Antony Grey and the Sexual Law Reform Society 2

A few articles were published by Dominic Kennedy in The Times in August of this year, relating to Antony Grey. I reproduce them here. One of them deals in particular with Grey’s role in the publication in the UK of J.Z. Eglinton’s book Greek Love (New York: Oliver Layton Press, 1964). Eglinton, whose real name was Walter Breen, was associated with NAMBLA, and was convicted for child molestation as early as 1954, then on various later occasions (involving boys aged 10 and above). This book is an absolutely key text in the paedophile canon.


The Times
, July 23rd, 2014
Dominic Kennedy, ‘How paedophiles gained access to establishment by work with the young; Child sex campaigners boasted the education system could not cope without them’

Paedophiles became so entrenched in jobs working with children in the 1970s that one of their leaders suggested that if they staged a national strike many schools would close.

Campaigners openly admitted that men who were sexually attracted to children were being employed as teachers, clergymen, scoutmasters and youth workers.

The campaign to legalise sex at all ages gained access to the establishment via apparently progressive organisations such as mental health groups and gay and civil rights campaigns.

The evidence has emerged as the government prepares a national inquiry into historical child abuse.

The Times has discovered that childsex campaigners and doctors admitted that many paedophiles had found jobs working with children. Paedophile groups also wooed government-funded charities so that they could gain access to opinion formers. They also invented a “children’s rights” movement, campaigning on issues such as corporal punishment, as a cover for their real purpose of decriminalising sex between adults and children.

Roger Moody, writing for a magazine published by the campaign group Paedophile Awareness and Liberation (PAL), stated: “If all paedophiles in community schools or private schools were to strike, how many would be forced to close, or at least alter their regimes?”

In a factsheet prepared by the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), the organisation observed that teachers, clergymen, scoutmasters and youth workers were particularly prone to “child love”. It said: “Paedophiles are naturally drawn to work involving children, for which many of them have extraordinary talent and devotion (often they are also the ones the children value most). If this field were to be ‘purged’, there would be a damaging reduction of people left to do the work.”

Maurice Yaffe, a senior clinical psychologist, identified the same four professions in an article for a medical pamphlet, saying “it is fair to say that a high proportion will have sought out positions” in these fields.

The government-funded Albany Trust, a counselling service, was used by paedophile campaigners to gain access to influential people in society. “Recent talks with the Albany Trust have proved useful in a number of ways,” said an article in PAL’s newsletter, seen by The Times. “Firstly, the trust’s present policies are such that their co-operation has more to offer PAL than groups interested only in homosexuality. Secondly, the trust is in a position to provide useful contacts with other groups and organisations. [We will continue] to work with the Albany Trust in the coming months, and we are confident that this will not only be of great value to PAL and its members, but also as regards furthering the understanding and acceptance of paedophilia amongst non-paedophiles.”

This lobbying strategy bore fruit when Antony Grey, the director of the Albany Trust, privately urged Ben Whitaker, the former Labour MP for Hampstead, author and fellow executive member of the National Council for Civil Liberties, to discuss child sex at a forthcoming meeting with the chairman of WH Smith.

“I feel very strongly that Smiths should be called on to justify their attitude and not merely to use the word ‘paedophilia’ as a dirty brush with which to smear … anyone,” Mr Grey told Mr Whitaker. There is no reply in the archive. Albany Trust now says that it disassociates itself from organisations promoting child sex abuse.

PAL warned its subscribers “to use the utmost discretion in any communication with us” because police might seize their mail.

PIE was introduced to Albany Trust by the mental health charity Mind. The director of Mind at the time was also a senior figure in the NCCL, which accepted PIE and PAL as members. Mind has apologised.

PIE was helped by Release, the drug users’ charity. A submission from PIE to the Home Office, arguing for the decriminalisation of sex with children, gave Release’s offices as PIE’s holding address. Release said that it was “shocked and deeply upset that there was, or could have been, any connection between our work and the repugnant activities and despicable views promoted by PIE”.

An edition of PIE’s newsletter includes an art review by Christopher Bradbury-Robinson, a former head of English at a Home Counties preparatory school, describing “the eroticism of paedophilia … the yearning to touch the untouched”. Bradbury-Robinson became an author and friend of the novelist William Burroughs. Often mentioned in articles promoting paedophilia was Michael Ingram, a Catholic monk who portrayed himself as an expert in counselling and child sex, but was convicted in 2000 of sex offences against six boys during that era. He died after crashing his car into a wall.

The Labour MP Jo Richardson sent a supportive message to a PIE journal Childhood Rights saying that she supported its campaign against corporal punishment.

PIE infiltrated the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and PIE’s leader tabled a successful motion at its 1975 conference. He said that it was “absurd” for it to disassociate itself from paedophilia because there were “many gay paedophiles” inside and outside of the campaign group.

dkennedy@thetimes.co.uk

Who’s who from the era of misguided civil rights

Tony Smythe
(above) The national director of Mind, the mental health charity and a former general secretary of the National Council for Civil Liberties.

Antony Grey
director of the Albany Trust, secretary of Homosexual Law Reform Society, a member of the executives of the NCCL, Defence of Literature and the Arts Society and British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Ben Whitaker
The first Labour MP for Hampstead (1966-1970). Executive director of Minority Rights Group. Head of George Orwell Memorial Trust. NCCL executive. Author. He was lobbied by Antony Grey to urge WH Smith, the newsagent, to stop using ‘ “paedophilia’ as a dirty brush with which to smear” anyone.

Christopher “CJ” Bradbury-Robinson
PIE magazine arts reviewer. Former prep school teacher. His friend William Burroughs referred to Bradbury-Robinson’s “sexual interest in small boys” in his introduction to a novel.

Michael Ingram
(below) Catholic monk who sent message of support to PIE’s magazine Childhood Rights. His purported research into child sexuality was taken seriously by experts in the 1970s but he was later exposed as a serial abuser of boys, jailed and died after crashing his car.

Jo Richardson
Feminist Labour MP. She thanked Childhood Rights for sending her a copy: “Of course I’ll support the campaign against corporal punishment,” she wrote.

GRAPHIC: Outraged women greet members of the Paedophile Information Exchange arriving for their first open meeting in London in 1977 with a barrage of eggs
NEVILLE MARRINER / REX FEATURES

Mary Whitehouse, the morality campaigner, delivers a 1.5 million signature petition against child sexual abuse to Downing St in 1978. Ben Whitaker, the Labour MP, campaigning in Hampstead with Catherine Jay, Judy Todd and Helen Jay, was an associate of Antony Grey


The Times
, July 22nd, 2014
Dominic Kennedy, ‘Trust head helped edit book about sex with boys’

The head of a charity that received a government education grant secretly helped to edit a book about sex between boys and men, The Times can disclose.

Antony Grey, who was director of the Albany Trust, which provides counselling for homosexuals, protested his innocence when the morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse accused him of using taxpayers’ money to promote paedophilia. He omitted to disclose that he had already helped to produce the UK edition of Greek Love, a book by the American paedophile Walter Breen, who would eventually die in prison.

The book was on a recommended reading list issued by the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).

The Department for Education said yesterday that it would look into what payments were made to the trust, after The Times told it that the organisation reported receiving thousands of pounds a year in funding. It stated that in the late 1970s it was receiving money from the Home Office and what was then the Department of Education and Science.

Theresa May, the home secretary, published an independent investigation this month after it was realised that the Home Office had given grants to the trust. The review was unable to allay fears that some of the government funding may have been spent supporting the PIE campaign to legalise sex between children and adults.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: “We will look in to the question of whether the department funded Albany Trust in the 1970s.”

The trust first came under the spotlight when Mrs Whitehouse claimed in a speech that it had been using grants to support paedophile groups. Mr Grey denied that any public money had been given to paedophiles.

He said in an article that he had attended a workshop by the charity Mind where a paedophile spoke “openly and bravely about his life situation”. He omitted to mention that the speaker was Keith Hose, the chairman of PIE.

PIE was affiliated to the influential National Council for Civil Liberties, whose executive included Mr Grey and Tony Smythe, the director of Mind.

Records seen by The Times show that the publisher Neville Armstrong wrote to Mr Grey in 1969 about Greek Love, a treatise about men having sex with boys written by Breen, a convicted paedophile, under the pseudonym J Z Eglinton. Breen died in 1993 while serving a ten-year sentence for child molesting. Mr Armstrong said he accepted Mr Grey’s editing suggestions. Mr Grey told the publisher: “Greek Love has caused me to rethink some of my own basic attitudes to human sexuality.”

The trust also proposed to publish a pamphlet about paedophiles which stated that they “represent no special threat to society”. It was abandoned after Angela Willans, a trustee who was the Woman’s Own agony aunt, saw a draft and branded it monstrous.

The Albany Trust said: “Albany Trust wishes to make it clear it entirely dissociates itself from any organisation promoting the sexual abuse of children. Albany’s counselling services continue to provide much-needed support for individuals from all backgrounds, across the spectrum of sexuality.”

It said that the trust adhered to a professional code of ethics.


Antony Grey and the Sexual Law Reform Society 1

This is a first post giving more information about Antony Grey (1927-2010) and his relationship to the paedophile movement. Time does not permit a detailed exegesis of Grey’s life and work (this will have to wait for a later date), I am simply posting here a relevant section from his book Quest for Justice, and some articles about the Sexual Law Reform Society (SLRS) with which he was involved. In another source which I have, Grey makes clear his and some other members of the SLRS’s dislike for the whole concept of an age of consent; I will print this in a later post, whilst such a view is quite clear in the last articles published here. The SLRS was linked to the Albany Trust, who funded the Paedophile Information Exchange ; articles about this can be found here and here. Obituaries of Grey can be read here and here. The Antony Grey papers are indexed here and can be accessed at the LSE library; links here and here give pointers to where more information relating to PIE might be found. The speaker at the MIND conference referenced would have been Keith Hose, then chairman of the Paedophile Information Exchange (my thanks to Matt Lilleker for pointing out the omission of this information in an earlier draft).

My immense thanks to Daniel de Simone for locating the articles on the Sexual Law Reform Society.

Antony Grey, Quest for Justice: Towards Homosexual Emancipation (London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1992)

In September 1975 I attended, together with the Albany Trust’s incoming Chairman, Harold Haywood, a seminar on sexual minorities and their problems which had been organised by MIND. One of the speakers was a young man in his early twenties who described in a very courageous and moving way his experiences, thoughts and feelings as a paedophile [4]. Afterwards, Mr Haywood said to me that, of all sexual minorities paedophiles were the most misunderstood, execrated and doom-laden; and that the Albany Trust had a moral duty to see whether anything could be done to help those who carried this heavy burden to live more at peace with themselves within the law.

I agreed with him; and, although I was already worried at the increasing diversification of the Trust’s interests, and the growing workload bearing upon the few of us working full time for it, I arranged for a few private discussions to be held at the Trust’s office between psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers whom I knew to be concerned with paedophiles in their professional work, to explore with them the nature and availability of support needed. I also invited some paedophiles to join in these talks, including the young man who had spoken at the MIND conference and other members of the newly-formed (and ill-fated) Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) and another group, PAL (Paedophile Action for Liberation). [5]

These meetings were in accord with the philosophy and policy of the Trust as an educating and helping agency. One of the possibilities discussed was the provision by the professionals of a support group for lonely, isolated and frightened paedophiles; another was the joint production by the group (including its professional members) of a ‘Questions and Answers’ booklet on paedophilia, to be published by the Albany Trust. A drafting committee [6] produced a text, but the Trustees could not agree on it, so the project was dropped. The Trustees decided that, apart from public educational work, any Albany Trust supportive help for paedophiles, including counselling, should be linked to the NACRO sex offenders’ project. I never thought, and did not intend, that paedophilia should become a major focus of the Trust’s work; but it seemed to me – and still does – a legitimate area of potential counselling support and social concern to explore.

I did not foresee what a minefield we were walking into. Years previously, Tony Dyson had said to me that paedophilia was an issue which would not be sensibly confronted by society in the foreseeable future: how right he was.

PIE and PAL were radical in style, fashioned in the mould of the Gay Liberation Front. As one of PIE’s leading lights, Tom O’Carroll (who was subsequently imprisoned for ‘conspiracy to corrupt public morals’) later said, the Albany Trust’s respectable, sober-suited persuasive lobbying tactics of ‘doing good by stealth’ did not appeal to PIE:

There was no way in which we in PIE were going to go through all that palaver. . . . We were just not prepared to wait for decades of centuries before declaring ourselves. It just wasn’t in our nature. Instead, we naïvely supposed we could be both open and play the lobbying, PR game to some extent; we thought we could manipulate the Establishment and find allies within it, simultaneously with being the ogres of the popular press and the Church-based reactionaries like the Festival of Light. [7]

PIE’s mistake, O’Carroll admitted, was to believe that having identified their visible enemies they would still find elsewhere ‘if not friends, then at least rational, liberally-minded people’. They did not expect The Guardian to react to the notion of paedophilia in the same way as The News of the World.

The Albany Trust’s mistake was to be willing to behave as rational, liberally-minded people towards PIE and PAL, and so to expose ourselves to violent attacks from the ‘moral majority’ upon the Trust’s hard-won credibility.

In the first (autumn 1976) issue of its broadsheet, AT Work the Trust mentioned the meetings we had convened ‘to discuss possible ways of providing supportive help for paedophiles who feel themselves to be in need of it’. In the context of the Trust’s counselling activities, fully detailed elsewhere in AT Work, the meaning of this phrase was perfectly clear. In the same issue I reviewed a new book on paedophilia, The Forbidden Love. [8] Although the authors (one of them, a Jungian psychiatrist, was a friend of mine) took no exception to what I wrote, it greatly incensed the Responsible Society, who described it as ‘aggressive’ – presumably because I had said that the Victorian assumption that childhood and sexuality were mutually exclusive could no longer be sustained without question: commonplace enough notion in the 1970s, I should have thought.

In the summer of 1976 I had spoken (in my capacity as Honorary Secretary of the Sexual Law Reform Society) about the age of consent at a National Council of Social Service Women’s Forum; and in October I addressed a meeting arranged by the National Council of Voluntary Youth Organisations on the same topic Present at the latter meeting was Mrs Riches of the Responsible Society, who voiced her strong disapproval of the SLRS’ proposals. [9] Over lunch I vainly tried to convince her that we were as anxious as she was to protect and guide young people during their formative years of growing up, but without making them or their consenting partners into criminals.

A few weeks later, on 24 November 1976, a violent storm burst around the Albany Trust. Mrs Mary Whitehouse, honorary General Secretary of The National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association, got shockwaves of national publicity for her claim (in a speech to a ‘Christian Lunch and Dinner Clubs’ meeting at Central Hall, Westminster) that the Albany Trust – which she described as ‘the homosexual lobby front runner’ – was using its public funds to

‘support paedophile groups’ so that ‘we are all subsidising and supporting, at least indirectly, a cause which seeks to normalise sexual attraction and activity between adult males and little girls’.

And she began her reference to the Albany Trust’s public funding by pointedly remarking, ‘One constantly has to ask oneself – does the right hand of the Government know what the left hand is doing? And I MEAN the left hand!’

Her allegations were groundless. All that the Trust had actually done was to invite half a dozen paedophiles to contribute their points of view at some private meetings held under our auspices with medical and social work professionals. The ‘public funding’ which they had received from the Albany Trust amounted to a few cups of tea. However, PIE had bought from the SLRS a single copy of the Speijer Report, which they proceeded – without our knowledge or permission – to photocopy and sell for £1.

My immediate reaction to Mrs Whitehouse’s speech was that it must have been made on the basis of misinformation; and I believed that she should naturally wish to make a public correction when she realised that what she had said was false. The Trustees were legally advised that her words were defamatory, but did not wish to resort to a court action. A carefully drafted letter [See Appendix 3] was therefore sent to Mrs Whitehouse, listing the numerous errors of fact in her speech and requesting her to make a public withdrawal of what she had said. Despite several requests for an answer, the Trust never received one. And though we did not publish the contents of our letter until the summer of 1977, extracts from it had by then been printed in Mrs Whitehouse’s book, Whatever Happened to Sex.

In the House of Commons a number of parliamentary questions concerning the Albany Trust were tabled. Sir Bernard Braine MP alleged that the Trust was using public funds to ‘support’ PIE. His ‘reasons’ were that PIE had sold photocopies of the Albany Trust-annotated translation of the Speijer Report for £1 each; and that under my Directorship the Trust had ‘openly campaigned’ for reduction of the age of consent.

I wrote to Sir Bernard Braine telling him that what he had said under the cover of Parliamentary privilege was totally without foundation, and asking him to withdraw it. He sent me a forceful letter repeating his assertions and full of underlined questions such as ‘May I ask if you are the Mr Grey who spoke at these meetings?’ I replied pointing out the errors in his attach, and stated:

I do not approve of paedophile practices. I do not favour the social acceptance of paedophilia. I do not belong to or support PIE. I disagree with PIE’s aims, pronouncements and activities. I would not advocate or support any changes in the law other than those proposed in the enclosed Sexual Law Reform Society’s report. [I added] Just as I suppose you have done, I have participated in many hundreds of meetings during my working life where numerous bodies with whom I quite violently disagreed were represented – but nobody has ever before accused me of holding views which I in fact reprobate because I have sat round a table and engaged in dialogue.

I heard nothing more from Sir Bernard Braine.

In its autumn 1977 Broadsheet the Festival of Light castigated PIE, and referred to the Albany Trust as ‘a sympathetic and related body’ – a description which they later withdrew following a strong protest from the Trust’s new Chairman, Rodney Bennett-England (practically all of whose time was by now occupied in dealing with anxious enquires from ministers and Government funding bodies about the Trust’s allegedly nefarious activities).

Others, however, were unwilling to retract their twisted versions of the Trust’s views and conduct, so Bennett-England eventually wrote a letter to The Times in January 1978 complaining that for some time the Albany Trust had been the victim of ‘a particularly vicious campaign’ and was ‘completely powerless’ to defend itself against a barrage of MPs’ questions. He was promptly answered by the Responsible Society’s chairman, who reiterated that the Trust had given PIE ‘encouragement and assistance’, and that it was ‘clearly linked’ with the English translation of the Speijer Report (‘a document which seeks to justify adult sexual gratification with minors’). Bennett-England sent a reply which did not get published, pointing out that the Speijer Report’s proposal was to reduce the Dutch age of consent for homosexual behaviour to sixteen; not to legalise paedophile relationships. [12] Further private correspondence between the two chairmen failed to shake the Responsible Society’s conviction that the Albany Trust condoned child-molesting.

Mrs Whitehouse took up the cudgels again the correspondence columns of The Guardian, declaring that ‘for Rodney Bennett-England to deny an association between the Albany Trust and PIE is to move the debate into such a realm of unreality as to make rational argument impossible’, to which he retorted ‘it is she who makes rational argument impossible by refusing to accept the truth if it doesn’t suit her purpose.’

Echoes of the conflict continued to reverberate around the country for several months, surfacing in a variety of parish magazines and local newspapers and causing the Albany Trust an enormous amount of extra work and worry. One such article, called Gay is Sad – and Bad which appeared in a West Country parish magazine early in 1978, claimed that:

‘the Government has made available large sums of public money to organisations which exist to promote homosexuality and are sympathetic to paedophilia (sexual interference with children)’, and accused the Albany Trust of being ‘aggressively sympathetic to paedophilia,’ of ‘spreading the message that homosexual activity is normal and natural and the equivalent of sexual intercourse’, and of labelling adolescents as ‘teenage gay people’, ‘long before they have the opportunity to develop fully, thereby possibly inhibiting the maturing process to heterosexuality.’

This sensational piece was prominently featured in the local press. Fortunately the Bishop of Malmesbury, who (as he wrote to Bennett-England) had always had a considerable regard for the Albany Trust’s work, and was puzzled and concerned at the sudden spate of adverse publicity which it was attracting, sent a copy of the newspaper to the Trust. Bennett-England had a letter published setting the record straight, and received a handsome apology from the clergyman who wrote the parish item. In a letter also published in the local press, he said:

These allegations [against the Albany Trust] were not manufactured here at my desk. I took them word for word, from a source which one would naturally have supposed to be entirely reliable and trustworthy. Nevertheless, I now contrast the fact that Rodney Bennett-England has set out the Albany Trust’s position clearly and openly with the insistence of my own source that on no account must it be revealed. I must, therefore, prefer the former; and I do so readily and completely.

One can see his point. After all, God made no bones about telling Moses who had inscribed the Tablets of Stone on the mountain.

Looking back upon this sorry episode more than a decade later I am still distastefully perturbed by the way in which such fierce attacks were launched upon the Albany Trust upon such flimsy grounds, and were persisted in even when the Trust repeatedly exposed the falseness of the allegations against it. The chorus of misrepresentations inside and outside Parliament undoubtedly influenced the newly elected Thatcher government to cut off the Albany Trust’s public funding at the end of 1979. Repeated requests for face-to-face meetings at which our real views and actions could be explained to our accusers in a friendly manner were stonily ignored. An appeal by me to Lord Longford to see fair play met only with the plaintive reply that he liked both me and Mary Whitehouse very much, and that she was ‘a Good Christian Woman’.

The protection of children concerns everyone of good will in our society. Children most certainly do need protecting – not only from physical abuse and emotional cruelty, but also from simplistic beliefs which ignore the complexities of living and loving and which see human sexuality through a glass, darkly. The young are not benefited by assiduous efforts to discredit those of us who work for a society with a compassionately balanced and mature approach to sex, a facet of life so crucial to human happiness.

(pp. 208-215)

4. Paedophilia is a much misused word. Its accurate meaning is emotional and physical attraction towards, and feelings of lover for, pre-pubertal children. Emotional paedophilia does not always result in sexual activity between a paedophile and a child-object of his or her affections. However, popular usage of ‘paedophile’ as meaning a sexual molester or abuser of children has made realistic discussion of paedophilia extremely difficult.
5. Pilloried by the Sunday People as ‘the Vilest Men in Britain’.
6. Of which I was not a member.
7. Tom O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case (Peter Owen Publisher, London, 1980, pp. 219-20.
8. W. Kraemer, R. Gordon, M. Williams, K. Lambert, The Forbidden Love. The Normal and Abnormal Love of Children (Sheldon Press, 1976).
9. See chapter XX, below.
10. See Appendix 3.
11. Wayland, 1977.
12. The Responsible Society’s dim view of the Speijer Report was not shared by the Criminal Law Revision Committee and its Policy Advisory Committee, who referred to the Report several times, in appreciative terms, in their review of the law on sexual offences (see chapter XX). Presumably they too used the SLRS translation.


The Times
, January 22nd, 1970
Clifford Longley, ‘Reforming the law on sexual misconduct’

Times 021270 - Reforming the law on sexual misconduct


The Times
, July 6th, 1972
Basil Gingell, ‘Dr Robinson puts case for age of consent to be 14’

Times 060772


The Guardian
, July 6th, 1972
‘Sex and the law’

Guardian 060772


The Guardian
, September 5th, 1974
Michael De-La-Noy, ‘Rights and Wrongs’

Guardian 050974


The Guardian
, September 6th, 1974
Timothy Beaumont, ‘Sex and a single mind’

Guardian 060974


The Times
, September 6th, 1974
‘Report calls for age of consent to be 14 and repeal of laws on pornography’

Times 060974


The Times
, January 22nd, 1976
Ronald Butt, ‘Who really wants a change in the age of consent?’

Times 220176 - Who really wants a change in the age of consent


The Times
, January 26th, 1976
Tim Beaumont, ‘Age of Consent’

Times 260176 - Age of consent


The Independent
, January 24th, 1994
Antony Grey, ‘Old enough to choose; The age of consent does not help young people who need protection, not punishment’

I WELCOME the prospect that Parliament will soon equalise the age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual behaviour. The law bears especially harshly upon young men who engage in homosexual lovemaking, since those under 21 are still frequently prosecuted for such activities, even though under-age girls commit no offence by consenting to sex with a man. Successful prosecutions for consenting homosexual behaviour that breached the 21 age limit averaged 280 over the six years to 1991, and resulting prison sentences averaged 28 a year, so there is significant hardship – and, I would maintain, injustice.

Equalising the ages of consent must be the most immediate consideration. Ultimately, though, it would be desirable to rethink the whole legal concept of an age of consent to sexual activity and consider a completely new framework. This would give effective protection to those below the age of majority (18), without punishing them for behaviour to which – however unwisely – they have consented.

In 1974 the Sexual Law Reform Society’s Working Party, of which I was secretary, submitted a memorandum to the Criminal Law Revision Committee in which we endorsed the view of our then chairman, the late Bishop John Robinson, that the law’s proper function in relation to personal behaviour is ”not to prohibit but to protect, not to enforce morals but to safeguard persons, their privacies and freedoms”. We argued that it would be in the public interest to abolish ”sexual offences” as a separate category – because all sexual behaviour that merited punishment could be classified as an assault, a breach of protective provisions for children or others in a state of dependence, or an offensive nuisance to third parties.

The working party – which included church people, doctors, lawyers and politicians – concluded after extensive discussion that the traditional framework of an ”age of consent” was a hindrance, not a help, to the effective protection of young people. We reasoned that it is a legal fiction: either someone is a willing partner to a sexual act, whatever their age, or they are not. If they have consented to what they were doing and understood the consequences of their consent, this could be proved in court if necessary; and for the law to treat them as being incapable of giving such consent introduces an element of unreality into the proceedings which is confusing, harmful and in no one’s best interests.

We recognised, however, that as well as punishing those who interfere with or abuse young people sexually, the law may need to protect young people whose sexual behaviour is potentially damaging to themselves or to others. We recommended an ”age of protection” up to the legal age of majority (18), with appropriate civil and social, not criminal, sanctions. If the age of consent was not abolished, we urged that it should be fixed at 14 for both heterosexual and homosexual behaviour.

The CLRC responded by saying that it, too, saw the proper function of the law in sexual matters as protective rather than punitive, but opted to keep an age of consent on the grounds that it was necessary for legal certainty. It was also preoccupied by the ”psychological harm” it believes ”premature” sexual intercourse, heterosexual and homosexual, inflicts on youngsters.

I do not believe these arguments were convincing or conclusive; and I still think we must replace the whole concept of an age of consent with something more realistic, humane and useful for the 21st century.

Certainly there must first be a period of discussion to encourage public recognition of some obvious facts. First, ”ages of consent” do not provide effective protection to those who are sexually active below them; they frequently bring great misery and disruption into the lives of such young people. Second, older men and women who sexually pressurise, interfere with or abuse youngsters can be adequately deterred and punished through other, mostly existing, legal provisions.

Britain in the Nineties is still a very sex-negative society. The ceaseless media chatter (much of it prurient and intrusive) about peoples’ sex lives may seem to contradict this. But many who work in the health education and counselling fields agree that there is an enormous amount of sexual unease and unwarranted guilt around sexuality, much of it resulting from social pressures that demand conformity to outdated ”norms”.

No society can do away with all standards and controls, and a total sexual free-for-all would probably produce even more unhappiness (a prime argument of those who oppose any relaxation of laws concerning sex). But good personal and ethical standards and considerate behaviour towards others are not as closely bound up with legal controls as traditional moralists would argue. As the Wolfenden Committee said in its 1957 report, such views exaggerate the effect of the law on human behaviour; the law itself, it said, probably makes little difference to the amount of (homo) sexual behaviour that actually occurs.

Personal standards of morality and behaviour are the outcome of a socialising process that begins at birth; they are the product of a lifetime’s education in wise choice-making, rather than of legal finger-wagging. In a newspaper interview before she became prime minister, Margaret Thatcher wisely observed: ”Free choice is ultimately what life is about, what ethics is about . . . Do away with choice and you do away with human dignity.”

That, in a nutshell, is the case for replacing the ”age of consent” with protective provisions that pay more respect to the personal choices (including those which others think are mistaken) of adolescents in their growing-up years. By regarding and treating adolescents too much as if they were overgrown children, rather than as young adults, society makes a rod for its back which manifests itself in juvenile delinquency and teenage tearaways.

If we don’t take teenagers seriously, why should they take us seriously? In a recent survey of 146 sixth-formers carried out by JL Randall, Childhood and Sexuality, the young people gave a massive thumbs-down to the notion of confiding their sexual problems to ”helping” adults: only 1.4 per cent of the sample said they would approach a social worker, 2 per cent a teacher, 3.4 per cent a doctor and O.7 per cent a clergyman, although almost half felt able to talk to their parents.

There are lessons here for adults. An important one is that it is high time for us to start treating teenagers’ sexual needs and experiences less dismissively and more sympathetically, and to replace the outdated and punitive legal fiction of an ”age of consent” with a benign and carefully thought-out framework of effective protection.
We British pride ourselves on our devotion to individual freedom, yet in practice we still operate our social system on a basis of ”benevolent paternalism”. This is especially true where personal choices around sex, free expression, entertainment choices, drug use and other aspects of personal life are concerned. Is it not time to enter the 21st century as a personal, as well as a political and social, democracy, and ”trust the people”?

– The author was secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society in the Sixties, and of the Sexual Law Reform Society in the Seventies. His latest book, ‘Speaking of Sex’, is published by Cassell at pounds 10.99.


The Guardian
, January 24th, 1998
Antony Grey, Letter: ‘… and sex in parts of Bolton. Reform is urgently called for’

IT IS 25 years since the late Bishop John Robinson stated, as chairman of the Sexual Law Reform Society, that the law’s function in this sphere “should not be to prohibit but to protect, not to enforce morals but to safeguard persons, their privacies and freedoms”.

The following year, the Society’s Working Party recommended a wide range of reforms to limit the law’s interference in sexual behaviour to situations where the parties have not consented, are not fully responsible, or have breached others’ privacy in an offensive manner.

Most of the specific reforms which we proposed a quarter-century ago have still not been implemented.

Antony Grey.
(Secretary, Sexual Law Reform Society, 1962-77), London NW2.


PIE and the Gay Left in Britain – The Account by Lucy Robinson – plus various articles newly online

The following is the passage from Lucy Robinson, Gay Men and the Left in Post-War Britain: How the Personal got Political (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), pp. 129-139, dealing with the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE). Whilst not without some errors (for example misdating the foundation of PIE as 1975 rather than 1974, and confusing the British National Party – not founded until 1982 – with the National Front), and also glossing over feminist and lesbian paedophilia or pro-paedophilia, this is an important and relatively comprehensive account. In the footnotes reproduced at the end, where possible I have given a link to the material in question when it is available online; in other cases I have uploaded it at the bottom of this post itself

I intend soon to complete a comprehensive bibliography of books, articles and newspaper pieces relating to PIE.


Testing times and uneasy alliances: Gay Left and the Paedophile Information Exchange

The [Gay Left] Collective’s theoretical approaches can be best assessed when tested against actual campaigns. Single-issue based campaigns continued to make unity difficult and this was particularly true of the campaigns that the Collective became involved in around PIE. By looking at the issues around PIE and the campaigns that defended it, it is possible to see how transferable Gay Left’s approaches were. This is not to say that there is an easy correlation between homosexual and paedophile experience or desire, instead it is a way of seeing how paedophile self-organisation developed with a full consciousness of the history of the gay liberation movement.

PIE coincided with the Collective’s need for a campaign through which to impact the world. The second issue of Gay Left included a letter from Roger Moody. He called for an analysis of paedophiles’ transgressive role in society, solidarity between different identity groups and a revolutionary model of sexual behaviour. [50]. From its third issue PIE ran adverts in Gay Left. Issue 7 of the journal was entitled ‘Happy Families – paedophilia examined’. Members of the Collective saw PIE, and the campaigns around it, as a new battlefield from which to extend sexual liberation. Conservative anxiety had switched its focus from homosexuality to paedophilia, so it seemed as though the lines of defence should too. Bob Cant and Steven Gee specifically addressed these issues in Homosexuality, Power and Politics. Kenneth Plummer also became involved in the debate contributing to a number of collections on the subject. [51] In acknowledgment, the chairman of PIE, Tom O’Carroll, thanks Plummer in his introduction to Paedophilia – the Radical Case. Whilst not supporters or advocates of paedophilia, the Collective argued that discussion around paedophilia and PIE could be used to challenge the idea that sexuality was ‘pre-given determined and firm’ as well as to open up debates on child sexuality. [52] However this proved to be a gross over-estimation of both society’s position on paedophilia, and of paedophilia as a political issue. The following section of this chapter explains how a paedophile identity developed in the wake of the gay liberation movement and why Plummer and others in the Gay Left Collective were overly optimistic in their assessment.

Saying the unspeakable: PIE’s development in context

As with GLF et al., paedophile self-organisation developed in an international context. In both Europe and the United States paedophiles felt that they were on the receiving end of increased aggression and also felt that they had the potential to organise against it. [53] The first UK based group was Paedophile Action for Liberation (PAL) some of whom had been involved in the GLF. PAL published the newsletter Palaver. This group were singled out in the Sunday People campaign that labelled them ‘the vilest men in Britain’ on 25 May 1975. PAL were exposed as the enemy within. Although the article contained no allegation of actual sexual assault it made it clear that PAL members represented an evil that every parent must be warned about. The manner in which the article was researched, and the treatment of those it accused was so severe that both the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) and Gay News acted as advocates and witnesses for the PAL members. The advocates were threatened themselves. PAL’s closure was inevitable and it eventually ‘tottered to death’ in 1977. [54]

PIE, PAL’s most successful counterpart, was formed by three members of the Scottish Minorities Group. Their postal address remained that of the Group’s Glasgow headquarters. Having learnt many lessons from its early roots, PIE took its remit beyond that of support for individuals; they were the first to attempt a collective identity for paedophiles. [55] PIE began in October 1975. By November 1975 it is recorded as having 100 members. By 1977 this had risen to 250. At its peak, membership reached 450. [56] However, by the end of 1979 PIE was effectively over. Like PAL before them, tabloid exposés, this time in the News of the World and the Daily Star, precipitated its demise. All that remained were court cases and newspaper coverage, leaving the Left and the liberation movements struggling for positions. [57] On the way a number of contradictions and unmaintainable legacies were exposed.

PIE first gained public attention after The International Conference of Love and Attraction, organised by Mark Cook, and convened by Kevin Howells and Tom O’Carroll. The title of the conference, and PIE’s publicity, concentrated on paedophilia as a way of describing emotions not actions – a distinction that made little difference to the reactions that confronted them. In reality, the conference proved just how far paedophilia stood from the brink of liberation. College authorities ejected O’Carroll from the building and he was beaten in the face. Protesters also beat Daily Telegraph reporter Gerard Kemp, and Richard McCance, General Secretary of the counselling group Friend, whose appeals to the police were ignored. Elsewhere unions organised against PIE holding meetings on their premises. [58]

In today’s contemporary climate any rational public discourse relating to paedophilia seems increasingly unmanageable. [59] For a brief period however, the campaign surrounding PIE offered a possibility of learning from the GLF’s mistakes and of pushing the liberational agenda into its third and most radical stage. In the process PIE’s contradictory position was exposed. On the one hand PIE made Wolfenden type appeals to professionalism, whilst at the same time it spoke to an audience who were increasingly informed by the counter-culture’s Do It Yourself values.

O’Carroll fostered GLF’s shared history in his account of PIE’s development. The Conference was justified as an act of ‘coming out’, the first stage of liberational development. GLF veterans acted as stewards for a PIE meeting in Red Lion Square meeting in 1977 [60] and the International Gay Association made a public statement supporting PIE. [61] O’Carroll tightened the relationship between the two by concentrating on the organisational ties. By melding PAL into PIE, PIE inherited roots as a break away group from the South London GLF. He argued that PIE was one of the ‘radical blooms’ that sprouted from the ‘flourishing phenomenon’ of gay liberation. 62] This appealed to those who, following the attainment of certain concessions, were searching for a new radicalism with which to challenge wider social structures. The book produced from the conference, Adult Sexual Interest in Children, was designed to provide the factual basis for a ‘cooler and more reasoned’ approach to the issue. [63] Like the earlier GLF publications, it directed its iconoclasm at Freud and psychiatry as a whole and tried to undermine categorisation itself. It combined this with a Wolfenden style ‘rational’ argument suggesting that society’s solutions were more dangerous than the problem. [64] This double-pronged attempt to combine liberation and reform was not enough to alter paedophilia’s position. Twenty years later the News of the World still referred to this book as ‘vile’. [65]

Like the earlier homosexual law reform campaigns PIE’s immediate goals were to provide support and to collate and disseminate information. [66] In terms of support, PIE wanted to alleviate the isolation, guilt, secrecy and anguish associated with paedophilia as well as to dispel the myths surrounding it. As with reformist support organisations such as the Albany Trust, PIE used contact advertisements, magazine publication and letter writing to breakdown the strong sense of isolation felt by its members. [67] From the start PIE explained that alongside individual and collective support it wanted to educate the wider world. When PIE announced its launch in the C.H.E. Bulletin, it explained that its initial goal was the organisation of information to act as a resource. [68] It produced Perspectives on Paedophilia, which combined sympathetic research with an educational role, aimed at professionals who worked with paedophiles. PIE argued that, like homosexuals earlier, self-oppression and fear of the law meant that paedophiles felt they had no choice but to accept chemical castration or aversion therapy. [69] PIE also tried to counter the unequal distribution of sentences experienced by paedophiles. The realities of paedophile criminality meant that paedophiles received severe sentences for their first offence, suffered frequent attacks from other prisoners once in prison, and had to be placed on ‘Rule 43’. [70] Perspectives on Paedophilia reappraised psychiatric models and offered a variety of self-help alternatives to challenge the tradition façade of a choice between either treatment or punishment. [71]

In 1975, PIE made a submission to the Home Office Criminal Law Review Committee on the age of consent. In the submission, the connection between PIE’s case and the Wolfenden Report was made explicit. The submission directly quoted the Report to support PIE’s argument. [72] In reaction to the existing laws, which treated infants and adolescents the same, the main body of the submission outlined a convoluted set of age divisions as an alternative to the mechanistic age of consent. Briefly these were: Firstly, that there was no possibility of consent under the age of four years old. Then, between the ages of four and nine a parent or responsible adult should be qualified to indicate in court cases whether or not they believed the child to be able to communicate consent. The remaining years, ten to seventeen, should be treated with minimal intervention providing the child is of normal development. There should be no division between assessment of heterosexual or homosexual cases. [73] This caused considerable controversy. There had been a certain amount of debate surrounding the upper ages of consent, particularly within lesbian and gay communities. Some young people began to take the liberation movements at their word, and Kidz Lib started organising around young people’s own rights and sexual freedom. But, PIE found there was little support [end p. 131] for their plan to lower the age of consent so dramatically. Even within PIE there was little chance of publicly defending sexual contact with the younger age groups. Few in PIE would admit to interest in sexual activity with those under adolescence, which is reiterated in studies of paedophiles generally. [74] PIE had hoped to gain a level of legitimacy through the submission. However, Home Office acceptance of PIE’s submission did not extend to any sympathy for individual members. In 1979 the Home Office ensured that Steven Smith, a PIE member who was employed by a subcontractor working at the Home Office, was removed from his job. [75]

Impossible collaborations: PIE’s attempts at entryism

PIE developed its own form of entryism. In order to build alliances with other identity groups, it tried to make connections with various liberal, professional and liberational organisations. PIE contacted amongst others, GaySocs, Gay News, the National Association of Youth Officers, Peace News, groups of trainee social workers, Release, Probation Services, NCLCC, MIND as well as academic departments. The contradictory and arbitrary divisions in British law around age meant that campaigns around paedophilia fed into a variety of issues relating to young men and women. This was particularly fostered in the Gay Youth Movement, with whom PIE made public statements of solidarity. [76]

Compared with today’s possibilities, PIE was remarkably successful in building alliances. For example, its overtures to social workers’ professional organisations culminated in a four page ‘non-judgmental and neutral’ article in the trade paper Community Care. The article, ‘Should We Pity the Paedophile?’ by Mary Manning, was published in Autumn 1977. It was illustrated with stills from Death in Venice and alluded to paedophilia’s historically and culturally constructed meaning. When the Manning article described Tom O’Carroll as ‘a likeable and gentle young man who has an ongoing interest in social history’, Manning constructed a version of O’Carroll appealing to both the empathetic and the academic. [77]

Some organisations resisted any involvement with PIE. Bristol University’s Vice Chancellor refused PIE’s offer to provide a speaker for the Department of Social Planning. In the end the request was hypothetical, as the speaker had been sent to prison by the time the proposed date arrived. The National Association of Probation Officers took a similar approach. [78] Whereas other organisations were loosely supportive, but withdrew their support when they were confronted with either the reality of PIE’s beliefs or society’s reaction to them. Although the NCCL challenged the State’s right to intervene in post-pubescent sex, it did not directly support the PIE. A fierce internal debate ensued when PIE targeted the NCCL and applied for membership. Eventually the proposal was rejected at the organisation’s annual general meeting. Similarly, Christian Wolmar described his amazement when he joined the staff of Release in 1976 and found that they were providing a mailing address for PIE. Wolmar raised the issue at a collective meeting. A member of PIE was invited to come and justify its position. It appeared that any vague sense of commonality dissipated when faced with the perceived weakness and realities of PIE’s argument. Apparently, PIE’s ambassador talked about ‘the joy of sex with children’ and argued that there should be no age of consent. Following this meeting, Release stopped providing PIE with any resources. Wolmar was sure that if the relationship had continued for a few more months it would have coincided with the News of the World exposé and Release would have lost its Home Office funding. [79]

The real twist in the story of PIE’s attempted entryism into the rainbow coalition of liberal and liberational groups, was that PIE had been infiltrated itself, more than once. In 1977 André Thorne attended a few PIE meetings. He stole some completed membership forms, which he used to try and blackmail a highly placed PIE member. The proposed victim went to the police and Thorne was found guilty of blackmail. [80] Whilst the judge at the trial described the information in Thorne’s possession as ‘potential dynamite’, a widespread exposé did not follow. This time the only charges brought were against the infiltrator. The next series of events had far graver implications for PIE. Charles Oxley, a grandfather and headmaster, joined PIE under the pseudonym David Charlton. He had aroused some suspicions from fellow PIE members, but they had appreciated his willingness to help and he attended two executive committee meetings. He then took a number of stories to the News of the World. [81] Although none of Oxley’s accusations constituted actual criminal activity, based on his research the tabloid published the names and photographs of seven PIE members on 25 June 1978. This built on the earlier Daily Star campaign, which had named and photographed four members. [83] Following the articles, PIE could no loner find a sympathetic printer for its newssheet MAGPIE. [84] As the furore ensued, O’Carroll lost his job as a press officer for the Open University. [85] The police pre-empted the News of the World exposé by a day. The police had previously raided O’Carroll’s home, but it was this second search that resulted in arrest. [86] O’Carroll was arrested along with three other PIE members, John Parratt, David Trevor Wade and Michael Dagnall. [87]

When PIE members found themselves in court, their attempts at entryism blossomed into co-ordinated support. As with the Angry Brigade and the GLF, prosecutions built shared campaigns. The nature of the charge was central to the ways in which gay and left campaigners were able to organise support for PIE. Along with Oxley, the police had been unable to find any hard evidence of actual sexual abuse of children. They were charged with postal offences and the common law offence of conspiracy to corrupt public morals over contact advertisements in Magpie. [88] PIE’s defence at the trial rested on the argument that their function was to campaign for the recognition of the feelings of paedophiles and that this was not the same as sanctioning sex with children. To an extent, the prosecution concurred. The prosecution did not attempt to prove that PIE advocated breaking the law through sex with minors; instead they relied on statements and publications from PIE to demonstrate the conspiracy. Similarly both the defence and prosecution agreed on the ‘pathetic nature’ of the defendants. [89] The first trial resulted in one defendant being acquitted and the jury unable to agree on the others. Following a retrial, Tom O’Carroll was convicted and sentenced to two years. [90]

Beyond the trials initiated by Oxley against O’Carroll et al., a series of further charges were brought against PIE members, which resulted in guilty verdicts relating to conspiracy, obscenity and postal offences. As with the earlier accusations these prosecutions were not directly related to actual sexual offences against children. [91] However, public concerns following an attack on a six-year-old boy in Brighton [92] and two girls in Plymouth fed into the perception of PIE as dangerous. [93] Calls to ban PIE increased and the Department of Public Prosecutions opened a new dossier that included a ‘long list’ of its members’ names. [94] Leon Brittan, the new Home Secretary, made his presence known when he pre-empted one series of convictions by condemning the ‘views’ of PIE’s members. He argued that the public ‘rightly expect[ed] criminal law in this field to be effective’. [95] PIE’s argument that it was organising around the category of paedophile rather than in favour of child-abuse, was once more proved an irrelevant distinction. According to Parliament and the lower-courts, there was no paedophile identity that could be extracted from actual offences against children. Faced with this onslaught, PIE came under increasing attack. Members were evicted from their homes, groups lost the use of postal addresses and Midland Bank closed PIE’s bank account. [96] O’Carroll blamed a lack of rational debate and thought that public perceptions of paedophilia were a sign of an undeveloped society. [97] However the reasons that PIE failed went beyond timing.

A campaign too far: defensive projects for paedophilia

The type of charges brought against the PIE members and the type of people who pushed for the prosecutions, meant that sections of the Left and of the gay movement felt that they should support PIE. PIE had been attacked from two related directions, the conspiracy laws and Right. Oz, International Times and Gay Circle had all been prosecuted for the same charge. The Angry Brigade trial had showed how in particular political climates the law read loose links between groups and communications between individuals as conspiracy. Sheila Rowbotham recognised this when she explained that ‘[h]istorically the use of the notoriously vague offence of “conspiracy” has always been a sure sign that the British state was in one of its spasms of insecure authoritarianism’. [98]

The PIE prosecutions played out the relationship between the State, mainstream morality and the far-Right. Mary Whitehouse and the National Festival of Light, who had perennially attacked the counter-cultural and gay movements, spearheaded the campaign against PIE. [99] In August 1977 the Daily Mirror launched a ‘hysterical campaign’ against PIE. [100] This led to dramatic events at a public PIE meeting at Red Lion Square on 19 August. [101] The meeting was besieged by the British National Party and the British Movement who attacked; chanting ‘Kill them, Kill them’. [102] This ‘fascist violence’ was reported in the press the next day as the ‘fury of the mothers’. [103] In this context it was difficult for ‘”movement” people not to be drawn into sympathy with PIE on the old basis of “your enemy’s enemy is my friend”’. [104] After all, organisation against the far-Right had apparently been successful in attracting the young to leftist orientated events like Rock Against Racism carnivals.

Gay and Left supporters stand up . . .

In 1974 C.H.E. made statements of solidarity with PIE at its annual conference and included adverts for the group in its Bulletin, although C.H.E. frequently related paedophilia to heterosexuality rather than homosexuality. [105] IN 1975, the People implicated C.H.E. in its exposé of PAL. The broadsheet press picked up on the link, leading to concerns within C.H.E.’s rank and file over whether the issue of paedophilia had been brought onto the agenda as a ‘cause célèbre’. [106] In fact the issue had been publicly discussed at a number of C.H.E. conferences and it had been decided that C.H.E. would hold no active position on paedophilia, PAL or PIE. Although the tactic had not worked for the defendants in court, C.H.E. was able to negotiate a level of removed support of PIE by separating paedophile identity from paedophile activity. In 1983, the C.H.E. annual conference passed a resolution vehemently condemning ‘all violent attacks on children’ whilst upholding PIE’s right to ‘freedom of speech and organisation’. In so doing C.H.E. was attempting to reject the conflation of child-abuse and paedophilia. [107]

The Albany Trust’s support of PIE had more significant implications. As part of the first phase of PIE’s development, it had produced a booklet published by the Albany Trust. [108] Despite Grey’s eloquent discussion of the complexities of paedophile defence, in 1993 he still felt the need to explain the relationship between the Albany Trust and the PIE. He described a series of ‘private discussions about the counselling needs of paedophiles’. However this alone was enough to give impetus to a smear campaign by ‘moral monopolists’. Like C.H.E., both the Trust and Grey personally, were accused of ‘supporting child abuse’. The old adversary, the National Festival of Light described the Albany Trust as a ‘related body’ to PIE. [109] Although Grey made the distinction between the groups clear, the Trust paid a heavy price for its supposed connections with PIE and received the sanction that Wolmar had feared would be brought against Release. The Trust lost its public funding. [110] Even in Grey’s later account of the events he has to explicitly distance himself from personal ‘sexual interest in children’ in order to discuss the matter at all. [111] The fait accompli was such that any discussion of society’s treatment of paedophiles was assumed to have a personal motivation.

Alongside gay organisations, a broad based leftist alliance stepped in to protest against the ‘show trial’ that attacked the ‘freedom to communicate and organise’. [112] The Campaign Against Public Morals (CAPM) formed around the trial in an attempt to coalesce wide reaching support and published Paedophilia and Public Morals. [113] It argued that there should be no crime without a victim, CAPM asked, ‘Have YOU ever held radical views? Have YOU ever campaigned for social change? Because if you have it could be YOUR turn next’. [114] A number of groups answered in the affirmative: IMG, the SWP, Gay Rights at Work, Gay Noise, Revolutionary [end p. 135] Youth, German Study and Working Group on Paedophilia, Gay Rights at Work, Gay Workers in Print, the Campaign against Sexist Stereotypes and the Gay Noise Collective. [115] Like Gay Left, these groups’ support of paedophilia followed the Pastor Neimöller theory. Neimöller’s poem begins ‘First they came for the communists and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist’, and then lists other groups affected by the Nazi purges, trade unionists etc and then Jews, until ‘then they came for me – and by then there was no one left to speak out for me’. In other words if the State was not stopped from persecuting paedophiles it would not be long before there were different identity or political groups in the dock. [116] Groups related to the trial as both an immediacy in itself and also as part of a bigger challenge to the law. So the order of priorities was firstly to stop the show trial and have the charges dropped and secondly to defend the right of paedophiles to organise. The magazine Outrage! Noted that the defendants had been arrested, not for any physical abuse, but for ‘what they think’. [117] Gay Noise related PIE’s experiences to issues faced by lesbian mothers, to employment rights, the right to self-organisation, manipulation of psychiatric services and the use of the police. [118] Gay Noise also explicitly linked PIE with the context of the wider gay Left. Gay Noise saw paedophilia as important in the battle to restructure the women’s and gay liberation movement, because it could offer a socialist view of child sexuality. [119] The campaign could then be extended into a rejection of state harassment of the young and the abolition of the conspiracy laws. [120]

. . . and fade away

Beyond shared experiences of the conspiracy laws and resistance to the Right there was little common ground between PIE and the groups around the CAPM. There was not enough whole-hearted support for such a contentious issue. Paedophilia was not a class issue and the simple correlation between sexuality and political radicalism was a misnomer. In fact, in one article that contained interviews with a number of paedophiles, each one was a conservative. [121] Some sections of the Left directly attacked PIE on moral grounds. Along with the Right, the unions employed at various meeting halls and conference centres were often the most vociferous campaigners against PIE. Even those who were supportive during the trial later recanted. IMG questioned whether support for PIE was appropriate, and withdrew. [122] They refused to recognise the value of PIE’s autonomy. PIE’s right to self-organise was under attack again, although this time not in order to maintain the status quo, but to justify a left-wing focus on party organisation and class.

Some of the groups that PIE tried to attach themselves to were diametrically opposed to PIE’s agenda. There had been efforts to make links between the position of women, particularly lesbians, and that of paedophiles, but much of the women’s liberation movement did not see its role as extending grown men’s sexual liberty. The CAPM had prophesied that there would be a ‘concentrated effort to split the Women’s Movement and the Gay Movement on the question on which they have been historically the weakest; paedophila and child [end p. 136] sexuality’. [123] But women such as Spare Rib’s Susan Hemmings and Bea Campbell saw any attempt to link feminism and paedophilia as opportunistic .Hemmings argued that the connection was ‘irresponsible’, whereas Campbell dismissed it as an attempt to blackmail feminists into something they did not believe in. [124] Post-WLM feminist found paedophilia an abhorrent expression of patriarchal society. Paedophilia was ‘inherently sexist’. Adult men, not women, typified these unequal and objectifying relationships. If heterosexual men’s sexuality pathologically objectified women, then paedophilia objectified children in the same way. Following the PIE trial, feminist discourse on child-abuse took precedence over the gay Left’s call for paedophile liberation. In the divorce case following the short lived romance between the women’s and gay liberation movements, the feminists gained sole custody of the children.

Keeping identities separate: the danger of homosexual and paedophile association

It was largely feminists who were given roles as children’s advocates, but the idea that the same models would work for paedophilia and homosexuality was also beign questioned. Gilbert Herdt, Professor of Human Development and Psychology at Chicago University and leading anthropologist, asked the key question: ‘[c]an you call paedophiles a minority group who form their own subculture?’ Is there a Paedophile community from which to organise social reform let alone liberation?’ [125] The variety of personal and political approaches taken by gay men suggest that there may be contention over whether a gay community exists, but let’s assume that a concept of gay community does exist, however wrought with tensions and lacking in coherence, however artificial and conscious the act of maintaining itself may be. Plummer explained that paedophiles had a less grounded sub-cultural tradition upon which to develop a collective identity. Furthermore the gay line of development from surreptitious underground, to law reform campaigners, to public declaration of liberationist intent could not be followed when the sexual activity was still illegal and initiated such outrage in the public. [126]

Many gay reactions to PIE reiterated concerns over any assumed allegiance between homosexuality and paedophilia. The relationship between PIE and Gay News was a measurement of this. Having acted as advocates for PIE in the face of the bigotry of tabloid journalism, the association had legal implications for Gay News. Yet, despite the publication’s earlier advocacy, in reality support for PAL and PIE had consisted of printing PIE’s address and the ‘occasional sympathetic article’. [127] Gay News had favourably reviewed Paedophilia: The Radical Case, but when PIE approached the magazine with a request to be included in the help lines list, they were refused. [128] W H Smith had refused to stock the magazine. Under pressure from the news-sellers and in reaction to the growing atmosphere, Gay News eventually refused to take any adverts. This exclusion from the major gay voice piece was the death-knell for PIE. [129]

It was not just Gay News that backed out of a relationship with PIE. There was a point of retreat, whereby paedophilia was dropped consciously ‘as a hot potato, too dangerous to everybody else’. [130] Gay Left’s Stephen Gee argued that homosexuals had not been, ‘sufficiently supportive [of PIE] nor have we challenged the dominant ideology childhood and child sexuality which informs this attack’. [131] PIE representative told Gay News that:

[p]olitically, PIE feel that the division between itself and the gay movement, which is acknowledge[d] as real, is in part the product of a realistic fear by the gay movement that its own gains could be jeopardised by too close a relationship with the paedophile movement. . . . We regret the alienation we feel from the gay movement and the feminist movement in this country. [132]

Homosexuality was regarded as a privilege that could be retreated back into in order to avoid taking on any stigma of association with paedophilia. A review in Gay Times in August 1997 charted this reassessment of the period:

Gay attitudes to paedophilia have undergone a transformation. In the early days of gay liberation, ‘intergenerational’ sex seemed to occupy a legitimate place on the homosexual continuum. Homosexuals were vilified and persecuted, and so were paedophiles. Denying child sexuality seemed part of the ideology of repression. But genuine anxiety about child sex abuse has hardened attitudes. Gay law reform is a serious business nowadays. We have spent decades trying to shrug off the charge that we just want to molest children. We can do without real perverts hitching a ride on the bandwagon, thank you. [133]

Yet, PIE’s entryism seems to have been perversely successful. The unshakeable assumptions pinking homosexuality with paedophilia were used to discredit the Left and liberational movements. Liberal attitudes to inter-generational sex became metaphors for concerns over sexual liberation generally, equal opportunities, union protectionism, anti-professionalism, of the ‘politically correct’ ‘gone mad’. This was particularly true of the debates and recriminations following the children’s homes’ child-abuse scandals of the 1980s where protecting gay rights was seen as a cover for the employment of paedophiles in children’s homes. [134] Whereas PIE were not directly implicated in the children’s home abuse scandals, they were the polemic expression of the ‘general tenor of the period’. [135] By 1999 Community Care published articles condemning its earlier liberal approaches to paedophilia which it associated with union monopolies stifling complaints about child sex abuse. [136]

PIE was seen as evidence of the worst excesses of the post-1968 liberation movements, especially because of the way in which it blurred distinction between adult and child.

[T]he argument that a distinction could be drawn between abuse and consensual sex with children struck a chord [because[ it was fashionable to see children as autonomous beings who should have the right to liberate themselves sexually. [137]

In PIE’s submission to the government, it presented itself as a champion of children’s rights. However this had less credibility than its expression of adult sexual liberation. The pleasure principle overrode the reality of adulthood and adult responsibility. According to David Shaffer, consultant in child psychiatry at Maudsley Hospital, ‘PIE ignor[ed] a child’s other interests apart from pleasure’. In the mind of Shaffer, hedonism should have come ‘pretty low on the list’ in the lessons the liberational adults should have been teaching their children. [136] Just as celebrations of Laing had little to do with real mental illness, PIE’s posturing had little relationship with the reality of childhood.

Christian Wolmar argued that ‘the failure of supporters of greater sexual freedom to distinguish between openness and exploitation meant that for a time paedophilia almost became respectable’. [139] However at the heart of the gay left/paedophile interaction there was an equally strong dynamic working against paedophilia. Any connection between paedophilia, the counter-culture and the Left was bound to increase rather than decrease reactions against paedophile self-organisation. So rather than representing a greying of attitudes towards sexuality debates surrounding paedophilia clearly demarcated the line beyond which behaviour was unacceptable. When Ken Livingstone and his Greater London Council sought to harness the energy of lesbian and gay politics, they confronted a similar dynamic. Attaching a left-wing campaign to personal politics was not going to bring down the State, but it might help to bring down the Left.

50. Roger Moody, ‘Paedophile Politics’, Gay Left 2 (Spring 1976) p. 23.
51. Kenneth Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’, in Perspectives on Paedophilia, ed. B. Taylor (Batsford, 1981). Kenneth Plummer, ‘Pedophilia: Constructing a Sociological Baseline’, in Adult Sexual Interest in Children, eds. Mark Cook and Kevin Howells (Academic Press, 1981).
52. Gay Left Collective, ‘Happy Families: Paedophilia Explained’, Gay Left 7 (Winter 1978-79).
53. Edward Brongersma, ‘An Historical Background’, The NAMBLA Bulletin 4, 2 (1983), p. 1.
54. A. Mayer and H. Warschauer, ‘The Vilest Men in Britain’, Sunday People (25 May 1975). Michael Mason, J. Grace, and C. Hill, ‘The Vilest Men in Britain’, Gay News 72 (1975). Plummer, ‘The Paedophiles’ Progress: A View from Below’, p. 128. Bob Taylor, Perspectives on Paedophilia (Batsford, 1981), p. xix.
55. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’, p. 118.
56. PIE, ‘Evidence on the Law Relating to and Penalties for Certain Sexual Offences for the Home Office Criminal Law Revision Committee’. Wolmar, Forgotten Children: The Sexual Abuse Scandal in Children’s Homes (Vision, 2000), pp. 138, 143. Plummer, ‘The Paedophiles’ Progress: A View from Below’, p. 128.
57. Anthony Bevins, ‘Labour’s Hard Left to Form New Group’, The Times (24 August 1983).[see below]
58. ‘Hotel Ban on Paedophiles’, The Times (25 August 1977). [see below]
59. E.g. Anna Gekoski, ‘Their Evil Is Incurable Says Crime Expert’, News of the World (23 July 2000). [see below]
60. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case (Peter Owen, 1980) p. 230.
61. Gay Noise Collective, ‘Campaign Moves into Full Swing’, Gay Noise 4 (25 September 1980).
62. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case pp. 208, 209, 247.
63. Plummer, ‘The Paedophiles’ Progress: A View from Below’, p. 126. ‘Hotel Ban on Paedophiles’ [See below]. Cook and Howells, Adult Sexual Interest in Children, p. viii.
64. Kevin Howells, ‘Adult Sexual Interest in Children: Considerations Relevant to theories of Aetiology’, Adult Sexual Interest in Children, eds. Mark Cook and Kevin Howells (Academic Press, 1981). Kenneth Plummer, ‘Paedophilia: Constructing a Sociological Baseline’, Adult Sexual Interest in Children. D.J. West, ‘Implications for Social Control’, Adult Sexual Interest in Children. [See here for more on West]
65. Mazher Mahmood, ‘Caught in the Act’, News of the World (5 August 2001). [See below]
66. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’, p. 116. C.H.E., Bulletin (Harverster, 1974).
67. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’, pp. 119, 116, 117.
68. C.H.E., Bulletin, 11 & 12 (Harvester, 1974).
69. C.A.P.M., Paedophilia and Public Morals (no date HCA). PIE, ‘Evidence on the Law’.
70. Richard Card, ‘Paedophilia and the Law’, in Perspectives on Paedophilia, ed. B. Taylor (Batsford, 1981) p. 21.
71. Taylor, Perspectives on Paedophilia, p. vii.
72. PIE, ‘Evidence on the Law’. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View form Below’, p. 122.
73. PIE, ‘Evidence on the Law’.
74. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 143. Christian Wolmar, ‘Home Truths’, Independent on Sunday (8 October 2000).
75. ‘PIE is in the Wars Again’, Gay News, August (1979).
76. North-Western Homosexual Law Reform Committee, Bulletin January (Harvester). O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 232. Grey, Speaking of Sex: the Limits of Language (Cassell, 1993) p. 91. C.A.P.M., Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. 21. Peter Tatchell, ‘Letter to the Editor’, The Guardian Weekend (17 February 2001). Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 140. ‘PIE is in the Wars Again’.
77. Mary Manning, ‘Should We Pity the Paedophiles?’, Community Care, Autumn (1977). Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 144.
78. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 140.
79. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, pp. 139-40.
80. ‘PIE Blackmail Case’, Gay News (1977).
81. David Nicholson-Lord, ‘Government “Apathy” on PIE Criticised’, The Times (31 August 1983). ‘PIE is in the Wars Again’.
82. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 233.
83. ‘PIE is in the Wars Again’.
84. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’, p. 128.
85. Mahmood, ‘Caught in the Act’ [see below], ‘Open University Man Suspended’, The Times (23 September 1977) [see below].
86. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 9.
87. Brian Deer, ‘Paranoid About PIE’, Gay News 185 (1980). Dr. T. Stuttaford, ‘Everett Picture Gives Credence to Dangerous Myth’, The Times (7 April 1995) [see below].
88. C.A.P.M., Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. iii. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 142. Outcome, Outcome 7 (1978).
89. Gay Noise Collective, ‘The Paedophile Information Exchange Trial’, Gay Noise 12 (12 December 1981).
90. ‘File on Child Sex Group for DPP’ [see below]. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, pp. 142-3.
91. Gay Noise Collective, ‘The Paedophile Information Exchange Trial’. Gay Youth, ‘Editorial’, Gay Youth 11 (Summer 1984). Bevias, ‘Labour’s Hard Left to Form New Group’. David Nicholson-Lord, ‘Child Sex Group Men Arrested’, The Times (9 September 1983) [see below].
92. Peter Evans, ‘Minister Condemns Paedophile Views’, The Times (2 September 1983). ‘Telephone Caller Says He Knows One of the Men Who Assaulted Boy’, The Times (25 August 1983). Nicholson-Lord, ‘Police Hunting Men Who Assaulted Boy Lack Vital Computer Software’, The Times (25 August 1983) [see below].
93. Nicholson-Lord ‘Government “Apathy” on PIE Criticised’. Nicholson-Lord, ‘Police Hunting Men Who Assaulted Boy Lack Vital Computer Software’ [see below]. ‘Hysterical Attacks on Paedophiles’. C.H.E., Annual Conference Report, September (1983).
94. ‘File on Child Sex Group for DPP’ [see below]. ‘MP Seeks to Ban Child Sex Group’ (23 August 1983). Nicholson-Lord, ‘Government “Apathy” on PIE Criticised’.
95. Evans, ‘Minister Condemns Paedophile Views’.
96. ‘Hysterical Attacks on Paedophiles’.
97. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 220.
98. Sheila Rowbotham, Promise of a Dream (Allen Lane, 2000) p. 70.
99. ‘Leaders of Paedophile Group Are Sent to Jail’, The Times (5 November 1984). ‘PIE Member Faces Child Pornography Charge’, The Times (17 November 1984) [see below].
100. Derek Cohen and Richard Dyer, ‘The Politics of Gay Culture’, in Homosexuality: Power and Politics, pp. 172-86.
101. ‘Three Men Fined after Paedophile Meeting’, The Times (21 September 1977) [see below].
102. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 230.
103. Cohen and Richard, ‘The Politics of Gay Culture’, p. 198. The far-Right continued this entryist relationship with the public campaigns pertaining to paedophilia. For example the National Democrat’s ‘Help Our Children’ campaign. (The Flag: The National Democrats, Help Our Children [website] (www.natdems.org.uk/the_flag.htm, August 2001 [cited 21 August 2001]).
104. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 142.
105. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 210. C.H.E., Bulletin, p. 129. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’. C.H.E., Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Homosexuality (C.H.E., 1975).
106. C.H.E., ‘CHE’s Reply to the Guardian’. C.H.E., ‘Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held on 12th, 13th & 14th September 1975’ (Harvester, 1975). C.H.E., ‘Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held on 14th June 1975’ (Harvester, 1975). Glenys Parry, Letter from Glenys Parry to Local Group Chairpeople, C.H.E. (Harvester, 17/09/1975).
107. C.H.E. Committee, Annual Conference Report, Annual Conference Report (Harvester, September 1983).
108. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 234.
109. NFOL, ‘Paederasty and the Homosexual Movement’, Broadsheet (1977) p. 20. Grey, Speaking of Sex, p. 90.
110. Grey, Speaking of Sex, p. 95.
111. Grey, Speaking of Sex, p. 91.
112. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 142. C.A.P.M., Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. iii.
113. C.A.P.M, Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. iii.
114. C.A.P.M, Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. iii.
115. Graham Mckerrow, ‘Judge Orders PIE Retrial’, Gay News (1981).
116. Gay Noise Collective, ‘The Paedophile Information Exchange Trial’.
117. ‘Hysterical Attacks on Paedophiles’, Outrage 3 (1983).
118. Gay Noise Collective, ‘Demonstrations against State Repression’, Gay Noise 13 (12 February 1981).
119. Gay Noise Collective, ‘Campaign Moves into Full Swing’.
120. Gay Noise Collective, ‘Editorial: The IMG and Paedophilia: the Wrong Initiative at the Wrong Time’, Gay Noise 12 (12 February 1981). Deer, ‘Paranoid about PIE’.
121. ‘Hotel Ban on Paedophiles’. Maurice Yaffe, ‘Paedophilia: The Forbidden Subject’, New Statesman (16 September 1977) p. 362. Dea Birkett, ‘Monsters with Human Faces’, The Guardian (27 September 1997).
122. Gay Noise Collective ‘Editorial: The IMG and Paedophilia: the Wrong Initiative at the Wrong Time’, Gay Noise 12 (1981) p. 2.
123. C.A.P.M, Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. 6.
124. Deer, ‘Paranoid about PIE’.
125. J. Geraci, Dares to Speak (GMP, 1997) p. 30.
126. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View form Below’, p. 130.
127. Mason, Grace, and Hill, ‘The Vilest Men in Britain’. Cohen and Richard, ‘The Politics of Gay Culture’, p. 198. Julie Bindel, ‘Rather Than Campaign on the Age of Consent. . .’, The Guardian Weekend (3 March 2001).
128. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 140.
129. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View form Below’, pp. 128-9.
130. Lucy Robinson, Interview with Peter Burton, unpublished (1 June 1999).
131. Gee, ‘Gay Activism’, p. 199.
132. ‘PIE is in the Wars Again’.
133. Gay Times (August 1997).
134. Wolmar, Forgotten Children. Wolmar, ‘Home Truths’. Margaret Hodge, ‘Not Quite, White’, New Statesman (16 June 1995). Wendy Parkin and Lorraine Green, ‘Cultures of Abuse within Residential Care’, Early Child Development and Care 1333 (1997) p. 75. S. Payne and E. Fairweather, ‘Minister Acts over Our Child Abuse Revelations’, Evening Standard (7 January 1992) [see below]. Polly Neate ‘Too Tolerant a Past?’, Community Care (15-21 July 1999).
135. There is a proven relationship between one member of the PIE and the children’s home scandals. Peter Righton was senior lecturer at the National Institute for Social Work, senior tutor at Open University, and sat on many committees including the Central Council for Education in Training and Social Work (Peter Righton, ‘Positive and Negative Aspects in Residential Care’, Social Work Today 8, 37 (1977)). He was charged with possession of books, videos and photos of young men (Peter Burden and Peter Rose, ‘Porn Squad Quiz Child Care Expert’, Daily Mail (28 May 1992) [see below]. He was later found to be PIE member number 51. Righton had used his professional position to assist a banned teacher, Charles Napier, who he had met through the PIE. Through Righton’s influence Napier was able to return to Britain and have the ban lifted (BBC, Children at Risk: Inside Story, 1 June 1994). Edward Pilkington, ‘Shadow of the Attic’, The Guardian (1 June 1994).
136. Polly Neate, ‘Too Tolerant a Past?’, p. 14
137. Pilkington, ‘Shadow of the Attic’.
138. Tim Gospill and Duncan Campbell, ‘Untouchable Subject’, Time Out (9 September 1977).
139. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 153.



‘Hotel ban on paedophiles’, The Times, August 25th, 1977

Times250877 - Hotel ban on paedophiles

‘Three Men Fined after Paedophile Meeting’, The Times, September 21st, 1977

Times 210977 - Three men fined after paedophile meeting

‘Open University man suspended’, The Times, September 23rd, 1977

Times 230977 - Open University Man Suspended

Anthony Bevins, ‘Labour’s hard left to form new group’, The Times, August 24th, 1983

Times 240883 - Labour's hard left to form new group 1

Times 240883 - Labour's hard left to form new group 2

‘File on child sex group for DPP’, The Times, August 24th, 1983

Times 240883 - File on child sex group for DPP

David Nicholson-Lord, ‘Police hunting men who assaulted boy lack vital computer software’, The Times, August 25th, 1983

Times 250883 - Police hunting men who assaulted boy lack vital computer software

David Nicholson-Lord, ‘Child sex group men arrested’, The Times, September 9th, 1983

Times 090983 - Child sex group men arrested

‘PIE member faces child pornography charge’, The Times, November 17th, 1984

Times 171184 - PIE member faces child pornography charge

Dr. T. Stuttaford, ‘Everett Picture Gives Credence to Dangerous Myth’, The Times, April 7th, 1995

Times 070495 - Everett picture gives credence to dangerous myth


Daily Mail (London)

May 28th, 1992, Thursday

PORN SQUAD QUIZ CHILD CARE EXPERT
By Peter Burden,Peter Rose

A LEADING consultant on children’s homes has been arrested after police raided his house and seized videos featuring young males.

The action came after Customs at Dover intercepted a magazine and a book sent from the Continent to 66-year-old Peter Righton.

A major police inquiry has been launched to establish the identities and ages of those involved in the videos, where they were taken and by whom.

Books and magazines were also seized. It is an offence to possess an obscene picture showing under-16s.

Mr Righton, who has worked for several publicly-funded bodies, was on police bail last night waiting to hear whether or not he will be prosecuted.

He denied making any of the videos himself and said: ‘I am sure there will be a satisfactory outcome.’

He added: ‘It is no secret that I am gay. It’s not an offence, although one is made to feel it is.’

Mr Righton is widely regarded as the leading authority on council residential care of children.

The Department of Health’s social services inspectorate has been told of the raid at his home in Evesham, Hereford and Worcester, and a report is expected to go to Health Secretary Virginia Bottomley.

She is a patron of the National Children’s Bureau, a highly-respected charity for which Mr Righton has worked as a senior consultant.

The bureau, which monitors children’s welfare, receives £1million for administration from the Health Department and a series of grants for Government work such as providing training packages and videos for social services managers and social workers.

Mr Righton’s credentials include having been senior lecturer at the National Institute for Social Work in Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, which was established by Ministers in 1961.

It has an annual income of £2million, mostly from the Health Department.

He is also a senior tutor with the Open University, where his work includes advising social work managers from all over the country on the the rights of children in care.

Mr Righton has served on many committees including the Central Council for Education in Training and Social Work. He began his career working in approved schools and residential homes.

As part of his various jobs he has regularly visited children’s homes.

Chris Andrews, of the British Association of Social Workers, said: ‘He is a highly respected figure within the residential field, particularly working with highly disturbed children. He is very much concerned with therapeutic work in child care.’

Mr Righton stressed last night: ‘I have not been charged with any offence. I cannot see what offence they can charge me with.’

At the former farm cottage he shares with Mr Richard Alston, headmaster of a school for disturbed children, he insisted that none of the seized items featured under-age boys.

The raid by police and Customs officers took place on May 12. Mr Righton was released on bail after lengthy questioning and has been ordered to report back next month.

A full police report is expected to be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service soon.

Mr Righton was involved in controversy in 1977, when he called for a more liberal attitude to sex in children’s homes.

He said in the magazine Social Work: ‘Provided there is no question of exploitation, sexual relationships freely entered into by residents – including adolescents – should not be a matter for automatic inquiry.’

But last night he said he had been misrepresented in a part of the article appearing to condone sex between staff and adolescents in care. He was in fact against that.

Mr Righton, dressed in a T-shirt and slacks, added: ‘In the course of my work I did visit children’s homes but not many times.’

Of his relationship with Mr Alston, he said: ‘Yes, I do live here with Mr Alston, but what is wrong with that? We are consenting adults.’


Evening Standard (London)

October 7th, 1992, Wednesday

Minister acts over our child abuse revelations
By Stewart Payne, Eileen Fairweather

HEALTH SECRETARY Virginia Bottomley today ordered Islington Council to provide a swift response to the ‘serious and worrying allegations’ of abuse revealed in an Evening Standard investigation into its children’s homes.

Yesterday the Standard printed the disturbing stories of children in care who have been exposed to paedophiles, pimps and prostitution.

Today, beginning on Page 15, we examine the cases of two former Islington residential workers alleged to have abused boys in their care and how fears of a child sex ring were dismissed by management.

Following yesterday’s publication, Mrs Bottomley issued a statement saying she had instructed Islington Council to explain its actions ‘as soon as possible’.

‘To take advantage of the most vulnerable children in our society in the ways alleged in the Evening Standard article is despicable,’ she said.

‘I know that Islington Council will be looking very closely at their services for children and the people who provide them. I have asked the Social Services Inspectorate to give me a full report on Islington’s response.’

She added that she had recently urged new measures to strengthen independent inspection of children’s homes ‘in order to protect children from abuse and exploitation.

‘I intend to make sure that we have in place reliable systems that will pick up early warning signs.’

Islington Council confirmed that Mrs Bottomley had asked it to produce a report commenting on the Standard articles. ‘Its author will be independent of the social services department,’ said a spokesman.

The council also issued a statement from Labour councillor Sandy Marks, who chairs the social services committee. This ignores the central concerns raised by yesterday’s articles but takes issue on several points of detail. It says:

* ‘The circumstances of these young people are known to us and have been the subject of casework or detailed investigation.’

We reply: We do not dispute this. But, as the children’s stories showed, it was clearly ineffective. Some of our sources were involved in this casework and appealed to us because they felt it had not been resolved properly.

* ‘All our homes are inspected monthly and reports provided to management and councillors.’

We reply: We do not challenge the regularity of inspections, merely their efficiency.

* ‘The Standard has been asked for three months to furnish us with any new evidence. They have singularly failed to do so.’

We reply: We completed our inquiries and gave the council two weeks to prepare their reply. We do not claim to have found ‘new evidence’. What we have done is to expose how Islington failed to act properly on the evidence already given by parents, children and worried staff.

* ‘Neville Mighty, a key informant of the Standard, was the subject of allegations of gross sexual misconduct by young people in his care, was investigated and subsequently dismissed.’
We reply: Mighty was charged with sexual harassment but was found guilty only of using inappropriate language of a sexual nature. The matter is now under appeal. Twelve members of staff gave evidence on his behalf, including nine women. He is only one of our many sources.

* ‘The case of Roy Caterer was the subject of a Hertfordshire police investigation. No evidence or information was passed to the council.’

We reply: This is clearly wrong. Caterer was only imprisoned for sexually abusing children in care when a determined Islington social worker found some of his victims and went to local police. They liaised with Hertfordshire police.

That social worker wrote a report for her superiors and no action was taken on it.

Councillor Marks also claimed children interviewed by the Standard were paid.

And Mrs Margaret Hodge, leader of Islington Council, alleged in a radio interview with LBC Newstalk Radio that our reporters sat outside childrens home enticing children with £50 bribes for stories.

We reply: These allegations are absolutely untrue. Only one girl, no longer in care and unemployed, was paid £90 with her parents’ approval. This was for the time she spent helping reporters trace children who suffered in Islington’s care during the 12-week inquiry.

It is most unfortunate that Islington Council should seek to deflect the substance and seriousness of the situation revealed by the Standard’s inquiry by making inaccurate statements. We believe the council should concentrate its energies on reforming its inadequate social services procedures.

News of the World

July 23, 2000

Their evil is incurable says crime expert; Interview; Ray Wyre; NOW campaign; For Sarah Campaign against paedophiles
By Anna Gekoski

THE monster who murdered Sarah Payne will kill again unless he is caught, warns a senior sex crime psychologist.

Ray Wyre, an expert on cases of child abduction, explained that many paedophiles are incurable. “Research shows that once a paedophile starts to offend they have urges that don’t go away.

“Such behaviour will have its seeds in childhood where the person will most probably have been sexually abused himself. This will start a cycle of fantasy which spills over into reality in small ways at first.

“The offender may begin with indecent exposure before moving on to indecent assault, then attempted rape and then rape. In a small number this then leads to murder.”

Mr Wyre has worked with child sex killer Robert Black, convicted in 1994 of the murders of five-year-old Caroline Hogg, Sarah Harper, ten, and 11-year-old Susan Maxwell.

“Black had abducted and sexually assaulted a little girl when he was just a teenager,” he said. “The attack was so severe that she nearly died. Yet he was simply admonished for that offence. The authorities said at the time he’d grow out of it and it would be wrong to label him.

“I firmly believe that if he had been put away then, Sarah, Caroline and Susan would be alive today.” Mr Wyre believes that even where paedophiles are jailed for less than life the authorities should have the power to keep them in for the rest of their days if the prisoner is still considered dangerous at his release date..

Treatment

“There are paedophiles I’ve worked with in prison who say they’ll offend again, some who even say they’ll kill,” he said. “Yet they’ve been given a fixed sentence and the law has no provision to deal with future danger.”

Another problem, he says, is that under current law the psychological treatment of paedophiles in prison is voluntary. “Many of the worst offenders, those who need treatment the most, choose not to undergo the treatment programmes,” he added. “We need a new system whereby treatment is mandatory.”

Meanwhile the hunt goes on for Sarah Payne’s killer. Mr Wyre added: “Men who abduct, sexually abuse and kill are men with a history. Tragically they are also men with a future. At some time he will do it again.”


News of the World

August 5, 2001

CAUGHT IN THE ACT

By Mazher Mahmood Investigations Editor, in Barjac, France

We find leering child sex perverts befriending kids at nudist camp

A NAKED grey-haired man brushes past children playing around a swimming pool at a nudist camp.

Grinning broadly, he stops to chat to the bare youngsters-many of them British-as they frolic in the sunshine.

Their unsuspecting parents smile politely at the scene. They have no idea that their children’s new playmate is one of the most infamous perverts on earth.

For the man is Thomas O’Carroll-founder of the evil Paedophile Information Exchange which campaigned for the legalisation of sex with children.

News of the World undercover reporters tracked 55-year-old O’Carroll-who has avoided being photographed for 20 years-to the family naturist resort in the south of France. And we discovered he was not the only paedophile lurking at the poolside.

Nearby, former teacher Simon St Clair Terry-once jailed for indecently assaulting a 12-year-old girl pupil-sat rubbing oil into the back of a naked 14-year-old he first befriended at the camp six years ago.

Both fiends spent the day mingling among families and wandering around the tents at the La Sabliere camp set in acres of woodlands in Barjac.

“I’m really enjoying myself here. It’s a fantastic place,” leering O’Carroll told a reporter posing as a tourist. “It’s full of children because of the school holidays.

Ogle

“This place was highly recommended and it’s living up to all expectations! I’m going to Blackpool next week, although I don’t think that will be this good!”

O’Carroll-who served two years in jail for corrupting public morals–ate lunch by an underwater window in the side of the swimming pool.

Designed so that parents could keep an eye on their children, it was the perfect place for him to ogle naked tots as they swam past. “It’s more like an aquarium than a swimming pool,” he drooled.

Twisted O’Carroll bragged to our reporters that he was an academic.

But the former Open University press officer failed to mention that he was sacked after forming his infamous ring of child molesters.

The Paedophile Information Exchange boasted more than 300 members before police smashed it in the Eighties with a string of arrests following a News of the World investigation. Monster O’Carroll also made no mention of the vile book he wrote on the “myths of childhood innocence” in which he said: “Consenting children and adults have a right to private intimacy together just as lesbians and gay men do.”

Now O’Carroll-who owns a house in Leamington, Warwicks-is part of a sick new gang of 200 paedophiles called GWAIN-Gentlemen Without An Interesting Name-which is being watched by Scotland Yard detectives.

The highly organised group hold clandestine meetings at homes and members are in touch via e-mails. One of the group’s officials was arrested last year on suspicion of raping a 10-year old boy.

As O’Carroll wandered off to chat to an eight-year-old he had befriended, disgraced teacher Terry returned to the caravan he is sharing with a Belgian single mum.

She met the molester when he first came to the camp in 1995. Then her daughters were eight and 11.

Jail

He has been joining her for holidays there ever since, and also visits her at her home in Antwerp.

It is not known whether she is aware of his disturbing past-that he spent six months in jail in 1991 for assaulting a pupil. And that he kept a stomach-churning diary of his obsession with the youngster.

“I’m here for a month. I’m really lucky with my work. I get a lot of holidays,” 42-year-old Terry told our reporters.

“I’ve been coming here for years-it’s a great place.”

Terry-who works as an account manager for Waterstones’ bookshop in Canterbury, Kent-has a history of targeting young girls.

He has had involvement with the Girl Guides and once set up a club for 11 to 12-year-olds called the Pig Tin Club.

After sitting naked with two youngsters outside his tent at La Sabliere, Terry then joined in a ball game with a group of naked girls and boys.

Today both paedophiles can expect to be thrown out of their perverts’ paradise. Our dossier is available to the authorities in Britain and France.

DO you know a scandal that should be exposed? Call Maz on 0207 782 4402 or e-mail him at mazher.mahmood@news-of-the-world.co.uk