slave as to a general. One wonders however whether its application to a youth who has no part to play except as an associate of Alketas, does not bring to the surface an underlying aesthetic reference, in a way which elsewhere requires further specification. In this sense, Rex Warner translates, ‘He was a fine attractive boy.’ However that may be, Xenophon’s narrative seems clearly to imply that the Spartan commander’s neglect of his duties in pursuit of this boy had resulted in a significant military reverse. (ibid. p. 350)
Hindley goes on to suggest that the Greek term λακωυίξειυ, sometimes used to indicate unambiguously taking the Spartan side in a political sense, or to speaking the language concerned or with a certain accent , could be ‘used without further specification – in its reference to pederasty’ (p. 353). This he does by further extensive reference to Dover (who also suggested it could have meant ‘to have analy intercourse, irrespective of the sex of the person penetrated’), taking up the bulk of the article (pp. 353-362). Not being a classical scholar, I am not in a position to judge the veracity or otherwise of Hindley’s arguments; suffice to say that this is clearly the primary motivation behind his interest in Xenophon, which he can then trace in terms of the accounts depicted. In his second Xenophon article, Hindley turns to the theme of pederasty on the first page, in order to address the belief (as apparently presented in Eva Cantarella, Bisexuality in the Ancient World (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992) and Bruce S. Thornton, Eros: The Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997)) that ‘there has been a tendency to regard Xenophon as opposed to pederasty (or at least its physical expression outright’ (Hindley, ‘Xenophon on Male Love’, p. 74). Hindley portrays Xenophon as belonging to ‘the upper-class gentry [in Athenian society] who, while not aspiring to the heights of Platonic philosophy, might be prepared to think about their relationships with boys’ (ibid), and considers how Xenophon was aware of different views on pederasty within various Greek traditions, before going on to consider how the Greek historian’s editorial comments serve as reflections upon the formal discussions of pederasty which he attributes to others in his writings. There can be no doubting the thoroughness of Hindley’s application to this task; once again, whilst unqualified to remark in more detail upon his exegesis (unlike with Hindley’s musicological work), the obsessiveness of this theme is unmistakable to any reader, its erudition and continual eliding of the boundaries between plain same-sex and pederastic desire (or simply subsuming the former into the latter) in no way mitigating from the sordid and exploitative nature of the philosophy upon which he lavishes attention. He summarises one passage from Xenophon’s Memorabilia (1.3.8-15) as follows:
(a) Xenophon acknowledges homosexual desire in himself (a not surprising fact, but a not unimportant one either).
(b) he challenges Sokrates’ rigorist view on grounds of common sense.
(c) he acknowledges circumstances (though circumscribed) in which the physical expression of sex with boys may be accepted by the mind without harmful consequences. It is for the individual ψυχή to regulate these matters.
(d) while Sokrates’ practice of abstinence is to be admired, it may be questioned whether this rule is to be made universal, since even the master allowed some relaxation. (p. 85)
Xenophon’s character Kritobouls is ‘a willing pupil of Sokrates’ but ‘The one point at which he seems to resist Sokrates’ teaching is over his associations with young men’ (p. 85). Elsewhere, Hindley loves to find every reference to ‘boy-love’, and concludes that as ‘self-control is not to be identified with celibacy’, Xenophon’s retention of Sokrates sacrificing of the pleasures of the body towards those of the mind were mostly in order to defend his teacher from charges of ‘corrupting the young’ (p. 98), concluding:
What I hope I have demonstrated, however, is an interest on his part in right sexual relationships between older and younger men and boys, and the articulation of a viewpoint, if not a theory, on this subject which stands in tension (and, by the time of the Hiero self-conscious tension) with Sokrates’ absolutist rejection of all genital relations between males. It may be termed a way of moderation. It embraces love of body and love of mind, in which the older respects the younger partner and what he offers. It maintains self-discipline over physical expression without denying the latter its place, and finds pleasure in a freely given (sexual) love as an ingredient in friendship. (pp. 98-99).
And in a further essay on Ancient Greece (‘Law, Society and Homosexuality in Classical Athens’, Past & Present, No. 133 (Nov., 1991), pp. 167-183), Hindley continues the same themes with reference to Dover’s work:
Initial doubts are prompted by two passages which clearly imply that there was no law against intercourse between citizens and free-born boys. In the oft-quoted speech of Pausanias from Plato’s Symposium, the speaker, while advocating the love of older youths, says that “There ought to be a law forbidding love of young boys, to avoid expending a great deal of trouble on an uncertain venture”. The argument is of course jocular, but it would make no sense at all if everyone knew that the law did in fact forbid intercourse of this kind. The same conclusion follows from Aeschines’ statement that, while the lawgiver prohibited a slave from loving a free-born boy, “he did not prevent the free man from loving, associating with and following [a boy]”.
May, however, a closer study of the law of hubris, particularly as regards the “shame” involved in pederasty, require us to override these apparently clear statements? Recent studies agree that when applied to law, the term hubris is to be understood in its everyday usage. But this involves an enormous range of meaning: for example, eating and drinking in an excessive or disorderly manner; fighting and doing physical harm to people; depriving someone of his possessions or rights; or the unrestrained use of personal power by a tyrant. The list will also include sexual violation, but this is only one among many applications, and it is going too far to assert that the words hubris and hubrizein “have a strong sexual connotation”. (pp. 168-169)
No doubt in a general sense the hubris law did protect children – by prohibiting forcible interference with them. But to interpret the summarizing function of this law more widely would conflict with Aeschines’ statement that the law does not forbid a free man to love a boy, and with the orator’s own acceptance that he himself was erōtikos – a lover of boys. (p. 177)
While therefore younger boys are not excluded, there are sufficient instances of older erōmenoi to rule out any argument based on the essentially “feminine” characteristics of pre-pubertal boys, inability to ejaculate, lack of testicles and so forth. Similar considerations preclude the application of arguments about the “shame” of yielding to an erastēs based on the chaperonage rules to the whole range of pederastic relationships. While the evidence suggests that there was no “age of consent” below which intercourse was per se unlawful, one might well speak of an “age of protection” which the rules regulating opening hours for schools and gymnasia and the custom of oversight by a paidagōgos were designed to maintain. (p. 179)
This far from exhaustive account of Hindley’s writings in retirement should leave no doubt as to what a central role pederasty played in much of his thought. Beneath a scholarly and deeply learned exterior, steeped in antiquity, lies an obsessiveness and distorted morality which is not so different to that to be found in the more obviously explicit writings to be found in Magpie and other paedophile publications. I do not believe we should censor Hindley’s work, by any means, nor that it is without worth. But if the allegations about his having facilitated government financial support for one of the most insidious of all paedophile organisations – members of which have been linked to child pornography and abuse rings and international networks, ritual exploitation of those in children’s homes, and a whole host of cases of sexual predation upon very young boys in other institutions – are proved correct, as looks likely, then Hindley’s scholarly legacy should be afforded a good deal more critical treatment than has hitherto been the case. And above all, in no sense should Hindley’s work be seen as representative of wider gay-focused studies and scholarship. There is no more intrinsic link between same-sex desire and paedophilia as there is for opposite-sex desire; both remain minority inclinations belonging to those in desperate need of help before they do untold damage. It is to Hindley’s discredit that he attempted to dissolve such distinctions, and legitimise paedophilia as the most natural representation of same-sex desire, in exactly the manner in which paedophile groups appropriated the language and rhetoric of gay rights to suit their own twisted ends.
Articles by Clifford Hindley
(some articles were published as ‘J.C. Hindley’, ‘The Rev. J.C. Hindley’ or ‘J. Clifford Hindley’)
‘The Philosophy of Enthusiasm’, The London Quarterly and Holborn Review No. 182 (April and July 1957), pp. 99-109, 199-210.
‘The seal and the first instalment’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 9, No. 3 (July-Sep., 1960), pp. 108-119.
‘The translation of words for “covenant”’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar., 1961), pp. 13-24.
‘Serampore and the Future’, in The Story of Serampore and its College (Serampore: COuncil of Serampore College, 1961), pp. 102-108.
‘The meaning and translation of covenant’, Bible Translator, Vol. 13, No.2 (April 1962), pp. 90-101.
‘A prophet outside Israel: Thoughts on the study of Zoroastrianism’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 11, No. 3 (July-Sep., 1962), pp. 96-107.
‘Honest to Robinson’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 13, No. 1 (1964), pp. 2-10.
‘Witness in the Fourth Gospel’, Scottish Journal of Theology, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Sep., 1965), pp. 319-337.
‘History and Rudolf Bultmann’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec., 1965), pp. 193-208.
‘The Christ of creation in New Testament theology’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 15, No. 3 (July-Sep., 1966), pp. 89-105.
‘The Son of Man: a recent analysis’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 15, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec., 1966, pp. 172-178.
‘Der historische Jesus in indischer Sicht’, in Indische Beiträge zur Theologie der Gegenwart, ed Horst Bürkle and Wolfgang M.W. Roth (Stuttgart: Evangelisches Verlagswerk, 1966), pp. 23-58
‘The Mediator of a New Covenant’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Jan.-June, 1967), pp. 121-136.
‘The resurrection in recent Western theology’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 17, No. 2 (April-June, 1968), pp. 71-88.
‘Toward a Date for the Similitudes of Enoch: An Historical Approach’, New Testament Studies 14 (1968), pp. 551-565.
‘The Jesus of History: An Appraisal from India’, in Indian Voices in Today’s Theological Debate, edited Horst Buckle and Wolfgang M.W. Roth, English Edition (Delhi: Lucknow Publishing House, 1972).
‘The Age of Consent for Male Homosexuals’, Criminal Law Review 595-603 (1986).
‘Love and Salvation in Britten’s ‘Billy Budd’, Music & Letters, Vol. 70, No. 3 (Aug., 1989), pp. 363-381.
‘Why Does Miles Die? A Study of Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw”’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1 (1990), pp. 1-17.
‘Contemplation and Reality: A Study in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’’, Music and Letters, Vol. 71, No. 4 (Nov., 1990), pp. 511-523.
‘Law, Society and Homosexuality in Classical Athens’, Past & Present, No. 133 (Nov., 1991), pp. 167-183.
‘Homosexual Self-Affirmation and Self-Oppression in Two Britten Operas’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 2 (Summer 1992), pp. 143-168.
‘Platonic Elements in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’, Music and Letters, Vol. 73, No. 3 (Aug., 1992), pp. 407-429.
‘Britten’s “Billy Budd”: The “Interview Chords” Again’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 78, No. 1 (Spring, 1994), pp. 99-126.
‘Not the Marrying Kind: Britten’s “Albert Herring”’, Cambridge Opera Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Jul., 1994), pp. 159-174.
‘Eros and Military Command in Xenophon’, The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 44, No. 2 (1994), pp. 347-366.
‘Britten, Auden and Johnny Inkslinger’, Perversions, ii (1994), pp. 42-56.
‘Britten’s Parable Art: A Gay Reading’, History Workshop Journal, No. 40 (Autumn, 1995), pp. 62-90.
Review of William H.L. Godsalve, ‘Britten’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: Making an Opera from Shakespeare’s Comedy’, Music & Letters, Vol. 77, No. 2 (May, 1996), pp. 299-300.
‘Xenophon on Male Love’, The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 49, No. 1 (1999), pp. 74-99.
‘Eros in life and death: Billy Budd and Death in Venice’, in The Cambridge Companion to Benjamin Britten, edited Mervyn Cooke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 147-166.
Entries on Achilles, Aeschines, Agathon (and Pausanias) Alexander the Great, Aristophanes, Ganymede, Harmodius and Aristogiton, Socrates, Theocritus in Who’s Who in Gay and Lesbian History: From Antiquity to World War Two, edited Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon (London and New York: Routledge, 2001), pp. 1-2, 8-11, 15-16, 27-28, 174-175, 201-202, 408-410, 438-440.
‘Sappho’s ‘Rosy’ Moon’, The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 52, No. 1 (2002), pp. 374-377.
‘Sophron Eros: Xenophon’s Ethical Erotics’, in Xenophon and his World: Papers from a Conference Held in Liverpool in July 1999, edited Christopher Tuplin (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2004), pp. 125-146.
[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]
[ADDENDUM: The Mail have located the NCCL ad in question and scanned and reproduced it here. I have reproduced it below]
Continuing from my last post, I reproduce here the most significant material from the PIE publication Magpie, Issues 9-17, generally without comment. I must warn readers that there is a good deal of extremely troubling and disturbing material reproduced here (more so than in my last blog post) so please be wary before reading further. Researching this journal is one of the most unpleasant activities I have ever undergone; I am presenting the material here so that no-one can be in any doubt about the nature of PIE, and disturbing connections about many high-level individual’s connections to the organisation will be seen to be as serious as they truly are.
Issue No. 9. No date given
‘..we have been featured not only in the Observer and Sunday Times reviews of the year, but also in the latter’s Christmas quiz.’
Talking about how ‘Our achievements during 1977 have been considerable’
Suggests both society and them have been forced to re-examine their attitudes.
‘Take the matter of child pornography. The whole issue sprang into prominence at the same time as we were being press-exposed. In at least one newspaper we were on the same page as an investigation into child-porn and so we could have been associated with it, or with its purveyors. Many leading figures have been called upon to take a stand on this subject, and unless we make our own position clearer we will continue to be connected, by default. Yet to formulate an acceptable policy on this matter is far from easy. Personally, I find most porn offensive, but I recognise that for many of our members it is the only way to release their pent-up emotions with relative safety. To take a stand, to formulate a policy devoid of hypocrisy is fraught with problems.’ (La Gazza Ladra, p. 2)
Ken Palmer, ‘Convenor’s Spot: For the Love of Children’, p. 3 (Palmer is Convenor of Winchester CHE). This article cites the work of Brongersma.
‘The greatest crime in the criminal calendar should be cruelty, either physical or mental. Frequently the law in its present state is most cruel in its effects ironically to the very persons it is designed to protect. Where love is uppermost in every human relationship there can be little real evil and the weight of such love should receive full consideration where adult sexual relations with children are known.’
‘Read All About It’, p. 3
Community Care 9/11/77 (letter from Tom O’Carroll; 2 hostile reactions); 16/11/77 (letter); new Society 20/10/77 (letter from Keith Hose); New Statesman 16/9/77 (Dr Maurice Yaffe, ‘Paedophilia – the forbidden subject’; Private Eye 16/9/77 (Auberon Waugh’s Diary); The Observer 28/8/77 (Dutch MP Backs child sex); 4/9/77 (Britain ‘intolerant’ on child sex – interview with Brongersma); Sunday Times 4/9/77 (Priest to reveal startling facts about paedophilia – ‘an unbiased account of Dr. Ingram’s paper to the Swansea Conference); Socialist Challenge 7/9/77 (PIE and the Press); 15/9/77 (Sexuality and PIE – letter from David Grove), 29/9/77 (Civil rights); peace News 7/10/77 (Where Fascism and Sexism met Beyond Law reform); Socialist Worker 29/9/77 (The Press and Free speech); 8/10/77 (letters, pro-PIE); Zero Oct-Nov issue No. 3 (The Case for PIE); Gay News Issue 128 (Pie meeting that NF tried to silence. Doctor protests – on Brongersma letter to Swansea; ‘Facing the Front’ – GN editorial; letters, Issue 129 (letters) 130 (letters) 131 (‘Forbidden Speech’ – ‘an excellent critique of Dr. Brongersma’s speech, published in last issue of Childhood rights, by Dr. Richard Norton); Libertarian Education no. 23 winter 77 (Press Reaction); Police Review 30/9/77 (Personally Speaking – ‘a long, fair and objective article by C.H. Rolfe’) (p. 3)
Tom O’Carroll, ‘Tom Tom’, pp. 4-6
‘We who believe there is nothing wrong with children being involved in sexual acts have no reason to share this position [that porn ‘depraves and corrupts’]. What we must concern ourselves with is that children only take part in sexual activities that they really desire – – whether the act is on celluloid or not is a very secondary consideration.’
‘Some years ago, after seeing my first half dozen boy films at a single sitting, what struck me most forcefully, apart from an uncontrollable urge to wet my pants, was that the degree of involvement and enthusiasm of the young participants varied immensely. Whereas some appeared to be genuinely rampant and “hungry for action”, others were limp, listless and indifferent.
This had nothing to do with age. I remember a boy of only 10 or so in a happy state of total commitment to his work, right through to its completion – – the quiver of climax was unmistakable – – while the 15-year-old who was sucking him looked as thought he’d rather be smoking a cigarette, which for much of the film he was. On the other hand I’ve seen a randy 12-year-old girl excitedly wanking her little five-year-old brother who, although effortlessly and endlessly stiff as a tiny spring-mounted poker, wore the detached, meditative air of one whose thoughts were precociously turned towards Zen Buddhism.’ (pp. 5-6)
‘Constantine [Larry Constantine, who gave a paper at the Love and Attraction conference in Swansea] talks about the benefits of a legal industry, open to inspection. I would go further and suggest that part of the reason for the exploitation of children in porn is not only the illegality but also the profitability, albeit the latter is to some extent a function of the former. As well as monitoring the industry, why not take the profit incentive out of it? Why not have government sponsored porn by way of competition? Via the Arts Council, it would be possible to create bursaries for artists working in the field of erotic photo and cinema featuring children, thus encouraging the emergence of really first rate, non-commercial porn.’ (pp. 5-6)
Keith Spence, ‘Chicken à l’Americaine’, pp. 6-7
Suggests Bruce Altman’s book ‘Raising Chickens – – A Beginner’s Guide’, could be an instruction manual for paedophiles.
Keith Hose, ‘Proud to be an Animal’, pp. 8-9
‘They [antagonists in Gay News] would argue that we have women members because paedophilia is a male phenomenon caused by looking at relationships in a sexist way; in terms of dominance and submission. A violent reaction from women against this sexism is only natural they argue, women are all too aware of how they suffer from this attitude in men and do not want children to suffer in the same way. In fact desocialising children away from the traditional roles of male and female is the only hope; so leave the children alone for us to change them, they conclude.
My arguments however, are the other side of the same coin. I too am against sexism, but do not believe that paedophilia is caused by looking at relationships in a sexist way. Not all paedophile relationships are about dominance and submission, and adults will still be attracted to children, and children to adults, when and if we do reach a world free of sexism and other forms of exploitation.’ (p. 8)
‘Our antagonist’s supposition that the women there were reacting against male sexual domination, may have some element of truth in it if we remember that to a lot of people sex only means coitus, sexual relationships involve one partner dominating the other, and children are lesser people than adults. With these beliefs sex with children means adults forcibly buggering or raping them. Add to that the deliberate misinterpretation of PIE’s Evidence to the Criminal Law revision Committee and the concentration on infants by the media, despite the fact that few of PIE’s members are sexually attracted to babies, and you can quite sympathise with their emotional, if mistaken, reactions.
Strangely, I found myself agreeing with a point made in Auberon Waugh’s article about paedophilia which was printed in a recent issue of the ‘Spectator’ (“Suffer the little children” – 1st October 1977), that there is a class difference in the way people react to paedophilia. While I may not agree with Auberon Waugh’s hypothesis as to the cause of the difference in class attitude, it is undeniable that it exists. Most of the demonstrators outside PIE’s first public meeting were working class, and coming from a working class background, I myself was aware, even at fifteen, that if I did not obtain a higher education I would be trapped into working in a ‘factory floor’ environment; my sexuality and personality would have to conform. I felt a middle class environment would give me more freedom.’ (p. 9) (etc)
‘la France.. Some general Impressions on France for Boy Lovers’, p. 10 (by Member 173)
This suggests that France is, ‘an unrewarding place for child-lovers is reasonable, up to a point’.
Mentions a ‘well known paederast, Gabriel Matzneff’, essay ‘The Under Sixteens’
No established group like PIE in France.
But mentions FRED – Front Revolutionnaire pour une Enfance Differente’
And that Libération is ‘a paper very tolerant to paedophiles’
French boy: ‘I suspect that he is more of an adult than his English counterpart, less interested in sport and more concerned with being clever and a man of the world, and if he doesn’t share the stunning good looks of the Italian or Britisher, I challenge anybody to doubt his sophistication and seriousness compared to his counterpart across the water.’
Nathaniel Jacobs, ‘A Professional Learns to Listen’, p. 11
Talking about experiences as a professional counsellor with a Mr J. in prison, ‘Even though my acceptance of boy-love is limited, I sense the pain and rejection that fills the being of Mr. J. when he cannot, with sanctioned approval, practice the physical lovemaking he desires. Furthermore, just because I cannot accept the sexual ingredient does not imply that I heap condemnation upon the practice; nor do I consider Mr. J. a recalcitrant and sinner and cast him aside as being despicable and abased.
Quite the contrary, Mr. J’s love for children is transcendent the physical. He loves with the love of spiritual dimension. If I could but tap the mainstream of his compassion then my heart would also respond with a thunderous indignancy at a world which systematically destroys her children and protects them from those, such as Mr. J. who would give to them a love unconditional and free.’
Brongersma, ‘Paedophilia: the Act’, pp. 12-13 – with picture of young boy.
Another crossword, p. 15
Cartoon, reproduced from Spectator, boy saying to his mother, ‘Mummy, when I grow up can I be a paedophile?’, p. 15.
‘Often a beautiful boy with scarlet lips
Asks me laughingly: what is your religion?
I answer him; in your love I find my faith,
My paradise, my God, and my eternity’
(Ibrahim Ibn Sahl. 12th century) (p. 15)
Back page (p. 16), lists of ‘Europie’, 12 in France, 3 in Italy, 1 in Netherlands, 3 in West Germany, 2 in Norway.
Issue No. 10. No date given.
Picture of young girl on front, with title ‘HAPPINESS! (before the arrest)’
La Gazza Ladra, p. 2 – on sacking of Tom O’Carroll from OU job.
‘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. [Treasurer of PIE]’ (p. 4)
[I will post more about Doggett in a later blog post]
Warren Middleton, ‘As I see it…A Question of Strategy’, pp. 4-5.
Angry that Tony Smythe, director of National Association for Mental Health (MIND) said he didn’t think PIE was the best group to advance children’s sexual rights.
Brongersma, ‘Paedophilia: the Person’, pp. 6-7
‘The ideal of many paedophiles is a lasting intimate relation with one and the same child. The prejudices of society render this very difficult or even dangerous, save in those cases where the parents agree.’ (p. 7)
‘Other paedophiles may be so afraid of the pain that lasting relations inevitably inflict on the adult partner, or are in the impossibility under social pressure to establish such a relation, that they stay promiscuous and have sex with an often incredibly large number of children.’ (p. 7)
‘Nichols in the U.S.A. (Ethics, Goals and Responsibilities to be Encouraged in the Man-Boy Relationship, 1971), Himmelein in Germany, Etz in Austria and others proposed a kind of ethical code for boy-love, emphasizing the duty to respect the boy’s personality, not only in the sexual relations but in every way, to help him to grow up, to educate him, to be firm with him when necessary, not to spoil him, to prepare his way to a responsible heterosexual life, to comradeship, to society as a whole.’ (p. 7)
‘Photos Needed’, p. 7
‘If you have good, original non-nude photos of children that you would allow us to publish in MAGPIE, please send them along. We particularly need pictures for the front page, but photos of any size can be used. We’ll return them. Thanks.
‘J Z Eglington’, p. 11
Mentions on subway in NYC, August 1976, ad for Bronx Zoo, a pic of ‘a frecklefaced boy of 11 or 12’
And ads for Allan’s Frankfurters, which have been called ‘Bun Busters’.
Shops on 7th Avenue South selling picture postcard depicting nude boys, photographs by “Attilla” and others for Atlantis Studios, Box 56, Village Station, NYC 10014. Not pornographic. Models 11-15 in age.
And on ‘Eatable Undies’.
Loving account of a showing in the University of Miami Film Society of Death in Venice.
POST home delivery ad campaign posters, April-May 1977 in Denver ‘have been showing a handsome blond newsboy of 12 or 13, quoted as saying “I deliver a LOT more than the News’
And ads on automobiles in Cal, Tennessee and Kentucky, ‘Have You Hugged Your Kid Today?’
p. 12 (back page), crossword. Call for writings.
Says that cover picture ‘is of a 12 year old boy full of joy and happiness despite being form a home where is own mother didn’t know his correct age, and where his father is a thief and a drunkard. This picture of inner peace was made just weeks before the police brutally interrogated him, jailed his benefactor and returned him to the “custody of his parents” with a statement that he “requires psychiatric counselling”.’
Issue No. 11. May 1978
This issue can be read complete online here.
Boy of about 10-11 leaning against a pole on front.
‘Alan Doggett – Memorial Service’
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.’ (p. 2)
We have for sale a limited number of copies of a 99 page booklet by Den Nichols, called “Towards a Better Perspective For Boy-Lovers”. Published in 1976 in the United States in its preface to ‘serious minded adult males who feel an existential attraction to young boys”. Copies are £1 each, including post & packaging; orders to PIE. (‘Special Offer’, p. 2)
The article ‘NCCL Supports PIE’s Right’s was reproduced on my earlier blog post here.
The figures show that “enlightened” Britain has a mania for sending people to prison. Our prison population per head is vastly larger than any other European country. According to one BBC expert’s estimate (Nov. 16th) there are about eight thousand children incarcerated in England. Yet Mr. William Whitelaw calls for more imprisonments, more severe sentences and “short sharp shocks”. At the same time 80% of boys and 35 to 40% of girls commit another offence within two years of release. In other words the custodial treatment of the young offender is completely ineffective if its aim is to change his antisocial desires and acts. It is of course more succes- sful if regarded in the light of a punish- ment. It also protects society for the period of custody.
Many people involved with the problem are aware of this inadequacy and of the destructive effect of the court – and custody experience. Some express bafflement. It is not surprising since the only solution in most cases is one that society finds it almost impossible to pro- vide and that is love. Adults mostly seem to love only their own children, the only arrangement regarded as normal. Many are unable to love and cherish any children even their own. There are no wellsprings of affection available to rescue these children and it is not surprising that statistics show the only hope for the recidivist is a successful marriage. Non-conforming and bitter children are even more likely to be starved of affection and, most damaging, to be treated with no consideration for their dignity. The evidence is all around us that violence is more acceptable to society than love. Court sentences show that. People have always tried to prevent love by others but have made sure if they were powerful enough, that society condoned or at least tolerated their own foibles. Thus the Victorian ‘gentleman’ could have the working class girl-with dire consequences to her but none to him if they were found out, and every form of pro- stitution was available to him. Like the present day anti-porn lobby he was very concerned with the morality of others.
John Le Carre with his penetrating view of life writes in the ‘Observer’ that the affection-starved youngsters at his prep school went from bed to bed like sticky frogs looking for a pond. “There at last we embraced like the infants we were not allowed to be”. ‘ For punishment – love of course was a punishable offence – we had the . . . choice of several small riding whips”.
Science should be leading us to ask as a matter of course – “But what does the evidence show us?”. It is disheartening to find so distinguished a leader of society as Mr. Whitelaw favouring instead an emotive prejudice, either through a lack of understanding or political expediency. We need a more enlightened and scientific approach to the problem of law and order and the soul destroying effect of our overcrowded prisons.
313.’ (p. 3)
I have been watching the progress of Magpie with interest since its inception last year, and I must say that it improves greatly with each issue, not only in quality of print etc., but also what started out as broadsheets, appealing for ideas and opinions, has developed into an intelligent, thought provoking publication. I read with interest Tom’s article on child-porn (issue no. 9) and thought you and other members may be interested to hear one or two comments.
Firstly, I think the inclusion of erotic pictures in Magpie would be a contradiction of P.I.E.’s objectives and would fuel the fires of our principal enemys namely the National Front and the Mrs. Whitehouse’s of this world.
Personally, like many other members. I suspect, I find magazines such as Male International, Kim, Boys Express etc., quite acceptable and I am not in the least offended by their contents. However. I feel that Magpie, for all its limitations, must he our vehicle for ideas, our means of communication, but more so, our shop-window to the world, our best advertisement for ourselves.
By producing an “educational” rather than “sensational” magazine, paedophiles will, I believe, gradually begin to come across as a caring rather than corrupting breed.
Only by striving to achieve a cloak of respectability will we be able to gain a place in society, we will never reach our goal by adopting a “don’t give a damn what you think of us” attitude. This, I think is where the Gay Liberation Front failed to gain support because the media and most of the public have a built in defence against these kind of tactics. You go out there saying “Bang ! Crash ! – Here we are, and we don’t care” and what happens – cries of “My God, how dare you do this ?” from the Press and T.V. etc. The result being that, far from furthering the cause – you frighten would-be members off ! No, I think to continue the magazine in its present format is far the wisest thing – after all we can all get hold of these other publications if we really want them. If anything, there could be a little more variety, perhaps more girls – and I am sure many members would not object to seeing boys in the 12 – 18 age group too. I think the inclusion of short stories or a serial would be a good idea, perhaps members could submit their own contributions, and I don’t see why members couldn’t contribute their own favourite photographs too – provided of course that they fit in with the objectives of the magazine.
I feel that articles written by such people on Dr. Brongersma are invaluable to our cause and I can only hope that you continue to publish his articles. There must be few among us who are not interested in nuts and bolts of paedophilia, and the inclusion of such items must surely increase our under- standing of ourselves.
It must also bring about new tolerances from the public, which at the end of the day will mean the gradual re- shaping of society’s attitude towards us.
Yours 214.’ (p. 3)
Brongersma, ‘Paedophilia: The Effects’, p. 4
It is said, rightly, that we’re not allowed to sacrifice children in order to solve our adult sexual problems. This was meant as a warning to the paedophile. But it is equally justified to address this admonition to parents and educators who have an emotional negative attitude to sex. How many children have been sacrificed, tortured, abused, troubled or even driven to suicide by adult prejudices against masturbation, now proven to be stupid nonsense and generally considered to be devoid of the least foundation? Let’s take care that the same doesn’t happen with the negative ideas most people foster against other sexual activities of children!
The child is definitely not a non- sexual being, but has its sexual impulses right from its birth. Babies may masturbate, even to orgasm, without behaving abnormally. The young child has, as everyone knows, strong sexual interests. Then follows the so-called latency period in which sexuality seems to sleep. But now we know more about other periods of western history and other non-western cultures, we must confess that this latency period is only the result of our suppressing culture and that the child of six to twelve, if left to its true nature, abounds in sexual play. Then the sexual impulse comes to a turbulent life in prepuberty, to reach in the years of puberty itself a force never equalled during the rest of its life.
The image of the a-sexual “innocent” child is not the outcome of scientific observation, but only of wishful imagination. We ought not to sacrifice children to this invention of people abhorring sexuality, that is: human nature as it is created. Of course the sexual life of a child is in a process of development, as every other aspect of its life. It should therefore be approached with care and consideration. It should not be suppressed or ignored. The child needs its sexual play, as all higher animals do, to prepare itself for a complete adult sex life. The cultural suppression of the child’s sexuality lies at the root of many divorces and unhappy marriages.
A sexual relationship between a child and an adult does not harm the child, may be even beneficial, provided the adult partner is considerate, loving, affectionate. The confusion of tongues about the influence of such relations is produced by the fact that nearly all studies on this subject are founded on criminal cases, throwing on one heap together, rapes and violent assaults with cases of accidental contacts devoid of any traumatic or lasting effect, as well as with cases of intimate loving relations. If we don’t discriminate between the deeds of people who, under the stress of sexual abstinence throw themselves on a child while in reality preferring an older partner, and the deeds of paedophile people with erotic preference for a child, we will come nowhere. Most statistics and “scientific” deductions are calculated upon this chaotic mixture of very dissimilar situations and therefore worthless.
All acts of violence and compulsion are, by their nature, traumatic and should be fought as morally bad and criminal. But what is the influence of an erotic relationship to which the child is spontaneously consenting or which it solicited itself?
In order to deal with this question we have, to start with, one popular prejudice to clear away: boys are perverted by sexual contacts with adult males and are “made” homophiles themselves. This widespread belief was at the origin of many penal laws, but it is completely unfounded. On few points there is much unanimity among expert commissions that studied this subject (Wolfenden, Cardinal Griffin in England, Speijer in Holland) and authoritative scientists: nobody becomes a homophile by seduction. Homophilia. if it is not an inborn quality, finds its origin in the first years of human life; if a boy is not a homophile at five or six years of age, he’ll never become one, regardless of how many homosexual acts he may participate in. This is shown best by boy- prostitutes and other boys who have sexual contacts with males for years on end while maintaining their sexual preference for girls.
Apart from this outdated prejudice, scientific literature enumerates many bad effects on children as a result from sexual approaches by adults. But this doesn’t help us to gain insight in this matter, in so far as this literature – as stated above – doesn’t make any clear-cut division between approaches which may be characterized as assaults (and therefore more or less traumatic) and those which are expressions of love and affection, experienced as such by the child (and therefore not traumatic).
It is pedagogically important, however, to see that this state of affairs is not protecting children but rather is a menace to their well-being. There is no reason to think lightly about the terrific damage inflicted on children who are subjected to parental outbursts of rage or dismay and to police enquiries on the discovery of the fact that they had, often at their own instigation and in any case with their own consent, affectionate erotic relations with an adult lover. When parents come to know that their son or daughter has had such relations, they should, in the very interest of their child, proceed with the utmost caution. Their first duty is to try to understand the real feelings of their child, not giving way to common prejudices.
It asks for some psychological discernment to see that – and why – some experiences in this field may be a source of fear and anxiety to one child, while to the other they are something unique, fantastic and delicious. Children who haven’t been brought up in an un- healthy fear of everything sexual, who have had sexual play with comrades, who were not taught to be disgusted by the body and its functions and who don’t have an abnormally weak sexual impulse, will mostly react positively when approached by a sympathetic adult. In more than 50% of the cases they even take the initiative themselves.
Nowadays there are more and more expert authors who have an open eye for the positive effects such an affectionate relation may have. No wonder! Could real love, affection, sympathy, tenderness ever have a bad effect on the evolution of a human being? The ancient Greeks had their wisdom about this and in our present day the official Speijer Commission, appointed by the Dutch government, came to the conclusion that “in a number of cases (heterosexual as well as homosexual) initiation by an adult may result in a better evolution of the boy or girl concerned”. The German scientist Prof. Schlegel advances the opinion that sexual contacts with an adult may be as necessary at puberty as maternal love and tenderness in the first period of life. Mature sexual behaviour has to be learned by children’s sexual play as many ethnological researches show. If our society had better understanding of this, our adolescents would enjoy more sexual liberty and be less tempted to aggressive behaviour.
‘Everyone knows the “Child Protection Bill” will pass. It is another misnomer, like “indecent assault” when applied to mutually desired and consenting happenings. This Bill is not designed to protect children (where does “childhood” end anyway?) but to “oppress” them. It seems that when you are a child, everything is illegal. You certainly can’t have sex with anyone. When I was fourteen and horny as hell, it was maddening to know that I was only allowed by law to do it to myself, by myself, and then only in secret from my parents because they even thought that was wrong. It was illegal for me to have sex with a man – I had to be ‘ protected”. Now that I am grown up. and have finally reached the “age of consent” it is illegal for me to have sex with a fourteen year old boy. He has to be protected. So I’ve lost out both ways, first as a boy. then as a man. If only I had known that it was legal to be photographed in an “indecent” pose! I might have had some pictures to look back on. 1 knew I had a beautiful body at that age – I used to admire myself in the mirror. But now a boy will have to keep himself under wraps until he is hairy and ugly. I still don’t know what I was supposed to have been protected from as a youngster. I wanted sex and couldn’t have it. and I am still mad at society for it. [….]’ (Paul Green, ‘Protection or Overprotection?’, p. 5)
Article ‘Pedofili i Norge – A Better Society’, translated from the BULLETIN of the Norwegian Paedophile Workgroup, p. 6.
‘Child Porn’, p. 7
“Porn’s evil men
on the run” (newspaper banner headline)
“I cannot understand the
mentality of people who
produce such muck”
(MP quoted in newspaper)
I’ve been looking at some “such muck”
pictures of naked boys
with beautiful bodies
traceried rib cages
knees like rounded nuts
a delicate black flash of pubic hair
and happy faces
not particularly exploited
(no more than by capitalism, advertising or education)
Sirs, your “campaign” is motivated by hate
of sex, of the human nude, of the possibility of deviance.
You, who refuse to contemplate the existence of more than one view,
you are the “evil men”.
[With picture of Pied Piper next to it]
Richard James, ‘A Jubilee Song’, p. 7
‘The disturbed boy quivering in his teacher’s hands
and scraping at their flesh with his nails, because he
knows he can expect nothing
but entertains fantasies of smashing everyone’s heads
— what have we done for this?
The poor harmless paedophile imprisoned
for a reciprocal love, and scalded as a “nonce”
(but Mrs. Whitehouse says who considers the children?)
— what has he done for this?
My own poor grown-up gay lover from the East End of London
accustomed by dad’s beatings to being out of work
behind with the rent, and your name in the local paper
— what have you done for this?
A black boy and a white boy, two friends
happily making love to one another, the one buying wranglers jeans
because they above all things turn his lover on
— may we go through hell-fire and high water that we
may be worthy of these
and may we all at last have peace. ‘
‘You show me yours…’, pp. 8-9
‘Remember playing Doctors ? As kids, most of us discover this marvelous excuse for touching and exploring another human body. The work of many social scientists and researchers have uncovered an abundance of early sexual experience – in sharp contrast to the common disclaimers from parents and teachers alike that the years before puberty are not sexual, not REALLY.
Statements about children being uninterested in sex are becoming less and less credible. The belief that preadolescence represents a period of sexual latency or inactivity is being rejected along with several other Freudian teachings. In their place we find a new understanding of sexual development as a lifelong process that begins at birth.
Birth — 2 years
Boys are often born with erections, and although there is no documentated evidence, there is no reason to suppose that girls do not enter this world in the same state. All of the sexual response equipment is present and operative on day one – it is the reproductive systems that do not develop until puberty. One study of nine male babies (aged 3 – 20 weeks) reported that the number of erections varied from five to forty per day. Fretting, crying and stretching usually accompanied the erection, which was followed by playful and relaxed behaviour.
During the first four weeks of life, the infant girl sustains an extraordinary though temporary degree of sexual de- velopment. Her genitals are swollen and red because of the remaining maternal hormones which produce a momentary masturbation. Her vagina also shows physiologic patterns, including secretion, similar to those of an adult woman. With all that equipment ready for arousal, it’s no surprise that genital play is one of most infants earliest experiences. A psychologist studied one infants genital play during his first and second years. The infant watched his penis bounce up and down when he sucked his stomach in. He let the bath water run over his penis until it became erect. He stimulated himself intensively once a week, and explored his genitals with moderate interest three times each week. He put his favourite stuffed toy between his thighs and squeezed, while having a partial erection.
Infants in the first year of life are not generally capable of the direct, voluntary action we call masturbation, but occasionally, infants do specifically stimulate themselves. The Kinsey report found six boys under the age of one year, and twenty three girls under the age of three years who masturbated to orgasm. There is no reason to think that these children were abnormal because they displayed their sexuality. More likely they were simply the ones who were spared the harsh lessons usually delivered when children touch themselves “down there”. Although a mother stimulates the infants genitals when bathing etc., she also often scolds and slaps hands when infants do the same thing. Such a young mind cannot understand this inconsistency, but it does set the stage for developing the negative attitude towards sexuality that plagues many an adult.
Modern psychologists now consider that erotic genital play is a good indicator of whether the infant is getting enough physical affection. Research shows that infants who receive large amounts of affection display high levels of genital play. Because giving adequate physical affection involves the possibility of arousal, the first outsider included in our sexuality is usually a parent. How parents handle these encounters is important to the infant, and possibly to society as well. An American psychologist, James Prescott, suggests that societies which promote physical pleasure among children are peaceful. Those which punish pleasure are violent. He believes that a society can reduce future levels of war and crime by providing more physical affection between parents and children, and more sexual pleasure for children.
3 to 7 years
An explosion of sexiness follows the hazy sensuality of infancy. Now children bloom into romantics and dive joyfully into a period of unrestrained emotional and physical affection: hugging and kissing etc. Children of this age will often copy what they have seen – at home, on television, etc.. and this is when they begin to bring other kids into their sexual adventures. The game of “You show me yours and I’ll show you mine” seems to be a favourite everywhere.
Cohorts get involved in cuddling, handling, and sucking each others sex organs, and attempts at intercourse – both anal and genital, hetrosexual and homosexual. Homosexuality is a normal part of growing up for both boys and girls, and is usually just a stepping stone on the way to adult hetrosexuality.
Many youngsters are often intro- duced to more advanced sexual play by slightly older children. Like so many other aspects of life, here the old teach the young. One young girl remembers “He (age II) asked me (age 5) if I wanted to play doctors. Thinking it was all in fun, I said yes. He informed me that he was the doctor and I was the patient. I was pregnant, and he was going to operate. He undid my pants, took them off, and did the same to his. He tried to have intercourse, but did not suceed”.
Another girls first experience was more scary than fun — “Bill and I, (both aged 5 years) were close friends, and the two of us went over to Tom’s house to play. Tom (aged 9 years) locked us in the bedroom. We could only go if we exposed ourselves physically to each other. We undressed, and Tom immediately fondled Bill’s penis, and then tried to touch my vagina. I either cried or screamed, and he stopped. I think where I became con- fused, was that at home, nakedness was common, accepted, and associated with good thoughts “.
Kindergarten age girls often try putting objects on or into their genitals. One woman recalls “Some afternoons we would lock ourselves in a bedroom and take our pants off. We took turns laying on the bed and putting pennies, marbles, etc., between our legs. Two other girls liked to pretend they were boys, and used a pencil for a penis. As the ritual became old hat. it passed out of existence”.
8 to 13 years
Until fairly recently, these years have been considered a period of sexual quiescence, a time when sexual interest takes a little time off before the big push at puberty, but in societies which allow children sexual freedom, youngsters increase their sexual activities during these years. This implies that the low levels of sexual activities expected then are more a function of old fashioned repression than of natural development. In fact, preadolescence may be a time when all we have learnt about sex comes into focus. If guilt has been the environment of sex. then fantasies of torture, masochism and sadism may erupt. Throughout these years, kids investigate every possible source of sexual pleasure. The techniques of gratification they discover are endless. “Circle jerk”, or group masturbation is a common one amongst boys. They sit in a circle, and masturbate to orgasm, often awarding special praise to those who “shoot” fastest or furthest. Climbing ropes or poles can often have a very gratifying effect!
America has produced several secret societies which foster sexual freedom between children, and between children and adults. One which has gone totally public, is the Guyon Society, whose members allow their offspring whatever sexual expression they want. The Child Sensuality Circle, a semi-public organisation based in San Diego, is one of five major groups seeking sexual freedom for children, and are now broadening their focus to cover the general liberation of children – legal and social as well as sexual An American doctor sums up with a view which is slowly becoming more and more acceptable to society:
“Personally. I like the idea of adult sex without children involved, but for the child’s sake, and for society’s sake, we’ve got to start allowing our children more sexual freedom instead of constantly burdening them with guilt and misinformation”. ‘
(adapted from an Article in Forum)
[Cartoon of a boy on a bench saying to an older man, holding a newspaper with a headline ‘Child Sex Attack’, ‘Would ya like a sweet, Mister?’. Drawn by Dominik.]
And a cutting: ‘’NO PIE’ BOY SACKED BY SCHOOL’, sent in by a reader – comment ‘progressive education rules OK?’ (p. 9)
Keith Spence, ‘I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE and it works’, p. 10
‘I met him at the local swimming-pool. He was by himself, practising jumping feet-first off the spring-board with a single-mindedness that suggested Olympic training. 1 guessed he was about twelve years-old – his long, coltish body was still softened by the last traces of puppy-fat, but the way he stood and moved showed that he was growing up fast. He had silver-birch-blonde hair dropping to his shoulders, and grey eyes that sparkled when he laughed. And freckles. I’m kinky for freckles. He was absolutely my kind of kid.
For half-an-hour we jumped, dived, splashed, wrestled, ducked, bombed, and generally behaved in a thoroughly irresponsible fashion: and all without speaking a word. But finally, when we had dried and changed. I decided that the time had come to put our friendship onto a more regular basis.
“Do you want a coke?” I asked.
“Ferlot?” he said. “Vad sayer du?”
“A coke” I said, pantomiming desperately. “To drink. Do you want? Do you speak English?”
“Ferlot” he repeated, “jag forstor inte. Nu maste jag go. Hcj-do”. And he grinned maddeningly, waved once, and was gone.
If you think England is frustrating for paedophiles, you should try living in Sweden for a bit.
Admittedly the problems are rather different. In England, where children are only allowed contact with adults for purposes of punishment, and can’t take their socks off in public in case they start an orgy, the difficulty is to meet kids at all. Here in Sweden, making friends with them is laughably easy. The problems – – at least for a thick foreigner like me – – come from being forced to communicate almost entirely through sign-language. After three months, my Swedish vocabulary is still limited to such earth-shattering remarks as “There are three cats underneath the table” and “My hat is blue but yours is yellow”, which I’m sure will come in useful one day, but are not really very appropriate as the basis for a deep romantic relationship. The frustration is compounded by the fact that Swedish children are the most heart- shatteringly beautiful in the world: so that quite often, when walking down the street, the sight of one can literally stop you in your tracks and leave you gasping for breath. And as if this were not enough, the long-suffering paedophile visitor to Sweden also has to face the torment of various depraved Scandanavian practices, of which the most fiendish is undoubtedly the bastu or sauna. This institution is a large hot room, regularly patrolled by troops of highly uninhibited naked children. The result is that one sits there for far too long, turning the colour of raw beef, because one’s physical condition makes it impossible to walk out with any degree of dignity. It’s hell. I tell you! Sheer hell!
Actually, while sitting in the bastu last week, gazing at and being gazed at by a couple of faun-like children whose incipient adolescence was spectacularly in evidence, 1 found myself wondering what daft old Mrs. Whitehouse would have thought about it all. Here were two boys who, being Swedish, would have been accustomed to nakedness – – their own and other people’s – – from a few months old. They would already have received a thorough, factual and liberal sexual education. They would certainly have been encouraged to question and to experiment: that is how children are normally brought up in Sweden. Yet Swedish children are not promiscuous, nor has their health and happiness been ruined by whatever nameless horrors it is that Mrs. Whitehouse so abjectly dreads (to the best of my knowledge she has ‘never exactly specified what it is that she fears from allowing children to understand and acknowledge their sexuality. Whatever it is. it hasn’t happened in Sweden). On the other hand, children aren’t frightened by the changes in their bodies, nor in any way ashamed of them.
I suppose the secret is that children in Sweden are respected, and their rights are acknowledged in a way they have never been in Britain. That much is obvious as soon as you step into a Swedish school. Swedish children come to school because it is fun, and because they understand that it is important for them to learn. Once there, they are not urged to be ‘better’ than the other pupils – – there is no top (or bottom) of the form. Instead, the cleverer pupils help the less clever ones, and any academic achievement is the achievement of the class as a whole. Swedish school-children learn, before anything else, to co- operate, to tolerate, and to trust each other. Teachers are friends and equals, and one teacher may stay with the same class, every lesson, for two or three years. There is no compulsion, no formality. Christian names are always used, even to the headmaster. Above all, there is no fear: Sweden has a strict law that nobody – – not teachers, not police, not even parents – – may ever strike a child. A teacher who hit one of his pupils would be dismissed on the spot, and would probably appear in court. There are, in fact, no punishments at all in Swedish schools. The system isn’t based on punishment, it’s based on mutual respect and co-operation. And – – I’m sorry, Mr. Rhodes Boyson, but you’re wrong. It works.
Of course, as a refugee from England granted asylum in Swedish schools, it has taken me a little time to get used to the way things are done here. It’s a bit disconcerting to see a fifteen-year-old boy at the back of one’s class contentedly smoking a pipe, for example; or to have two fourteen-year-old girls politely excuse themselves from a lesson be- cause they have to cook supper for their boy-friends. And then there- was the class of ten-year-olds who were so excited at speaking English with a real Englishman that they barricaded the door at the end of the lesson and refused to let me out. Imagine being kidnapped by 22 Swedish children! I was quite rude to the Swedish teacher who rescued me. Of course, too, the system does have its drawbacks. It is criticised for not giving enough encouragement to unusually gifted children: and for not teaching pupils ambition (a questionable virtue anyway). Also, it would fail disasterously if it didn’t have total dedication from Swedish teachers- – a teacher who didn’t love kids unquestioningly and unconditionally could destroy an entire class. (That doesn’t happen. And a strike by Swedish teachers is unimaginable). But the few risks and disadvantages are a comparatively small price to pay for the joy of seeing a whole generation growing up free from aggression, loneliness, mistrust or fear.
In Sweden, one by one, the sacred cows of the ‘professional educators’ are being quietly herded off to the knacker’s yard and slaughtered. Discipline? Forget it. Rigid rules should only be needed when people can’t think for themselves; here they respect kids’ common sense instead. Religious instruction? That went long ago. The nuclear family? Sweden must have the world’s highest proportion of unmarried and seperated parents: but because such things arc treated without rancour or guilt, the children don’t often seem to suffer. Youthful innocence? Yes – – but here it means absence of shame, not absence of knowledge. And “Protection of Children?” Emphatically, yes! Swedish children are protected, by law. from violence, pain, destitution, exploitation and discrimination. I only wish the same could be said of Britain. Well – – alright. Perhaps I’m getting a bit carried away. And I can’t pretend that Sweden hasn’t got its problems – – they exist here as they do anywhere else. But after the joyless, loveless emotional waste-land which is childhood in Britain, the vividness and happiness of Swedish kids is strong medicine. Sweden may not have all the answers – – but it’s a damn sight closer to them than any other country I’ve visited, and working in Swedish schools is an enthralling experience. Now all I need is a decent phrase-book. Does anyone know the Swedish for “Will you come to the cinema with me on Saturday?” ‘
David Remfrey, ‘Images of Childhood’ – picture of two young girls sitting at a table, one pouring something like a cup of tea
‘I hope I was not the only one among us to visit the exhibition of drawings and paintings by David Remfry at the Mercury Gallery, Cork Street, London. Entitled Images of Childhood these paintings and drawings, mostly of little girls, have a calm beauty and subtle eroticism of great appeal. More often than not posed against a blank wall, barefoot on carpet, barekneed on chairs, simply dressed or not at all, playing hide and seek in a birthday suit behind the jardiniere, these children are caught, frozen in mid-dance, reclining on day beds, leaning listlessly, lost in sadness, pouring tea or simply playing, exempt from time yet dimly aware each day is one day nearer the gates of the Garden of Eden. Full of foreboding for the end of childhood, knowing they must grow up and what growing up means, these still nymphets are filled with unease and recall those many portraits of the Virgin looking wistfully at the Christ Child, as a mother protective, yet as the Mother conscious of, and resigned to, the Cross. For all their charm and apparent innocence, these paintings never lapse into sentimentality, and never do so because the subjects are clearly as aware as the painter of their potential appeal. Yet the eroticism is muted, not blatant as in Balthus’ paintings of pubescent girls, curiously English, reserved, belonging indoors, unrequited. It is precisely the eroticism of paedophilia, the attraction of the unattainable, the charm of cool remote children, the yearning to touch the untouched, tenderly. The distance between us and childhood, children, is the hallmark of paedophilic yearning, the rosegrey dream which dooms us, for when it is eclipsed in intercourse, there is the worm in the bud. Despair inevitably follows, not at once in the flush of passion, but later in twilight when we dimly perceive that our dream can never be incorporated in the smooth precise flesh of any child, not because children grow up, but because they must never cease to be distant. This is our dilemma: the child possessed is no longer child. Possessed, and a sword shall pierce the heart. So Remfry’s children, solitary especially in company, remain aloof, retain their distance, which is precisely their presence, and beckon us. only to ask us to go.’
C.J. Bradbury-Robinson (p. 11)
‘Hero and Lover’, p. 12
‘Both boys and girls can benefit from a responsible paedophile relationship with an adult friend that they can look up to, talk out their problems with, play with and learn from. The boy sees his man friend as a model to emulate in his self-development. The girl may see her man friend as more of a romantic hero. Likewise the lesbian paedophile relationship is based on the emulation self-development concept and the woman/boy relationship of one of romantic fulfillment. The responsible paedophile should not take advantage of this hero-worship just to satisfy sexual drives, but rather to be a supplemental teacher/parent in all phases of the child’s development. This should include basic friendship, teaching of ethical values, guidance and, ideally, dealing with matters of love and sensuality. With the adult as hero, he/she has the responsibility to place the welfare of the child first. A hero must live up to his honour. ‘
A further crossword, p. 12
Issue No. 12, December 1978 [Note that this was the issue preceding that in which NCCL took out an advert]
‘Magpie Comment’, p. 1
On Whitewash, who want to see PIE banned. (Whitehouse, presumably)
Compare themselves to IRA – ‘we do not use bombs and bullets to back up our arguments’
Apparently Tory MP Bill Benyon (an anti-abortionist) ‘bravely issued a press statement some time ago supporting Tom O’Carroll’s right to free speech in connection with paedophilia’
Demonstration outside British embassy in Oslo, Norway, about press and police harassment of PIE.
‘Lift PIE Ban, Gay News Told’.
WHS had refused to stock Gay News because of too much paedophilia.
‘News of the World’
Tom O’Carroll made complaint to Press Council about NOTW article in which he was dubbed ‘The nastiest man in Britain’ – about alleged errors of fact in the article.
‘David Grove Resigns’, p. 2 – becomes second life member, after Keith Hose, after Grove resigned as Secretary. Had joined in 1975.
Grove produced Childhood rights, running an anti-corporal punishment campaign, backed by Baroness Wooton and A.J. Ayer.
Review from Time Out of film “Montreal Main”. About an unemployed artist-photographer, Frank Vitale, who falls in love with 12-year-old Johnny. (p. 2)
‘Drug abuses’, p. 2. On two convicted paedophiles, who with help of National Association for Mental Health, are suing D of Health and doctors at Broadmoor for effects of hormone treatment – grew breasts which had to be surgically removed.
Item on p. 3:
‘Recent weeks have seen a veritable plethora of good viewing for “child sex persons” (a quaint term of endearment).
On TV: Truffaut films – L’enfant sauvage, Les Quatre Cent Coups.
Mark Lester molesting Britt Ekland in Night Hair Child.
More Truffaut, incl interview
Theatre: Annie; Bar Mitzvah Boy, revival of Oliver; cinema Fellini Satyricon; Tenderness of the Wolves, Lord of the Flies, and Blood Relatives, with Donald Sutherland, and Donald Pleasance as manic paedophile.
‘Pie Criticised Again – But This Time It’s Friendly!’, p. 4.
Review by Patrick Micel, of Libertarian Education, of Paedophilia: some Questions and Answers. Reprinted. Says that the pamphlet makes it seem to safe and easy, which it will never be. Says paedophilia ‘is sexist – a man will be imprisoned for acts thought laudable in a woman, particularly if the woman is the mother of the child concerned’
‘My last word to PIE is: be realistic – demand the impossible’
Various pictures of boys, aged c. 7-11, p. 5.
‘Feminism & Sexuality’, p. 6.
‘In the same way that countless women grow up, are married and go through their whole lives without realising that the attraction they feel for other women is, in fact, sexual and they are really gay, many women do not identify their feeling of love and attraction to children as sexual. Perhaps they don’t really enjoy sex with men, but get enormous pleasure from cuddling, caressing and bathing children. They get satisfaction from this but don’t see their natural spontaneous feelings as anything to do with paedophilia. A friend of mine, whose girlfriend had a baby, enjoyed a close loving relationship with the child and DID see it as sexual. They had a lot of fun together.
In Mexico mothers and grandmothers often lick their babies’ genitals to soothe them to sleep. The babies obviously like it. Is this a sexual assault? Should they all be arrested? It’s well known that babies and small children need to be touched and held a lot, otherwise they suffer severe emotional problems that can continue throughout their lives. So when do we define a touch as sexual?
And indeed, should we make that distinction at all?’
Column, p. 6, mentioning that hetero paedophilia insufficiently covered – will try to put this right.
Tom O’Carroll, ‘Is PIE Sexist?’, pp. 7-9
‘It has to be recognised that within the feminist movement there is an element for whom to be anti-sexist is ultimately to be anti-sexual, in a way which would make it impossible by definition for any man to have an acceptable, non-sexist paedophilic relationship. Arguably, most paedophiles are women, who get their buzz out of the intimacy of motherhood, but men who fancy kids are increasingly being labelled sexist, and it is a tag which is being attached specifically to the contents of this very magazine.’ (p. 7)
[As Gree Blachford, writing in Gay Left, has pointed out: “in our specialised society we objectify people all the time. When we purchase goods, we make the sales clerk into an object to satisfy our needs.” The important point is that in our society, it is thought to be demeaning for a woman to make herself available as an impersonal object for the satisfaction of a man’s sexual needs – by posing for a porn photo, say. In view of the fact that (following Blachford) objectification is otherwise acceptable, by elementary logic it is the sexuality that is problematic.’ (p. 7)
[More on this – arguing that many feminists see the sex act itself as inherently demeaning or degrading, pp. 7-8]
‘Feminists persist in feeling that objectification does matter. That it matters a great deal. They see that in a sexually guilt-ridden society the “degradation” of women in porn reinforces man’s view of his own superiority in the “natural” order of things; it reinforces the servile, passive nature of feminity [sic]. They are right, though they over-estimate the influence of such reinforcement: in Arab countries where no pornography is allowed, one finds the status of women much lower than it is here. Porn rankles so much with feminists here not so much because it is the cause of female oppression, no, even because it significantly adds to that oppression, but because it is such a [for them] visible symbol that the oppression exists. Nevertheless, it should be insisted that the cultural bias against women in our society is transmitted from the nursery onwards, in sexist education – by the time a boy is exposed to his first porn pix his attitude to girls I largely determined. What’s more, I believe that the solutions proposed by some women – which essentially lie in censorship and the total rejection of all male sexuality – are not only draconian, but take us back to an even more anti-sexual society than we have now. To a new Puritanism.
To understand this, one has to realise that an important element within the feminist attack is really directed not just against man in our society – the society and its values can be changed – but against the innate nature of the male sex, against the cardinal, biological nature of man. It is an emotional rejection of the penis, and of penetration. For some women to be fucked is always rape, no matter how unchauvinistic the individual man may be, no matter how sensitive or even “feminine” he is. He is a man, and that is bad enough – though it would be hard to formulate a more sexist notion than that! Theirs is the kind of thinking that defines all men as potential rapists – an idea which may be philosophically hard to deny, but which is hardly a celebration of the potential joy of sex either.
Some radical women – Germaine Greer is a notable one – do understand this happier potential. She has realised that there is liberation to be had not in retreating from men, but in going out and fucking them, in seeing the positive virtue of female sexual aggression (using the word in the original sense of coming forward, of taking initatives – not to be confused with destructive or sadistic impulses), of being active rather than passive in the se act itself. Her views are clearly pro-sexual, pro-fun. (p. 8)
‘Jane Gale (a woman, be it noted), put it well: “sexual acts between children are often considered exploratory and are consequently acceptable. Between child and adult the act is not considered exploratory, but rather a power relationship as the adult has a greater life experience and a greater propensity for evil and by his superior physical and mental strength may harm the child far more than another child could. It must be remembered that the adult, if he has a greater propensity for evil, also has a greater propensity for good. If a relationship should be deemed unacceptable because of the unequal distribution of power, then mot heterosexual adult relationships are unacceptable. The greater life experience of the adult may be more beneficial to the child than a relationship with someone of his own age.” (University of Kent, M.A. thesis) (p. 9)
‘Surely, I thought, we of all people, in PIE, should be in the forefront of raising levels of consciousness, among our own members, as well as others, as to the dignity and rights of young people – an emphasis requiring a very different vocabulary. I then went on to ask myself what this vocabulary should be. After all, the word “kids” and even “children” has patronising overtones. Shouldn’t we always use a dignified phrase like “young people”? One only has to make the suggestion to realise what sort of blind alley it leads us into: that of intense, earnest moralising talk, over-solemn and, as ever, hedged around by guilt – for woe-betide then the “backslider” who in an unwitting moment lets slip a “sexist” word.
I hope that in future PIE, and in particular Magpie, will pay attention to serious issues of children’s rights and to changing the oppressive attitudes to kids which some of our own (often well-intentioned) members may unconsciously have. Equally, our critics must realise that we are a tiny organisation, and that not many among us have had contact with “liberated” ideas through either the feminist or gay movements: most are very isolated. Our members include authoritarian teachers who believe that to spare the rod is to spoil the child. We have vicars and scoutmasters whose task includes the positive inculcation of oppressive establishment ideas. In no sense are we a cohesive radical group of like minds. (p. 9)
p. 10 – lots of pictures of boys, c. 9-11, playing on skateboards.
‘The Paedophiles’, pp. 11-13. Reprint of a cover story appearing in The Hague Post (De Haagse Post), March 18, 1978.
Michael Berkel speaking with some children, a mother and with paedophiles.
Talking to a boy about why he likes a relationship with a man 30 years older (p. 11)
Talking to a man called Frans, a widower, and father of three children. Then talking to one of his sons, asking what he thinks of his father having a paedophile relationship with 14-year old Sander – asking such things as what he thinks of seeing his father and Sander lying in bed together (pp. 11-12)
‘”Don’t you find it strange to find your father and Sander lying in bed together?”
The son: “Why should I find it strange?”
Frans: “At first he was quite jealous of Sander. Suddenly someone his own age was taking his place in the home. But now all’s well and they no longer quabble with each other. Then, too, Sander is such a wonderful kid. I met him in the amusement arcade. He was playing one of the flipper machines and I said, ‘Hey, you don’t know what you are doing’. Immediate contact. Later we got some ice cream. Since then we have seen each other every day. We were like a pair of cooing doves. Whoever came to visit us was shoed away. We do everything sexually and emotionally that grown-ups do. We got out together. I take him with me on family visits, that sort of thing. No, my family doesn’t understand it but they have accepted it.”
Sander: “He never says things I don’t understand. You just don’t notice that he is so much older.”
Frans: “but now Sander’s family has moved out of the neighbourhood and I don’t see him so often. That’s hard on me, and it makes me very sad. Sometimes during the week he drops by to see me at work. My co-worked knows about us. And I see him weekends.” (p. 12)
“According to Article 250 of the Criminal Code you are guilty of promoting lewd contact with minors. You provide the opportunity.”
Hetty (40) laughs. “Yes, in many eyes I’d be a dangerous mother figure. But that makes no difference to me. I still do it. Look, I’m not encouraging it, but I forbid nothing. I just let the child decide.”
“How open are you about it? Aren’t you afraid that it will be discovered?”
“Yes, I certainly am. Not because I will be embarrassed, but because I am in the midst of a divorce and I have not yet received final custody of the kids. If my ex-husband heard about it he would take advantage of it, I’m sure. He would probably try to take the children away from me. He would succeed because the child protection people don’t approve of these sorts of relationships. Thus we can’t be open about it. Sometimes the children’s neighbourhood friends ask Menno (12) whether he can go play with them and he says, ‘No, I’m going away on a visit’. He says that a lot because he spends most weekends with Kees. Then my heart skips a beat and I think maybe the boys will talk about that at home, and about Menno’s friend Kees, who has already been convicted once.”
“You’re very much of a libertine?”
“What is a libertine? If you have confidence in a relationship, why would you destroy it?
“I have known Kees two years. We came together when I had just left my husband. Kees helped me with all kinds of things. He became a personal friend. After the divorce I had the feeling that I was losing contact with Menno, my young son. H became so alienated from me. When I told that to Kees he said, ‘Send him to me for a while so I can talk with him. He can spend the weekend at my place’. Then I thought, ‘That’ll be good for Menno, to get out of the house’. I hoped that Kees could have some influence on him. Menno was away one day, then the weekend then the following weekend. And I thought, ‘Poor Kees has his own work and now he has to care for another man’s child. Isn’t that asking too much of him?’ I told Menno, ‘Don’t go to him this week’.
“As soon as Kees heard my son wouldn’t be coming he showed up at my door. He looked mad and he told me, ‘Why don’t you let Menno come? I know, because you know I’m a paedophile. A Child molester, as you’d say’. I used to sometimes hear that word at school but I hardly knew what it meant.
“Since then Menno has gone to Kees almost every weekend. I saw that so much empathy had grown up between them that I foud it normal that they spent so much time together. I noticed that mennow as a lot more open towards me, too. He started to talk with me again. It was striking how he changed. My oldest son commented on it, too. Menno had lost his trust in people and through Kees he has regained it.”
“Doesn’t it trouble you that they carry on sexually with each other?”
“I know nothing about the sexual aspects of their relationship. I haven’t asked. To tell the truth I don’t think I need to know. But if it happens I believe it is actually a great advantage for a child to have someone like that to guide him. To me it is a natural thing. If it grows out of a foundation fo warmth and friendship, how can it be wrong?”
“How do you bring up your children?”
“I have always brought them up in a sexually open manner. I have never failed to love them physically. I don’t hide my feelings. I myself at one time made love regularly with my brother. Until I was about 15 and my mother said, ‘You are getting too old now to crawl into bed with each other in the morning’. Then it suddenly became creepy, while before it felt completely normal. I believe as a parent you have a duty to help your children to reach sexual maturity. It is no disgrace if a father gets an erection playing with his daughter. But I’d better keep still about that because now we’re talking about incest and incest is a much greater taboo.”
“Are you yourself sexually interested in children?”
“When my eldest son gets all cleaned and combed and dressed up to go to a party I find I get a kick out of it. I am in education and I am thrown together with a lot of children of 11 or 12, but I don’t feel the same thing with them. Certainly not intellectually. They have no opinions of their own, know next to nothing, and I have asked Kees whether that isn’t a detriment to him, too, as a paedophile. But he tells me it is just as in a relationship with parents: the child himself must do something to you. You don’t fall for every boy who happens to be of that age.
“What I did find offensive was the way my ex-husband treated the children. If he wanted they had to climb into bed with him and take off their pyjamas. He made them even when they didn’t want to. You could see it embarrassed them. In the relationship between Kees and Menno these things happen naturally.”
“Would you advise other parents to pursue the same course you have?”
“Ive thought about that recently. I believe it can be a terrific protection for a child. A security. Certainly that’s so in Menno’s case because I also see it as something of a compensation for the fact that he no longer sees his father. Yet Kees is not a true father figure. There is not one bit of authority. No one is the boss. I think that later, when Menno starts going around with girls, sex will be less difficult for him, so he is already farther ahead. None of that kids’ sex play.”
“Isn’t kids’ sex play part of growing up?”
“Inexperience can be a bitter pill. You can save a lot of frustration when things don’t go right at first.”
“Professor De Levita, the child psychiatrist, has written that whenever a child is seduced into a premature sexual partnership, the growth process of that child can be destroyed.”
“Look, you can’t of course, be certain that this relationship is okay. You can only let your intuition speak. I see what I see, and for that I don’t need to read any books by psychiatrists. Menno has changed for the better. He’s less egocentric. Recently there was a TV programme on homosexuality and he went out himself and fetched Kees: “’Come here and look; there’s something you’ll find interesting’. He never would have done that before. As a mother you notice how such a relationship influences a son. If it hadn’t had meaning for Menno he wouldn’t have kept going back to Kees. That I am sure of. All this nonsense about children not being ready for it. Anyone can see that children are very much concerned with their bodies. Later they are always talking about it, or they buy condoms to go experimenting with.
“I have taught in a district of farm children. They wanted to know all sorts of things they didn’t dare ask. Then we made cards with questions on them and threw them into a hat. Then their bewilderment showed up, frustrations and miseries which the children lived with. Whether you always had to keep your clothes on when you did it, or who had to b on the top. They were very much concerned with such matters, but there was always that phrase, ‘had to’. It would be so much the best if these things just happened by themselves. And that’s happened in Menno’s case.”
“Don’t you have any reservations about this?”
“No. Truly. I am quite sincere. I have no reservations, but I am very much afraid that it will be a damnably long time before this sort of interview becomes superfluous. We’re talking about kids, right, and people involved emotionally with kids are condemned. However, things are improving – faster and faster, now, I understand. There is even an association of ‘Good Uncles’ being formed.” (pp. 12-13)
Crossword, pp. 13-14.
p. 14 – plug for next issue of Magpie including ‘Goodies for Girl-Lovers!!!’
p. 15 (back page)
Next to pic of a girl of about 7-8:
‘This is no time to sit on the fence! Magpie urgently requires your photographs, especially of girls. They should preferably be black and white, but we can still use colour snaps. Sorry, no nudes, nor anything which could be construed as too “racy” or overtly salacious. Use the photographs in this issue as a guide. Send your prints to the editor, and please specify if you wish them to be returned. We shall send £5 to the member who submits the best photograph each issue in the opinion of the EC.
Picture of c. 10 year old boy lying forwards suggestively on a fence, legs on either side of it.
Issue No. 13, April 1979
Editorial, p. 2. Usual stuff, dressed up in language of rights of children.
Underneath, the symbol of the International Year of the Child.
‘Further information on activities in Britain throughout the Year, plus suggestions for events you can organise yourself (don’t all rush at once!) are contained in the January edition of “Child’s Play”, available from: CHILD’S PLAY, FRANCIS HOUSE, FRANCIS STREET, LONDON SW1. (p. 2)
Published by ‘Child’s Play Information Centre’, which is funded by ‘Make Children Happy charity’. Supposedly ‘geared towards playleaders and youth workers, and covers book reviews, play schemes, campaigns and courses. A central information library has also been set up, (tel: 01 828 9055). Why not let MAGPIE know of any events you organise yourself… with photos?’ (p. 2)
‘Gay News Breaks its Silence’
‘At long last the big battalions in the gay scene have woken up to the existence of PIE’s QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS booklet. There have been reviews in both Gay News and in the CHE journal Broadsheet.
The Gay News review (25th January ’79 no. 159) by Jeffrey Weeks, himself an historian of the gay movement and a leading light of the Gay Left collective, is both full and positive, saying that the booklet has made “a useful starting point for a rational debate”.
The Broadsheet (February ’79) review is much more combative, but does at least endorse the main aim of the booklet – that of dispelling the ignorance, fear and prejudice which surround paedophilia – and concedes unequivocally that “it is important to have it established that the disruption of a paedophile relationship which the child desires is as destructive as the relationship itself can be creative and valuable”.
The winter issue of Gay Left also contains a lengthy and interesting editorial on paedophilia, to which PIE will be making a response in the spring issue.’ (p. 3)
p. 4 ‘It’s All Happening in…. Boston! A Report from Chairperson Tom O’Carroll on an American “New Deal” for Paedophiles’
Mentions DA trying to start a witch hung against gays, but also ‘formation of a brand new paedophile organisation covering the whole North American continent.’
About Boston-Boise Committee and Tom Reeves.
‘A Boy Lover’s Jamboree’, p. 4.
Report on Boston conference on May[sic]-Boy Love and The Age of Consent, held in December last year.
‘Boston: Is There a Lesson for PIE?’, by TOC
Mentioning how ‘Reeves was able to mobilise the support of much of that [gay] community (of which he feels himself to be a part) in sharp distinction to the relative isolation faced by PIE.[…] It would be nice for PIE to get the support of gays in the same way. But where would that leave the little boy and girl lovers? More importantly, where would it leave the revolution aimed at children being free to grow up in a society free from sexual guilt?’ […] (p. 5)
‘Thoughts on the Theme of Love’, by Cliff
Passages from Coleman, Keats, Blake, Kaufmann, Barford, and Miller (p. 5)
‘The Brownie Annual ‘79’, reviewed by Edward Dipfinger (Dip. Ed)
‘To be honest, I only buy Brownie annuals for the colour photographs of little girls with flat chests. And the 1979 Annual has rather a lot of these. But for the lover of girl-children with a tiny bubble of hot mischief in his loins there is a sort of hopeless beauty about nearly everything either inside or on the front cover of a brownie Annual. Of course, I realise very clearly that the Annual (by its nature) deos not invite grown-ups. Yet the paedophile’s cup of tea is often his elevenses – to repeat a joke I overheard a lollipop man permit himself one sunshine afternoon many school terms ago – and Brownies are eleven years of age, or younger… so there ought to be something in the annual to interest most hets. Personally, I always find Brownie Annuals extremely readable and worthwhile. Full of ideas and chock-a-block with up-to-date inside info on pack holidays and revels, the Annual never fails to please.
Robert Moss, the puttering fussy editor of the annual, is consistently dull and naïve. His vision of childhood is prim and sane, far too prim and sane to handle this delightful sub-species of Girl Guide, and so his book keeps drifting into unexpected havoc. It is absolutely loaded with those hints and jokes which tease like a U-film whisper.
Patience, a little wit, and perhaps an ounce or two of imagination, are the only gifts one needs to read between the lines… to peep behind the fig-leaves, as it were. It is easy and it is fun. And who said ripeness was next to rottenness?’ (p. 6)
‘Indecency in the House’, p. 7
About a Private Members Bill sponsored by MP Hugh Rossi, making it an offence to display ‘indecent’ material anywhere in public, with exception of museums, art galleries, and television.
‘Allan Gloak, a gay magazine publisher, said “this bill is dangerous. If it ever becomes law there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s going to be used for a censorship crackdown”.’ (p. 7)
‘Pie Victim of the child porn act’, p. 7
About how a ‘girl-lover’ from Blackpool, a former PIE member, received a fine of £400 + £200 costs after police found child porn mags and photos in his car. ‘Possession in itself is not a crime under the Act, but the defendant was said to have had the offending material with a view to showing or distributing it, and this is illegal.’
Resulted from the NOTW reproducing a contact ad from Magpie last year (‘Male, interest in girls 6-13, would like to correspond & meet others’), and the police tracing him. He said ‘But I cancelled his membership because all the members appeared to like little boys. I know I like girls and that is wrong but I hate anyone who messes about with little boys.”
Comments under from Magpie – detesting both the law and its implementation, and also the hypocrisy of the man.
‘Sex without Shame’, TOC, p. 8
About book of that name by Dr Alayne Yates. She thinks parents should encourage children to have sex, and that ‘intercourse could begin at four years, and that many incest relationships, including those between father and daughter, can be a positive experience’
‘Are there any interesting statues of kids near you: in local parks/museums/galleries? We are hoping to run, possibly next issue, a photo guide to the best in child statuary. Your help would be appreciated.’ (p. 8)
Letter ‘Is Pie Sexist’, reply by a female member to Tom O’Carroll’s article, pp. 9-10.
‘As you point out, children’s rights are important to PIE. It is absolutely vital. Unless children have some control over their own bodies and their own lives, there will always be possibilities for adults to take advantage of, and exploit, children, sexually (just as they exploit children and use their power over them in so many other ways now).
If PIE is to be an organisation working towards a better society and sexual liberation, it must work towards a state where children can give free and informed consent to sexual relations, and where they will be taken seriously and respected if they say no.
I think (maybe wrongly) that you confuse “enjoying yourself in bed and maybe playing roles” with male sexual aggression. What people of any age mutually enjoy sexually has nothing to do with sexism or oppression, but this is very different from a society that is largely based on sex roles: Male = aggressive; breadwinner; sexually active – Female = passive; dependant[sic]; sexual receptacle for the Male. Neither men nor (especially women really fit into these moulds, and many are trying to break out: hence women’s liberation, gay liberation.
The ethic of male sexual aggression leads to, at worst, rape, at best, men using women – usually their wives – as objects of their sexual needs. The majority of heterosexual men are not really interested in learning how to make love to women, and even less in learning how to be made love to. Surely it is the sexist idea that sex equals penetration by the male that gives rise to a lot of the fears that people have about paedophilia. The “general public” see a helpless 4-year old being penetrated by an aggressive masculine male. Of course, no-one in his right mind would try to have intercourse with a 4-year old child. This doesn’t mean that a loving sexual relationship with a child of 4 is impossible. It just means that it would consist mainly of perhaps cuddling and stroking, and that the paedophile would be more likely to be female than male.
And it’s not only children who like cuddling and stroking. Most women enjoy it, and so probably would most men, but in our society it is considered unmanly to allow yourself to be cuddled. Sexism again!’ (p. 9)
[More stuff about general sexism. But opposing censorship of pornography]
‘Cambridge Conflict’, p. 10
University’s Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Cottrell, asking questions about advertising Paedophilia. Some Questions and Answers in student publications. SU president Charles Burch said to a local paper ‘I am quite impressed by the responsible way in which the PIE has written its booklet.’ (p. 10)
p. 11. Stories about slave-like working conditions for children in Bangkok. A Muslim child barred from school for declining to wear the school tie on religious grounds. Loss of Gay News blasphemy case. Story of a boy, Matthew Hall, who collected 2 ½ tons of cigarette packets towards a haemodialysis unit, a kidney machine. Report on schools and dealing with unmanageable pupils – pointing out that corporal punishment is on decline.
J. Pebble, ‘Child Porn (or Algebraic Paedophilia?): a heterosexual viewpoint’, pp. 12-13.
Arguing against those positions which oppose child porn on economic grounds or other arguments about exploitation, saying that these are just as rife in other areas – arms, drugs and advertising industries. Cites Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil).
p. 14. Has ad for NCCL.
Also short piece about NUT sending a letter to Shirley Williams complaining about publication and distribution of “Blot” by National Union of School Students, which has articles on masturbation and promiscuity.
‘Castration Law in U.S.’, p. 15.
Mrs Joyce Lewis, in Maine, has proposed castration of both men and women for offences against children. Men would have nerves removed which enabled them to have erections; women would have ovaries removed, causing vagina to lose its elasticity, making intercourse painful. But may founder on grounds of ‘cruel and unusual punishment’.
David Grove, ‘The Oppression of Children’, p. 15
Mentioning child labour, floggings, etc. Citing Wordswhort:
“…trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home,
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shade of the prison house begin to close
Upon the growing boy… “
‘This fits in with other appropriate ideas, such as (a) this world is not reality, (B) we are really spirits, not bodies, (c) sexual activity is something which eventually sullies and degrades our angelic nature.
This type of romantic-idyllic thinking provides a very convenient background for the oppression of children. The truth is that the “growing boy” (or girl) is jolly lucky when he/she is at last old enough to escape from it.’ [etc]
Second part of ‘The Paedophiles’, pp. 16-18
Interview with Guillaume Sommer, sociologist in his 40s.
‘Boys start to become attractive to me around 12. If I hear a break in his voice, then it’s perfect. An intense pleasure. Acne. His look becomes suspicious. Then it comes to me. Then I feel a humility and a compassion. Something like, boy, it’s getting serious. Now it’ going to happen. It is also in the movement and the shape of such a boy. Why can’t I fall for a boyish looking girl? No, it’s the smell of the boy’s room. The bravuar [sic].
I always divide boys into angels and saucy little kids. I was, myself, as a child, one of the angels. A very good boy. Very inhibited. Never squabbled. Never showed my emotions. I came from a Christian home. You didn’t cry. I didn’t let myself get involved in paedophilia until I was in my 30’s. Around puberty I had violent loves for boys around 12. I could sometimes walk around in the shallow end of the swimming pool with a boy in my arms and the water washing over his chest. I never got an erection doing that because I didn’t connect the pleasure I got that way with sex.
In my twenties all that subsided. I also had feelings for girls. I was almost through school when my repressed paedophile feelings came back with a vengeance, toward a young cousin. I had an enormously erotic response to him. His parents let us go on a vacation together. For two weeks we shared a bed, and I didn’t dare touch him. That only increased his attraction for me. After that I came regularly every weekend to his house, but in a year and a half nothing happened that you could call sex. It was a passion: it played in my fantasies.
I know I once masturbated and that then the image of that boy haunted me. I was shocked. That is wrong, I thought: I must go to a psychiatrist. I went to a medical psychiatric office. A psychiatrist from the Rutger Society told me, “Yes, a wife with a penis, that’s what you want”. [etc] (p. 16)
‘I believe the war made a paedophile of me. It’s my Concentration Camp Syndrome. I think I belong to the most deeply hurt generation, the men in their 40’s who lived in camps as children, who were too little to understand it and weren’t able later to assimilate it. First I was with my mother in Soerabaja (Indonesia), in a woman’s camp. I had my mother all to myself because my father was already gone. When I turned 12 I had to go to a separate boy’s camp. We were taken there in a cattle truck. A man came between me and my mother. Why didn’t she attack the Japanese? Why didn’t she try to hold onto me? I must be brave. I mustn’t cry. My mother delivered me over to an aggressive man. That was not the first time.
I have nothing against women, but they are treacherous beings. Every time I form an attachment to a woman some man with aggressive impulses ploughs right through it. My father, for example, or that man who took out my tonsils, or the man who ran into me as I fled across the street to my mother. That pattern repeated itself, in the war in its most concentrated form.’
‘How do you connect that with paedophilia?@
‘During my analysis it came to the surface that somewhere a reversal of roles took place. As you yourself become a man you identify with the aggressive man, but, because I had an aversion to him, I projected myself into a young boy with whom I could form a relationship. A sort of atonement, a making amends with that boy who is really yourself. As if I was trying to say, ‘Young fellow, I’m really not so aggressive. I really care for you a lot. I care more for you than for a woman. I want to protect you from the things that happened tome when I was your age’.
I provide myself satisfaction with respect to myself as a 12-year-old boy. I have always fallen hard for 12-year-olds. I have also tried it with women, but that was more because society expected it of me. If you really enter into the advances, into an attachment with a woman, then there is an aggressive man in the scene. I see men, as perhaps you do, too, always as aggressors. Great convocations,. Crowds of men in grey suits. I become very frightened of them. [etc]
‘Winny [a boy of 12] is here every day. After dinner he always drops by. He has his own key to the house. He lives close by. I have known him for seven years. However, the love affair between us began just recently. It is a great pleasure. I sit in that chair and I put him on my lap, and with his arm about my neck we chat, about what school he will go to after he finishes secondary school, that sort of thing. I enjoy it intensely. I don’t baby him. I don’t speak in a different language. He has an attitude which makes me think he sees us as equals.’ (p. 17) (Guillaume is 45)
‘When a child comes here every evening for about six years and teaches me how to make love to him. I would be careful about qualifying children as different form adults. We live in an outspoken paedophile culture. The whole mythology of a child: the child is an angel, holy and innocent. Whoever doesn’t love children is an egotist. At the same time they are unruly creatures who must be quickly moulded into honest citizens. Sexual strivings in children – and by that I also mean body pleasure and free emotional expression – are forbidden. To me paedophilia is a product of a society in which sex is set apart. Paedophilia involves itself in forbidden things, and therefore it is forbidden. When an adult has a relationship with a small girl, isn’t people’s first reaction: ‘That penis is much too big.’ That comes from our fixation in sex and emotions upon sexual organs.’(p. 17)
‘What sort of image do you have now? What do you think I do with children? Rape them? Violate them? Murder them? I kiss them. They kiss me. I caress them. They caress me. When we want to we masturbate together, but sometimes that doesn’t happen in our relationship for weeks on end. Then a platonic contact prevails. No, I can’t find one scrap of evidence that this has undesirable consequences for the child.’ (p. 18)
‘Precious Metal-Hunter’, p. 19
’13-year old James Bolton, of King’s Lynn in Norfolk, is offering a free service with his metal detector to anyone who has lost items in the area. Now where did I leave that damnation cuff-link?’
Another item about a new article by Brongersma (p. 18)
‘Het’s Corner’, p. 19.
pics of pre-pubescent girls at school, aged probably 7-10. And some drawings, including one of a baby girl in nappies.
TOC, ‘How To Make Love… To Children’, p. 20
London Film-Makers’ Co-operative held an evening of films on Nov 10th. Purpose ‘To promote an educational discussion about film-making and the politics of sexuality’.
Films: Michel d’Hondt, Propaganda. – about children playing, with sexual overtones.
Mattyn Seip, Ijdijk (1963) – about an encounter between a man on a motorbike ‘and a boisterous youn blond boy’
Seip, Schermerhorn (1966) – about a continuing relationship between a man and a boy of about 15.
‘Feedback’, p. 21
Various letters from V.M., and members Nos. 275, 428, 426, 230, 39, 442.
No 426 suggesting that in some punk there are paedophile themes – lead singer of Buzzcocks was wearing a badge saying ‘I Like Boys’, and mentioning their 1978 hit ‘Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t ‘ve)?’. The Snifters, single ‘I Like Boys’. And band Raped (who changed their name to ‘Cuddly Toys’ after much criticism), had a single called ‘Pretty Paedophiles’.
No. 230 finding scenes with erotic overtones between children in Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet.
Rev Olyobm ‘Once Below a Time’, poem in style of Dylan Thomas, p. 22.
Cliff, review of film ‘Nighthawks’, about comprehensive schoolteacher who prowls pub/club/disco scene by night, ‘only of peripheral interest to paedophiles’.
Crossword, p. 23
p. 24, back cover, two more pics of boys around 10-11.
Issue No. 14, Oct-Dec 1979
Cover ‘no longer alone!’. Picture of a Sri Lankan boy, maybe about 10.
p. 2. Picture of boy of about 11-12 sitting looking at the camera a bit provocatively.
‘The Continuing Crisis’, problems of money, p. 2
‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’, p. 2 – about some report recommending abolition of age of consent, report called Pregnant At School. Not much detail. Just saying that legality of sex acts should depend
‘First triumph for new conspirators’, p. 3
About Conspiracy Against Public Morals, a group formed to support PIE in its legal battle. CHE have affiliated to CAPM. A motion at a conference in Brighton for abolition of age of consent found widespread support, though no vote was taken. Give conspiracy defendants were remanded after a short hearing at Bow St magistrates court on Sep 4.
‘Conspiracy Against Public Morals, a broadly-based action group, has been formed to support PIE in its legal battle – and already the Conspiracy has scored its first success, by securing CHE’s affiliation to the campaign, at its annual conference in Brighton.
The Conspiracy, which aims to draw attention to the civil rights aspects of PIE’s case, and the unfairness of the law on ‘public morals’, is seeking support not only from gay organisations, but also from civil liberties and progressive legal groups, a wide range of sexual reformers, and those opposed to moral censorship.
The Conspiracy‘s Brighton triumph owed much to a speech by barrister Adrian Fulford, which Gay News declared to be the best made at the conference. The motion that followed it, calling for CHE’s affiliation to CAPM, was passed unopposed.
At the same conference, a motion in support of ending the age-of-consent laws also found widespread support. no official vote was taken – it was decided to leave the issue in the hands of the executive – but an informal show of hands indicated a 2 to 1 majority in favour of abolition.
In a brief hearing at Bow St magistrates court on September 4, the give conspiracy defendants were remanded on bail until November 22. […]’ (p. 3)
[This article provoked an investigation by the Mail, who wrote a major article about Fulford, now a High Court judge and an Adviser to the Queen: see 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’, Daily Mail, March 8th, 2014]
‘Roger Dodges Old Bailey Charge’, p. 3
Roger Moody, occasional contributor, acquitted of buggery against a 10-year old boy.
‘PIE Top 20’, pp. 4-5.
Selection of non-fiction books on and about paedophilia.
‘Norway – ‘It’s a knockout’ says Tom’, p. 5.
Went to conference with German, Swedish and Dutch delegates called ‘Amnesty for
Love and Attraction’ in Oslo, organised by Norwegian Paedophile Group, NAPF.
Much of it in English.
Papers by psychologists Thore Langfeldt of Norway, and Frits Bernard.
New international group to be set up, provisionally entitled Amnesty for Child Sexuality (ACS).
Tom went to see a Danish film called You Are Not Alone, about a school rebellion against sexual oppression imposed by teachers. ‘The main feature was a loving relationship between two boys, one about 15, the other 11 – and very much pre-pubertal. The erotic scenes between these two were astonishingly frank for a publicly licensed film, and at the same time beautifully tender.’
“Girl of Six” [under a picture of a girl of around 8-9 sitting in a chair]
‘You cuddled me and kissed me,
Mussed my hair, and smiled:
The woman in the child.’
Clark Ashton Smith (p. 5)
Mention of TOC’s forthcoming Paedophilia: The Radical Case (p. 5)
‘PIE no longer alone as major report says abolish age of consent’ – more about Pregnant At School, published by National Council for One Parent Families. Mostly to do with problem of juvenile pregnancy.
‘The sixty four thousand dollar question for any proposal to do away with a specific age of consent is what do you put in its place? How is the ability to consent to be determined? The report relies on criteria of physical and psychological maturity, with each case being considered on its merits. Thus a male would risk prosecution for having sex with a girl – or a mentally handicapped woman – of any age, if the female was found to be incapable of giving true consent. On the other hand, in theory at least, a physically well-developed (does this mean pubertal? – the report offers no definition) 10-year-old who plainly knew her own mind could consent.
Cases of alleged sexual assault, the report suggests, could be tried under existing laws ‘relating to criminal assault, sexual offences and the welfare of young people.’ In fact, although the report does not say so, some of these laws themselves presume that children under specified ages cannot consent, even to minor sexual activities, and would need to be amended in order for the report’s recommendations to be workable.’
Clipping from Capt Cook, Account of a Voyage Around the World (1769) on how a young man around six feet high ‘performed the rites of Venus (intercourse) with a little girl about 11 or 12 years of age’, in front of several people, and it seemed perfectly normal, with various women giving instructions to the girl how to perform her part.
Ad for Midwest Gay Academic Journal, p. 8
‘Chemical Castration makes a Comeback’, p. 9 – on how an Old Bailey judge forced this on a 53-year old caretaker who had a relationship with a boy of 13, if he wanted to avoid a stiff prison sentence. Castration has been banned in Holland.
Ralph, ‘The Child Protectors’, pp. 10-11
Teacher, then housemaster-tutor, eventually ‘in a well-known south east England public school’. Then returned to college and qualified in social work.
Looked after a nine-year old boy Phil, like a son.
Phil brought a 13-year old boy who was gay back. Ralph eventually received a four year jail sentence. Held back from suicide because of a letter from Phil, who was 14 when he returned. Heard about PIE whilst in prison. Then porn squad came to him. Phil ended up being boycotted by all his friends.
Toby, ‘Men with a Creche on Kids’, p. 15.
Just a book about organising a crèche, but feeling very much at ease around kids, in ways which sound sinister – quoting one man ‘My main feeling about the crèche is how important it is to have kids staying the night so that one really gets to know and be involved with them. If they go back to their parents in the evening (worse still if their stay is only for one afternoon) they never really commit themselves to being involved with you in the crèche and still want their parents at the slightest difficulties’.
Feedback, pp. 12-13
Usual sorts of things. Reply by Roger Moody to the piece by a woman member before.
‘World Contact Groups’, p. 14
‘Tu-Tuc-ing in to child-love’
‘How pleasant to see that there are gays who aren’t frightened of being associated with paedophilia, writes Serge, from Germany. At the Tuc Tuc café in Hamburg, the gay clientele have played hosts to an exhibition of paedophilc art – drawings, paintings and high-quality photos, together with poems on child-love.’ (p. 15)
Stop Press, p. 16
About NCCL publication First Rights – changes in criminal law as it affects children, abolition of corporal punishment, right for pupils and parents to see school records, and increased rights for young people in care.
Issue No. 15, Spring 1981
Cover, ‘Tom Jailed’, with lots of clippings.
‘Mid Trial Summary (PIE 4 Crown 0)’, p. 2.
Edward Brongersma, ‘The Dutch Experience’, p. 4
‘E.C. Appeal 1980’, p. 11. By Steven Adrian, Chairperson.
By time of appeal membership had dwindled to 150.
Article by Lesbian feminist Pat Califia, ‘Women against the New Puritans’, pp. 12-14
Arguing against Robin Morgan in particular, who had said that boy-love was a euphemism for rape (p. 12)
‘Morgan’s specious redefinition of rape could undo years of laborious public education. There is a clear difference between a consensual sex act which takes place between two people of different social status and a sexual assault (which can easily take place between people of equal social status). Her concept of rape implies that all kinds of relationships are inherently non-consensual – sex between men and women, between people of different racial or ethnic backgrounds, between people of different socioeconomic levels, between able-bodied and physically challenged people, and even between partners who differ greatly in size and strength.’ (p. 13)
‘WAVPM [Women Against Violence in Pornography and the Media]’s theory does not explain why an adult man would prefer boys (who have more social and physical power than girls) if he is motivated simply by a fear of powerful partners. It also does not explain why women have sexual relationships with girls. Yet this theory, which might explain heterosexual paedophilia, is being used to attack gay men.
What is missing from all this sanctimonious cant is the fact that some adults and young people care so deeply about each other that they are willing to risk long prison sentences, social stigma and violence to make contact with each other. Morgan is right: sexuality and emotions cannot be separated from each other without doing something horrible to the human spirit. But whatever makes her think that tenderness is not present in cross-generational relationships? The shrink establishment used to say that about lesbian relationships – that they were hopelessly neurotic because two women couldn’t really love each other.
I think it is interesting that so much of the new, ostensibly feminist morality dovetails with the old, Judeo-Christian morality. The American left is used to dealing with its own sectarian elements. The women’s movement is not. But we do have a conservative wing that is trying to turn feminism into a campaign against pornography, boy-lovers, sadomasochists, drag queens, transsexuals and prostitutes. It cannot be mere coincidence that so many groups of people who have already been outlawed, depersonalised and termed sick are being turned into symbols of women’s oppression.’ [etc] (pp. 13-14)
Also on p. 13:
‘When is a Paedophile not a Paedophile? When she is a Woman’
‘I find my daughter movingly, passionately beautiful: when I see her running naked, or coiled sleeping, I feel something which is not (I hope) lust, but alarmingly akin to it – a physical delight and recognition: and a desire to elicit from her a similar response.”
Thus Sara Maitland, feminist and writer, in a new book on motherhood (Why Children? Edited by Stephanie Dowrick and Sibyl Grundberg, Women’s Press, 1980).
And they say only men are paedophiles. . .’
‘Is the Far East going West’, pp. 15-16, 22. Mentions Tom Faret of Norwegian paedophile group NAFP.
‘Even so, conditions in the slum districts made a deep impression on us. Birth control instruction is now given in the schools, but it is stil usual for there to be 8 – 10 children in a family. Consequently, it is common for several children to sleep in the same bed, and it is perhaps because of this that the Filippinos have a completely different and more natural outlook on physical contact than we are used to. All this, of course, contributes to the fact that prostitution is pretty widespread. Every hotel boy and taxi driver do their best to offer their “chicks” to tourists. Even the poshest hotel have their “massage ladies” – it’s just that the price is higher the posher you live. Call boys right down to 12 years of age offer their girl friends or themselves quite openly to tourists in Manilla.
For those not interested in commercial sex we would recommend a trip to one of the smaller towns in the Philippines where there are fewer tourists. Here it is easier to come into contact with the local population, and we found it quite easy to build a really friendly relationship in a very short time. We went to a town called Bacolod on the island of Nigros and stayed there for eight days. In this comparatively short time we became known to a large number of people of all ages and both sexes. The standard of the hotels is good and the prices are very low. We often invited a large number of our friends to dinner at a good restaurant; everyone ate and drank as much as they wanted to, and the bill was seldom more than 50 Kr. (£5.00). A single room at our hotel was about the same price. That we had many guests in our room caused no eye-brow raising. We were invited to the homes of the boys we knew best and met their parents and family. Apparently, the parents thought it was a great honour that their sons had become so well-known to us. They told us how clever junior was at giving “massages”. . .
No minimum age for sex, nor any anti-homosexual laws, in Philippines.
‘Lolita on Stage’, p. 21. About Edward Albee’s stage adaptation.
Issue No. 16, Autumn 1981
Cover – more clippings about trial.
‘Hackney’s Decent People’, p. 2
The dirty tricks brigade were out in force during the Greater London Council’s recent elections. Under the heading – A Warning to the Decent People of North Hackney. Do You Want a Pervert to Represent You at County Hall? – they leafleted the London borough with a crude piece of trash directed against the Labour candidate, Gerry Ross.
Gerry was said to have a “shady and sinister past,” to be a “prolific writer and advertiser in . . . . Magpie,” to be a “close acquaintance of tom O’Carroll,” and “constant companion of Peter Bremner.”
Peter, a member of PIE’s Executive Committee comments, “It’s a total fabrication, of course; a primitive attempt by the lunatic fringe of the right wing to smear Mr. Ross.” Was Gerry a constant companion? “I don’t think I’ve ever met him in my life, though I’d like to. Gerry Ross is a well-known councillor in Hackney, and I respect his political views. But I can understand his anger at the leaflet. It claims, in one forged news cutting, that he was a defendant at the first PIE trial and a second so-called cutting comes from a fictitious newspaper. Who wouldn’t be angry about that?”
The leaflet has been referred to the police for action on criminal libel. We are pleased to report that Gerry was elected councillor for North Hackney with a greatly increased majority.’ (p. 2)
‘Paradise Lost?’, pp. 3-4 (‘by a friend of PIE’)
On Sri Lanka.
With improved tourist facilities and cheap charter flights, more and more boy lovers have found their way to the island, spurred on in no small measure by its exposure as a BL paradise in such widely-circulated publications as SPARTACUS Gay Guide.
‘Predominantly now it was German tourists who came to find the boys for pleasure. And they came in their hundreds. Many acted with prudence, discretion and responsibility, but by no means all. It is a sad fact but it can be quite clearly understood that many of these sexually distraught boy lovers, with their frustrations bottled up inside them while in Europe, and with only one or two weeks to enjoy themselves, should fairly explode when they reached Sri Lanka and have sex and more sex with any boy who cared to come along (a tentative parallel could perhaps be drawn with sailors coming in on shore leave!) and, unaware of (or simply insensitive to) the cultural and economic gulf between them would shower money, cigarettes, watches and pocket calculators onto the boys. This easy money attracted more and more boys to follow tourists and to tout and pester them openly, and it seemed it would only be a matter of time before the authorities would have to act to prevent their precious tourists from this nuisance. Also, the blatant exhibitionism of the paedophile and gay tourist men and their boys offended the sensibilities of many local people. (Even I was guilty of that in the beginning, I’m Ashamed to admit.)
Well, it all began with the police arresting the boys and charging them with soliciting, or vagrancy. The topic began to be raised at international level in conferences on tourism. Remember that the western media had picked up on the item in Spartacus by John D. Stamford concerning the “rape of the third world”. In reply to one such question at a conference in Colombo, the Minister of State, Anandatissa deAlwis, tried to play it down with statements such as, “Why do tourists come here? Because there are beautiful girls and beautiful boys!” and “homosexuality existed here long before tourism”. However, his heroic stand was short-lived.’ (p. 3)
Tim Bond, c. 34, from Christian children’s welfare organisation, Terre des Hommes came with a copy of Spartacus Gay Guide. Then wrote a report in which he condemned boy prostitution.
‘By April the local press was beginning to quote that most illustrious of all newspapers(!), the News of the World, by merely repeating, with no first hand knowledge of the facts, the fetid headlines and verbiage. By early May they caught onto another NOTW slant: “PIE’S DIRTY EYE ON LANKA” proclaimed the WEEKEND newspaper; “HAVEN OF SIN” said CHIC on page 3 in two-inch block caps. In earlier months, the local papers had referred to European paeds honestly as “coming here to satisfy their sexual needs” (as opposed to the more British perverted lusts). I could read no real hostility between the lines. But now, in imitation of the British rags, sexual pleasure was being equated with evil and sin. The NOTW’s suggestion that PIE might have connections with the Mafia (Heaven forbid!) were given wide coverage in the press. Some of the NOTW’s other wild speculations were transcribed into fact by WEEKEND on May 10: “PIE is responsible for preparing hard core child porn films and distribution among members as well as assisting the membership to procure children for their activities. PIE is said to have been supplied with ‘snuff’ films, showing children sexually tortured to death, by the Mafia.” It made my stomach turn to read it. I am familiar enough with PIE to know that they would outright condemn any kind of sadism or violence against children. How can this be paedophilia – love of and for children? But with libellous and inflammatory statements such as these appearing in the national press, is it any wonder that all BL tourists would be treated with great suspicion?
Last year, a resident guest, known by most people as “Charles White” was brutally murdered in his home in Colombo. He was a boy lover and had many personal contacts around the world. WEEKEND, in referring to PIE, claims that the police in Colombo stumbled onto a link when they came across some letters in his home written in English and French to which he had replied about the possibilities of “perverted activity here”. Some of the letters were from Morocco, and it is alleged that some of his Moroccan contacts had connections with the Mafia and “international sex rings”. The report then admits that, in fact, no direct links with PIE were shown in the Colombo letters. [etc]
‘Gayle Rubin, ‘Sexual Politics: The New Right & The Sexual Fringe’, p. 5. Edited version of an article for The Leaping Lesbian
‘At a time when feminists are called lesbians, when homosexuals are portrayed as “child molesters”, and when “child molesters” are presented as the four horsemen of the apocalypse, it would seem suicidal to try to defend the more exotic sexual minorities.
I would like to argue the exact opposite. It has never been more imperative that the women’s and gay movements develop more sensitivity to the problems, humanity, and legitimate claims of stigmatised minorities. If not, we will be contributing to a sexual witch-hunt. The actions of the “pro-family” forces at Houston are only the most widely-publicised aspects of the current sexual reaction. A more subtle and insidious repression is occurring elsewhere. It is in the pattern of arrests as well as in the “results” of referenda. It is in the new laws to regulate pornography and sexual behaviour that have been speeding through legislative bodies. It is in the New Journalism of self-conceived sexual muck-raking.
Although the reaction is aimed at feminism and gay liberation, both the women’s and gay movements are relatively strong and enjoy some measure of popular support. Lovers of young people, and others, are easier targets. There has been a marked increase in the tempo of arrests for sex “offences”. Many people have lost jobs and face sentences ranging from minor to many years in prison. While feminists and garden-variety gays are not exactly secure, it has been the more legally-vulnerable, more stigmatised, and less easily-defended groups which have sustained the highest casualties.
The issue which exemplifies these trends most dramatically is that of sex between adults and young people. “Boy-love” seems to be for Anita Bryant what communism was to Joe McCarthy. Gay men are reluctant to defend paederasts for fear of being confused with them. Feminists are wary of the subject out of a concern to end the sexual abuse of young people, and out of an awareness of the ways in which social power infects intimate relationships, thus neither feminism nor gay liberation was prepared to respond when a national hysteria over the sex lives of the young developed in the months preceding the Miami vote.
The lack of sociological sophistication displayed by both the media and the police was unnerving. There was a lot of talk of “national conspiracies” to draft boys into white slavery. From such data as actually appeared, it could be deduced that the “conspiracy” consisted primarily of the kind of contacts through ads, letters, and word of mouth, which characterises virtually every sexual sub-culture in the country. The “national conspiracy” was no more than the rudimentary social organisation of a sexual sub-group. By such criteria, the personal ads in “The New York Review of Books” would constitute a national conspiracy.
The campaign may have increased public awareness over the real abuse and exploitation to which many young people are subjected, but the most visible and immediate results were considerable less salutory [sic]. The media campaign shared with the sex statutes the concept that sex in general, and homosexuality in particular, are inimical to the well-being of the young. By emphasising “protection” of the young and ignoring the rights of the young, the campaign undoubtedly set back the aspirations of youth liberation. Youth liberation has argued for some time that young people should have the right to have sex as well as not to have it, and with whom they choose. The statutory structure of the sex laws has been identified as oppressive and insulting to young people. A range of sexual activities are legally defined as “molestation”, regardless of the quality of the relationship or the amount of consent involved. A crackdown on statutory molestation is not the best way to defend the rights of youth.
The incipient political mobilisation of paedophiles has been another victim. Over the last few years there have been occasional articles in the gay press which claim that most relationships between men and boys are consensual, loving, and beneficial to the young people involved. It has been argued that such relationships are to be distinguished from abuse, just as rape is to be distinguished from love in other contexts. There are journals of paedophile liberation, out of print classics of boy-love are being reprinted. . .
The “kiddie porn” campaign made the position of this movement rather untenable, and it manipulate concern over the welfare of young people to rationalise new legal attacks upon sexuality. Politicians cannot afford to oppose much of the new legislation, but groups like ACLU have criticised many of the proposed laws for containing dangerous restrictions on civil liberties and freedom of expression.
The recent career of boy-love in the public mind should serve as an alert that the self-interests of the feminist and gay movements are linked to simple justice for stigmatised sexual minorities. Such groups have been mobilising in the margins of the sexual left for some time, but their presence can no longer be ignored nor their claims dismissed.
There are also other reasons why we should pay attention to stigmatised sexual expression. For the existence of political organisations for groups like paedophiles is a manifestation of a deeper change. An increase in sexual awareness is evident from the imagery of movies, music and advertising, and this imagery is now diversifying. There have been TV programmes with lesbians, gay men, trans-sexuals and prostitutes. Ads play upon semi-conscious fantasy, and new wave rock characteristically celebrates, among other things, sex offenders, transvestitism, and anal sex.
Some of this newer erotic imagery can be attributed to the reaction against feminism, as for instance the ads which suggest violence against women. But much of it represents a return of some of the diversity of human sexuality from the shadows to which it has been banished. This return of the repressed contains a lot of untamed energy, some of which is feeding the wave of sexual reaction we have witnessed in recent months. Thus far, it has been primarily the Right which has responded to this profusion of erotic form, but it would be a great loss to leave it to the reactionaries to orchestrate a societal response to this widening of sexual consciousness. The women’s movement has always been suspicious of sex, and for good reason, since sexuality is the locus through which women’s oppression is managed. But rational paranoia can easily become a form of erotophobia.
The sexual fringe is a scary place, and those who do not live there are advised that it is a dangerous place to visit. But the fringe is also a repository for various examples of sexual expression which have been rejected by society. Much of it is worth reclaiming, and there is so much to learn out on the fringe. Both the mobilisation of the sexual fringe, and the increasing politicisation of sexuality challenge feminism to develop a politics which can be pro-sex while remaining anti-sexist. (p. 5)
John Parratt (Warren Middleton), ‘As Much A Martyr as Wilde: An Account of the PIE Re-Trial and the Imprisonment of Tom O’Carroll’, pp. 6-8
‘By repeatedly narrowing the line of fire, these too, were clearly favourable to the prosecution and had the added effect of excising any possible mention of Sir Peter Hayman, Britain’s former High Commissioner to Canada who, under the pseudonym of ‘Henderson’, had been a member of PIE. Whether this was done by accident or design we shall probably never know.’ (p. 6)
Other names of PIE members
Michael Dagnall (former editor of Magpie)
D.B. had also been an editor of contact pages
And Trevor Wade, who had been acquitted.
David Grove, former secretary
Peter Bremner, ‘Tom in Prison’, p. 8
Issue No. 17. Spring 1982
Peter Saxon, ‘PIE Goes to Paris’, p. 3.
On the paedophile movement in France – GRED (Groupe de Recherche pour une Enfance Differente)
‘International Cooperation’, p. 5
GRED keen to establish greater contact between paedophile groups in different countries.
Mentions that possibly paedophile groups will be represented at this year’s conference of ILIS (International Lesbian Sisterhood)
John Finnin, ‘Zambia – a first glimpse’
Picture of a young Zambian boy – maybe about 5-6.
‘Scores of children walk barefoot in the streets, the wiser ones selling cigarettes or local curios which, more than likely, have been stolen or come by illegally. Their features are ebony black with high cheekbones and a stratling smile with rows of pearly white teeth.’
‘Boys of all ages can be seen daily in the big cities holding hands and caressing one another openly. This has no sexual overtones, but is generally regarded as displaying affection, and is looked upon as healthy. At times one can see grown men displaying similar actions.
By the time they have reached puberty, boys in most parts of the bush must go through an initiation ceremony which involves circumcision. [etc]
‘Boys often have sex with each other. It is considered natural, and not unusual to see two youngsters masturbating each other quietly behind their hut, or at the side of a dirt track road deep in the bush. Boys often walk about with their hands in one another’s pockets. It is not too difficult to imagine that fathers sleep with their sons and older men with other boys.
Thank God that the paranoia nad hysteria of the western culture towards sex among the young and old alike has not yet reached Zambia.’
Editorial: ‘The Spartacus strategy’, pp. 7, 24
Spartacus is a gay soft porn company based in the Netherlands. Publish magazine, non-pornographic, PAN.
Suspicious towards PIE.
Jane Rule, ‘making ADULTS easier to seduce’, pp. 8, 19. Lesbian writer, born Plainfield, NJ, 1931.
‘As a society we are so fearful of sexual initiation we pretend that by ignoring it, it will not take place. What we really want is not to know when or how it odes. We no longer frighten our children with threats of insanity and death as results of masturbation. It is, instead, clumped with picking one’s nose, belching, farting – something not to be done in public, by implication not to be done by nice people at all – but we give our children enough privacy so that the guilty pleasure can be discovered and practised not only alone but in the company of other unsupervised children. Children caught may be shamed, the more sexually aggressive children ostracised, but it is not, as it used to be, a cause of brutal retribution.
If we viewed sex as a basic appetite normally satisfied and gradually cultivated, we would not need to keep our children isolated and in ignorance for so long, building in them what we have ourselves experienced: intense fear and desire which, so long uninstructed, produce dangerous stupidity. Of course we don’t want dangerously stupid adults initiating our children. Fear of that leaves the children to themselves, not out of our conviction that children are, in this matter, the best teachers, but by default. We have so little trust in what we have to teach that we not only abdicate our responsibility, but label criminal any adult who might attempt instruction.
There are adults who do sexually exploit, damage and kill children. It makes no more sense to deal with the question by taking them as the norm than it would to take rapists as the norm for heterosexual relationships between adults. To say that any sexual activity between adults and children is exploitative because of the superior size and power of the adult is really to acknowledge that, overall, relationships between children and adults are unequal. Why we feel more concerned over children’s sexual dependence than over their physical, emotional and intellectual dependence says more about us as sexual incompetents than as responsible adults. (p. 8)
We must also examine the motives of all interaction between adults and children – how much has ever been done “for their own good”, how much we simply reinforce our own values – before we are too purely suspicious of anything but disinterested altruism in adults who relate to children.
More important than judging the quality of other people’s experience and relationships is the exercise of our own memories. Certainly my own initiation came long before I was legally adult. Though a number of males around my own age offered to participate, a woman ten years my senior was “responsible”, at my invitation and encouragement. The only fault I find with that part of my sexual education was the limit her guilt and fear put on our pleasure, the heterosexual pressure even she felt required to put on me. What she did “for my own good” caused both of us pain. If I were to improve on that experience now, it would not be to protect children from adult seduction but to make adults easier to seduce, less burdened with fear or guilt, less defended by hypocrisy.
If we accepted sexual behaviour between children and adults, we would be far more able to protect our children from abuse and exploitation than we are now. They would be free to tell us, as they can about all kinds of other experiences, what is happening to them and to have our sympathy and support instead of our mute and mistrustful terror. There are a thousand specific questions, all hard to answer, but we can’t begin dealing with them until our basic attitude changes.
Children are sexual, and it is up to us to take responsibility for their real education. They have been exploited and betrayed long enough by our silence.’ (p. 19)
‘Tom: Attacked Three Times in Three Weeks While Under Protection’, p. 9
Roger Nash, ‘How NZ Truth Killed Gavin Mitchell’, pp. 10-11.
Piece on Brooke Shields and nude photos of her in the bath when she was 10 – a 1 000 000 dollar damages claim brought by actress and her mother against photographer Garry Gross, who took the photos in 1975 for a Playboy Press book Sugar and Spice.
Judge dismissed suggestions that pics were pornographic. P. 11.
Various other pieces. Big interview reprinted from Australian gay magazine CAMPAIGN, interview with 12-year old boy, pp. 16-19.