Research Paper at City University, November 12th, on ”Clifford Hindley: The Scholar as Pederast and the Aestheticisation of Child Sexual Abuse”Posted: October 3, 2014
I will be giving a research paper at City University, London (where I am a Lecturer in Music) on November 12th, 2014, in Room AG09, College Building (on St John Street), at 6:30 pm (preceded by another staff presentation by Laudan Nooshin, entitled ‘Sites of Memory: Public Emotionality, Gender and Nationhood in the Music of Googoosh’ at 5:30 pm). This relates to my research into the late priest, Home Office civil servant and musicologist/classical scholar Clifford Hindley, and is as follows.
‘Clifford Hindley: The Scholar as Pederast and the Aestheticisation of Child Sexual Abuse’
The mysterious figure of J. Clifford Hindley, who died in 2006, is well-known to scholars of the music of Benjamin Britten for of a series of scholarly articles he published on Britten’s operas in the 1980s and 1990s. During the same period Hindley also published a few articles on Classical Greece, focusing upon Xenophon and Sappho. Less well-known is the fact that in the earlier part of his life, Hindley was an ordained priest who worked for a period in India and published a range of theological articles, then worked for a while at the Home Office in London, where he was head of the Voluntary Services Unit. This year, as part of wider investigations into organised sexual abuse, Hindley has been identified by former Home Office civil servant Tim Hulbert, who was Hindley’s junior at the department, as the individual responsible for ensuring that a total of £70 000 from Home Office funds was given to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In this paper, for which I draw upon experience and expertise both as a critical/historical musicologist and as a campaigner and researcher on the subject of organised child abuse (especially in the field of classical music), I consider the obsessive focus upon paedophile themes in Hindley’s writings themselves, and locate his jargon, aestheticisation and ideologies within a wider tradition of contemporary paedophile writing since the 1960s, for which the volume Greek Love (New York: Oliver Layton Press, 1964) by J.Z. Eglinton (Walter Breen), a member of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) who already had convictions for child abuse prior to the publication of this work, is a central text, leading to Kenneth Dover’s Greek Homosexuality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978) – cited extensively by Hindley – which introduced the terms erastês and erômenos into the study of sexual exploitation of children, lending such activities a veneer of respectability through allusion to antiquity. I go on to consider this school of thought more widely in the context of a paedophile ‘sub-culture’ which achieved some prominence in the 1970s and 1980s.
This paper draws upon and extends and expands some earlier work published on my blog Desiring Progress (https://ianpace.wordpress.com ); some of this specific research has been used by various national news programmes in the UK, whilst the work on Hindley was requested in order to brief members of the Home Affairs Select Committee in July 2014 in advance of their questioning of the Home Office Permanent Secretary Mark Sedwill on issues of historical PIE infiltration of his department.
Over on the Spotlight blog, a series of important articles have been posted on paedophilia in academia, focusing on the work of sociologist Ken Plummer at the University of Essex, Len Davis, formerly Lecturer in Social Work at Brunel University, and Donald J. West, Professor of Clinical Criminology at the University of Cambridge. There is much more to be written on the issue of the acceptance of and sometimes propaganda for paedophilia in academic contexts; I have earlier published on the pederastic scholarly writings of Clifford Hindley (formerly a senior civil servant at the Home Office alleged to have secured funding for the Paedophile Information Exchange), as well as the pro-paedophile views of leading feminist and Cambridge University Lecturer Germaine Greer. In several fields, including sociology, social work, classical studies, art history, music, literature and above all gender and sexuality studies, there is much to be read produced in a academic environment, and published by scholarly presses, which goes some way towards the legitimisation of paedophilia. In July, Andrew Gilligan published an article on this subject as continues to exist in some academic summer conferences (Andrew Gilligan, ‘Paedophilia is natural and normal for males’, Sunday Telegraph, July 6th, 2014), whilst Eileen Fairweather has written about how easily many in academia were taken in by the language and rhetoric of PIE, as they ‘adroitly hijacked the language of liberation’, presented themselves in opposition to ‘patriarchy’ and would brand critics homophobic (Eileen Fairweather, ‘We on the Left lacked the courage to be branded ‘homophobic’, so we just ignored it. I wish I hadn’t’, Telegraph, February 22nd, 2014). Back in 1998 Chris Brand, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, was removed from his post after advocating that consensual paedophilia with an intelligent child was acceptable (see Alastair Dalton, ‘Brand loses job fight over views on child sex’ The Scotsman, March 25th, 1988, reproduced at the bottom of this), but such cases are rare.
I would never advocate censorship of this material or research of this type, but I believe it to be alarming how little critical attention this type of material appears to receive, perhaps still because it is taboo in certain circles to criticise anything which in particular attaches itself to the cause of gay rights (just as victims of female abusers, or researchers into the subject, find themselves under continual attack from some feminists who would prefer for such abuse to continue than for it to disturb their tidy ideologies – see my earlier post on child abuse and identity politics).
I have over a period of time been assembling information on what I would call a paedophile ‘canon’ of writings, many of them produced by academics, which use similar ideologies and rhetoric to attempt to normalise and legitimise paedophilia. Detail on this will have to wait until a later date; for now, I want to draw attention to some of the writings of Emeritus Professor of Sociology and University Director of Research at South Bank University Jeffrey Weeks, previously Executive Dean of Arts and Human Sciences and Dean of Humanities. Rarely has Weeks’ work been subject to critique of this type (one notable exception is Mary Macleod and Esther Saga, ‘A View from the Left: Child Sexual Abuse’, in Martin Loney, Robert Bocock, et al (eds), The State or the Market: Politics and Welfare in Contemporary Britain (London: Sage Books, 1991), pp. 103-110, though this is problematic in other respects).
Weeks was described in a hagiographic article from 2008 as ‘the most significant British intellectual working on sexuality to emerge from the radical sexual movements of the 1970s’ (Matthew Waites, ‘Jeffrey Weeks and the History of Sexuality’, History Workshop Journal, Vol. 69, No. 1 (2010), pp. 258-266), having been involved the early days of the Gay Liberation Front and their branch formed at the London School of Economics in 1970. He published first in Gay News, and was a founding member of the Gay Left collective; their ‘socialist journal’ included several pro-paedophile articles (all can be downloaded here – see in particular issues 7 and 8). Weeks’ first book, Socialism and the New Life: the Personal and Sexual Politics of Edward Carpenter and Havelock Ellis (London: Pluto Press, 1977) was co-authored with Sheila Rowbotham; Rowbotham wrote on Edward Carpenter, who was a key member of the ‘Uranian’ poets, who have been described as ‘the forerunners of PIE’; the volume completely ignored any of this.
In the preface to the paedophile volume The Betrayal of Youth: Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People (London: CL Publications, 1986), editor Warren Middleton (aka John Parratt, former vice-chair of the Paedophile Information Exchange and editor of Understanding Paedophilia, who was later jailed for possession of indecent images), acknowledged Weeks gratefully alongside members of the PIE Executive Committee and others who had ‘read the typescripts, made useful suggestion, and, where necessary, grammatical corrections’.
Here I am reproducing passages from four of Weeks’ books, which should make his positions relatively clear. The first gives a highly sanitised view of the paedophile movements PAL and PIE, accepting completely at face value the idea that they were simply ‘a self-help focus for heterosexual as well as homosexual pedophiles, giving mutual support to one another, exchanging views and ideas and encouraging research’, whose ‘method was the classical liberal one of investigation and public debate’ (rather than a contact group for abusers and for sharing images of child abuse, as was well-known and documented by this stage), and more concerned about the tabloid reaction than about their victims. It is a lousy piece of scholarship as well, considering this is a revised edition from 1997 (the book was earlier published in 1977, 1980 and 1993); Weeks breaks one of the first principles of scholarship by shelving information which does not suit his a priori argument, thus saying nothing about the various members of PIE who had been convicted and imprisoned (or fled the country) for offences against children, including most of its leading members, claiming that the involvement of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality was due to its being ‘gratutiously dragged in’, ignoring the fact of their having made public statements of support at their 1974 conference (of which Weeks, at the centre of this movement, would have been well-aware). The second, on ‘intergenerational sex’ (an academic term used to make paedophilia sound more acceptable) is backed up by a range of references which is almost like a who’s who of paedophile advocates, many treated as if reliable scholarly sources rather than the child abuse propaganda they are. In common with many left-liberal writers on paedophilia, he does not endorse sex between adult men and young girls, but applies a very different set of standards when boys are concerned. The third passage is more subtle, appearing to distance Weeks from the view of J.Z. Eglinton and others, but again (drawing upon Brian Taylor’s contribution to the volume Perspectives on Paedophilia) ends up trying to make distinctions in such a way that some child abuse is made less serious. The fourth takes an angle familiar from Peter Righton and others; as abuse mostly takes place in the family, the risks from other types of paedophiles end up being little more than a moral panic.
Weeks’ minimisation of concern about sexual exploitation of boys, and concomitant greater sympathy with gay abusers than their victims, resonates with the view coming from the Labour Party at the moment, with the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper determined to make child abuse purely an issue affecting girls. Furthermore, the Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman, as is now well-known, was involved at the centre of the National Council for Civil Liberties when they were closely linked to PIE (whose membership were overwhelmingly adult males looking to have sexual relations with boys). Under General Secretary Patricia Hewitt, NCCL submitted a document in 1976 to the Criminal Law Revision Committee, arguing amongst other things that ‘Childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult result in no identifiable damage. The Criminal Law Revision Committee should be prepared to accept the evidence form follow-up research on child ‘victims’ which show that there is little subsequent effect after a child has been ‘molested’’, echoing PIE’s own submission on the subject. Harman was not involved with NCCL until two years later, but there is nothing to suggest policy changed during her time or she had any wish to change it, whilst during her tenure NCCL went on to advertise in PIE’s house journal Magpie, and had Nettie Pollard, PIE member No. 70, as their Gay and Lesbian Officer. This was the heyday of PIE, and the support of NCCL was a significant factor. Harman, quite incredibly, went on to make paedophile advocate Hewitt godmother to her sons. Cooper is of a different generation, but all her pronouncements suggest the same contemptuous attitude towards young boys, seeing them only as threats to girls and near-animals requiring of taming, rarely thinking about their needs nor treating them as the equally sensitive and vulnerable people they are; with this in mind, abuse of boys is an issue she almost never mentions. It is alarming to me that both Harman and Cooper have parented sons and yet appear to be entirely unwilling to accept that boys deserve equal love and respect, nor keen to confront the scale of organised institutional abuse of boys
Though considering the number of stories involving Labour figures alleged to have abused or colluded with the abuse of young boys (I think of the cases in Leicester, Lambeth, the relationship of senior Labour figures to PIE, not just Harman, her husband Dromey, and Hewitt, but also former leadership candidate Bryan Gould, who made clear his endorsement for the organisation (see also this BBC feature from earlier this year; the relationship of the late Jo Richardson to the organisation also warrants further investigation), not to mention the vast amount of organised abuse which was able to proceed unabated in Islington children’s homes when the council was led by Margaret Hodge, who incredibly was later appointed Children’s Minister, the allegations around former Speaker of the House of Commons George Thomas aka Lord Tonypandy, and some other members of the New Labour government who have been identified as linked to Operation Ore; and the support and protection afforded to Peter Righton by many on the liberal left), it is not surprising if the Labour frontbench want to make the sexual abuse of boys a secondary issue. This is unfortunately a common liberal-left view, and a reason to fear the consequences of some such people being in charge of children at all, whether as parents or in other roles. There are those who see young boys purely as a problem, little more than second-best girls, to be metaphorically beaten into shape, though always viewed as dangerous, substandard, and not to be trusted; this in itself is already a type of abuse, but such a view also makes it much easier to overlook the possibility their being sexually interfered with and anally raped (not to mention also being the victims of unprovoked violence) – the consequences are atrocious. Many young boys were sexually abused by members of the paedophile organisation that Harman, Hewitt, Dromey et al helped to legitimise (I am of a generation with many of the boys who appeared in sexualized pictures aged around 10 or under in the pages of Magpie; I was fortunate in avoiding some of their fate, others were not); it is right that they should never be allowed to forget this, and it thoroughly compromises their suitability for public office. The Labour Party and the liberal left in general, have a lot of work to do if they are not to be seen as primary advocates for and facilitators for boy rape. In no sense should this be seen as any type of attack on the fantastic work done by MPs such as Simon Danczuk, Tom Watson or John Mann, or many other non-politicians working in a similar manner; but the left needs rescuing from a middle-class liberal establishment who are so blinkered by ideology as to end up dehumanising and facilitating the sexual abuse of large numbers of people. Weeks, Plummer, West, Davies, Greer, Millett, Hindley, and others I will discuss on a later occasion such as Mary McIntosh, are all part of this tendency.
Jeffrey Weeks, Coming Out: Homosexual Politics in Britain from the Nineteenth Century to the Present, revised and updated edition (London & New York: Quartet Books, 1997)
‘Even more controversial and divisive was the question of pedophilia. Although the most emotive of issues, it was one which centrally and radically raised the issue of the meaning and implications of sexuality. But it also had the disadvantage for the gay movement that it threatened to confirm the persistent stereotype of the male homosexual as a ‘child molester’. As a result, the movement generally sought carefully to distance itself from the issue. Recognition of the centrality of childhood and the needs of children had been present in post-1968 radicalism, and had found its way into early GLF ideology. The GLF gave its usual generous support to the Schools Action Union, a militant organization of schoolchildren, backed the short-lived magazine Children’s Rights in 1972, campaigned against the prosecutions of Oz (for the schoolchildren’s issue) and the Little Red Schoolbook. But the latter, generally a harmless and useful manual for children, illustrated the difficulties of how to define sexual contact between adults and children in a non-emotive or moralistic way. In its section on this, the Little Red Schoolbook stressed, rightly, that rape or violence were rare in such contacts, but fell into the stereotyped reaction by talking of ‘child molesting’ and ‘dirty old men’: ‘they’re just men who have nobody to sleep with’; and ‘if you see or meet a man like this, don’t panic, go and tell your teacher or your parents about it’. 
But the issue of childhood sexuality and of pedophile relationships posed massive problems both of sexual theory and of social practice. If an encounter between child and adult was consensual and mutually pleasurable, in what way could or should it be deemed harmful? This led on to questions of what constituted harm, what was consent, at what age could a child consent, at what age should a child be regarded as free from parental control, by what criteria should an adult sexually attracted to children be judged responsible? These were real questions which had to be faced if any rational approach was to emerge, but too often they were swept aside in a tide of revulsion.
A number of organizations in and around the gay movement made some effort to confront these after 1972 on various levels. Parents Enquiry, established in South London in 1972 by Rose Robertson, attempted to cope with some of the problems of young homosexuals, particularly in their relationships with their parents. Her suburban middle-class respectability gave her a special cachet, and with a series of helpers she was able to help many young people to adjust to their situation by giving advice, holding informal gatherings, mediating with parents and the authorities.  More radical and controversial were two pedophile self-help organizations which appeared towards the end of 1974: PAL (originally standing for Pedophile Action for Liberation) and PIE (Pedophile Information Exchange). Their initial stimulus was the hostility they felt to be directed at their sexual predilections within the gay movement itself, but they both intended to act as a self-help focus for heterosexual as well as homosexual pedophiles, giving mutual support to one another, exchanging views and ideas and encouraging research. The sort of gut reaction such moves could provoke was illustrated by a Sunday People ‘exposé’ of PAL, significantly in the Spring Bank Holiday issue in 1975. It was headed ‘An Inquiry that will Shock every Mum and Dad’, and then, in its boldest type, ‘The Vilest Men in Britain’.  Despite the extreme hyperbole and efforts of the paper and of Members of Parliament, no criminal charges were brought, since no illegal deeds were proved. But it produced a scare reaction in parts of the gay movement, especially as CHE had been gratuitously dragged in by the newspaper.
Neither of the pedophile groups could say ‘do it’ as the gay liberation movement had done, because of the legal situation. Their most hopeful path lay in public education and in encouraging debate about the sexual issues involved. PIE led the way in this regard, engaging in polemics in various gay and non-gay journals, conducting questionnaires among its membership (about two hundred strong) and submitting evidence to the Criminal Law Revision Committee, which was investigating sexual offences.  PIE’s evidence, which advocated formal abolition of the age of consent while retaining non-criminal provisions to safeguard the interests of the child against violence, set the tone for its contribution. Although openly a grouping of men and women sexually attracted to children (and thus always under the threat of police investigation), the delicacy of its position dictated that its method was the classical liberal one of investigation and public debate. Significantly, the axes of the social taboo had shifted from homosexuality to conceptually disparate forms of sexual variation. For most homosexuals this was a massive relief, and little enthusiasm was demonstrated for new crusades on wider issues of sexuality. (pp. 225-227)
28. Sven Hansen and Jasper Jensen, The Little Red School-book, Stage 1, 1971, p. 103. See the ‘Appeal to Youth’ in Come Together, 8, published for the GLF Youth Rally, 28 August 1971.
29. See her speech to the CHE Morecambe Conference, quoted in Gay News, 21.
30. Sunday People, 25 May 1975. For the inevitable consequences of this type of unprincipled witchhunt, see South London Press, 30 May 1975: ‘Bricks hurled at “sex-ring” centre house’, describing an attack on one of the addresses named in the Sunday People article.
31. There is a brief note on PIE’s questionnaire in New Society, vol. 38, No. 736, 11 November 1976, p. 292 (‘Taboo Tabled’).
Jeffrey Weeks, Sexuality and its Discontents: Meanings, Myths & Modern Sexualities (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985).
Intergenerational sex and consent
If public sex constitutes one area of moral anxiety, another, greater, one, exists around intergenerational sex. Since at least the eighteenth century children’s sexuality has been conventionally defined as a taboo area, as childhood began to be more sharply demarcated as an age of innocence and purity to be guarded at all costs from adult corruption. Masturbation in particular became a major topic of moral anxiety, offering the curious spectacle of youthful sex being both denied and described, incited and suppressed. ‘Corruption of youth’ is an ancient charge, but it has developed a new resonance over the past couple of centuries. The real curiosity is that while the actuality is of largely adult male exploitation of young girls, often in and around the home, male homosexuals have frequently been seen as the chief corrupters, to the extent that in some rhetoric ‘homosexual’ and ‘child molesters’ are coequal terms. As late as the 1960s progressive texts on homosexuality were still preoccupied with demonstrating that homosexuals were not, by and large, interested in young people, and even in contemporary moral panics about assaults on children it still seems to be homosexual men who are investigated first. As Daniel Tsang has argued, ‘the age taboo is much more a proscription against gay behaviour than against heterosexual behaviour.’  Not surprisingly, given this typical association, homosexuality and intergenerational sex have been intimately linked in the current crisis over sexuality.
Alfred Kinsey was already noting the political pay-off in child-sex panics in the late 1940s. In Britain in the early 1960s Mrs Mary Whitehouse launched her campaigns to clean up TV, the prototype of later evangelical campaigns, on the grounds that children were at risk, and this achieved a strong resonance. Anita Bryant’s anti-gay campaign in Florida from 1976 was not accidentally called ‘Save Our Children, Inc.’. Since these pioneering efforts a series of moral panics have swept countries such as the USA, Canada, Britain and France, leading to police harassment of organisations, attacks on publications, arrests of prominent activists, show trials and imprisonments.  Each panic shows the typical profile, with the escalation through various stages of media and moral manipulation until the crisis is magically resolved by some symbolic action. The great ‘kiddie-porn’ panic in 1977 in the USA and Britain led to the enactment of legislation in some 35 American states and in Britain. The guardians of morality may have given up hope of changing adult behaviour, but they have made a sustained effort to protect our young, whether from promiscuous gays, lesbian parents or perverse pornographers. 
From the point of view of moral absolutism intergenerational sex poses no problem of interpretation. It is wrong because it breaches the innocence necessary for mature development. The English philosopher, Roger Scruton, suggested that we are disgusted by it ‘because we subscribe, in our hearts, to the value of innocence’. Prolonged innocence is the prerequisite to total surrender in adult love. Erotic love, he argues, arises from modesty, restraint and chastity. This means ‘we must not only foster those necessary virtues, but also silence those who teach the language which demeans them.’  So ‘intolerance’ is not only understandable but virtually necessary—there are no liberal concessions here.
Liberals and radicals on the other hand have found it more difficult to confront the subject. It does not easily fit into the rhetoric of rights—whose rights, and how are they to be expressed: the child’s, the adult’s? Nor can it be dealt with straightforwardly by the idea of consent. Kinsey argued that in a sense this was a non issue: there was no reason, except our exaggerated fear of sexuality, why a child should be disturbed at seeing the genitalia of others, or at being played with, and it was more likely to be adult reactions that upset the child than the sexual activity itself.  This has been echoed by the advocates of intergenerational sex themselves. David Thorstad of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) argued that ‘if it feels good, and the boy wants it and enjoys it, then I fail to see why anyone besides the two persons involved should care.’ Tom O’Carroll, whose Paedophilia: The Radical Case is the most sustained advocacy of the subject, suggested that:
The usual mistake is to believe that sexual activity, especially for children, is so alarming and dangerous that participants need to have an absolute, total awareness of every conceivable ramification of taking part before they can be said to consent…there is no need whatever for a child to know ‘the consequences’ of engaging in harmless sex play, simply because it is exactly that: harmless. 
There are two powerful arguments against this. The first, put forward by many feminists, is that young people, especially young girls, do need protection from adult men in an exploitative and patriarchal society, whatever the utopian possibilities that might exist in a different society. The age of consent laws currently in operation may have degrees of absurdity about them (they vary from state to state, country to country, they differentially apply to girls and boys, and they are only selectively operated) but at least they provide a bottom line in the acceptance of appropriate behaviour. This suggests that the real debate should be about the appropriate minimum age for sex rather than doing away with the concept of consent altogether.  Secondly, there is the difficult and intricate problem of subjective meaning. The adult is fully aware of the sexual connotations of his actions because he (and it is usually he) lives in a world of heavily sexualised symbols and language. The young person does not. In a recent study of twenty-five boys engaged in homosexual paedophile relations the author, Theo Sandfort, found that ‘Potentially provocative acts which children make are not necessarily consciously intended to be sexual and are only interpreted by the older persons as having a sexual element.’  This indicates an inherent and inevitable structural imbalance in awareness of the situation. Against this, it might be argued that it is only the exalted cultural emphasis we place on sex that makes this an issue. That is undoubtedly true, but it does not remove the fact of that ascribed importance. We cannot unilaterally escape the grid of meaning that envelops us.
This is tactily accepted by paedophile activists themselves who have found it necessary to adopt one or other (and sometimes both) of two types of legitimation. The first, the ‘Greek love’, legitimation basically argues for the pedagogic value of adult-child relations, between males. It suggests—relying on a mythologised version of ancient Greek practices—that in the passage from childhood dependence to adult responsibilities the guidance, sexual and moral, of a caring man is invaluable. This position is obviously paternalistic and is also often antihomosexual; for it is not the gay nature of the relationship that is stressed, but the age divide and the usefulness of the experience for later heterosexual adjustment. The second legitimation relies on the facts of childhood sexuality. O’Carroll carefully assesses the evidence for the existence of childhood sex to argue for the oppressiveness of its denial.  But of course an ‘is’ does not necessarily make an ‘ought’, nor does the acceptance of childhood sex play inevitably mean the toleration of adult-child relations.
It is difficult to confront the issue rationally because of the series of myths that shroud the topic. But all the available evidence suggests that the stereotypes of intergenerational sex obscure a complex reality.  The adult is usually seen as ‘a dirty old man’, typically ‘a stranger’ to the assaulted child, as ‘sick’ or an ‘inhuman monster’. Little of this seems to be true, at least of those we might describe as the political paedophile. He is scarcely an ‘old man’ (the membership of the English Paedophile Information Exchange, PIE, varied in age from 20 to over 60, with most clustered between 35 and 40); he is more likely to be a professional person than the average member of the population (only 14 per cent of PIE members were blue collar workers); he is more often than not a friend or relation of the child; and to outward appearances is not a ‘special type of person’ but an apparently healthy and ordinary member of the community. His chief distinguishing characteristic is an intense, but often highly affectionate and even excessively sentimental, regard for young people. 
The sexual involvement itself is typically seen as being an assault on extremely young, usually pre-pubertal, people. The members of PIE, which generally is preoccupied with relations with pre-pubertal children, seem chiefly interested in boys between 12 and 14, though heterosexual paedophiles tended to be interested in girls between 8 and 10. This is less startling than the stereotype of babies barely out of the cradle being assaulted but poses nevertheless difficult questions about where protection and care ends and exploitation begins. Most members of NAMBLA, on the other hand, which has attracted obloquy in the USA as great as PIE has attracted in Britain, have a quite different profile. They appear to be chiefly interested in boys between 14 and 19. As Tom Reeves, a prominent spokesman for man/boy love, has put it:
My own sexuality is as little concerned with children, however, as it is with women. It is self-consciously homosexual, but it is directed at boys at that time in their lives when they cease to be children yet refuse to be men. 
Self-identified ‘boy-lovers’ like Reeves scarcely fit into any conceivable picture of a ‘child molester’. They carefully distinguish their own practices from sex between men and girls which ‘seems to be a reprehensible form of power tripping as it has been reported by women’; and stress the beneficial aspects for adult and young partners of the sexual relationship.
When the official age of consent in France is 15 for boys and girls in heterosexual and homosexual relations (compared to 16 for girls in Britain, and 21 for male homosexuals), and when in the 1890s Krafft-Ebing fixed on 14 for the dividing line between sexually mature and immature individuals,  the fear that NAMBLA is attempting a corruption of young people seems excessive.
The young people themselves are typically seen as innocent victims. Certainly, many children are cruelly assaulted by adults, but in relations involving self-identified paedophiles or ‘boy lovers’ there seems to be no evidence of either cruelty or violence. Sandfort found that in his sample the boys overwhelmingly experienced their sexual activities as positive. The most common evaluative terms used were ‘nice’, ‘happy’, ‘free’, ‘safe’, ‘satisfied’, and even ‘proud’ and ‘strong’; and only minimally were negative terms such as ‘angry’, ‘sad’, ‘lonely’ used. Even when these negative terms were used, it was largely because of the secrecy often necessary and the knowledge of hostile norms and reactions, not because of the sexual contact itself.  There is strong evidence that the trauma of public exposure and of parental and police involvement is often greater than the trauma of the sex itself. Moreover, many adult-child relations are initiated by the young person himself. A young member of NAMBLA was asked ‘You can be desperate for sex at 13?’ He replied, ‘Oh yes’.  Force seems to be very rare in such relations, and there is little evidence amongst self-declared paedophiles or ‘boy lovers’ of conscious exploitation of young people.
All this suggests that intergenerational sex is not a unitary category. Brian Taylor has distinguished eight possible categories which pinpoints the existence of ‘paedophilias’ rather than a single ‘paedophilia’. There are the conventional distinctions between ‘paedophiles’ (generally those interested in prepubertal sex partners), ‘pederasts’ (those interested in boys) and ‘ephobophiles’ (those interested in adolescents). But distinctions can also be made on gender of the older person or the younger person and along lines of homosexuality and heterosexuality. This variety suggests we need to be equally discrete in our responses.  There are three continuums of behaviour and attitude which interweave haphazardly. Firstly, there is a continuum of beliefs and attitudes, from the actual violent assaulter at one end to the political paedophile at the other. These can not readily be put in the same class for approval or disapproval. Most people brought before the courts for child abuse are heterosexual men who usually view their girl victims as substitutes for real women. Most activists who court publicity (and risk imprisonment themselves, as happened to Tom O’Carroll of PIE in 1981) have adopted a political identity, which sometimes does not coincide with their actual sexual desires (both NAMBLA and PIE had members interested in older teenagers) but is built around an exaggerated respect for children.  It is not obvious that all people involved in intergenerational sex should be treated in the same way by the law or public opinion if intentions or desires are very distinct.
A second continuum is of sexual practices. Some researchers have found coitus rare. It seems that the great majority of heterosexual paedophilia consists of ‘sex play’, such as looking, showing and fondling, and much homosexual involvement seems to be similar. Tom O’Carroll has suggested that these sexual distinctions should be codified, so that intercourse would be prohibited before a certain minimum age of twelve.  But bisecting these nuances, problematical in themselves, are two other crucial distinctions, between boy partners and girl, and between heterosexual and homosexual relations. There is a strong case for arguing that it is not the sex act in itself which needs to be evaluated, but its context. It is difficult to avoid the justice of the feminist argument that in our culture it is going to be very difficult for a relationship between a heterosexual man and a young girl to be anything but exploitative and threatening, whatever the sexual activity. It is the power asymmetry that has effect. There is still a power imbalance between an adult man and a young boy but it does not carry the socio-sexual implications that a heterosexual relation inevitably does. Should these different types of relation carry the same condemnation?
The third continuum covers the age of the young people involved. There is obviously a qualitative difference between a 3-year-old partner and a 14-year-old and it is difficult to see how any sexual order could ever ignore this (even the PIE proposals, which first sparked off the panic about paedophile cradle snatching in Britain, actually proposed a set of protections for very young children). ‘Sex before eight, or it’s too late’, the reputed slogan of the American René Guyon Society, founded in 1962 to promote intergenerational sex, is not likely to inspire widespread support, because it imposes sex as an imperative just as now our moral guardians would impose innocence. There is a strong case for finding non-legal means of protecting young children, as Tom O’Carroll has suggested, because it is clear that the law has a damaging and stigmatising impact.  But protection of the very young from unwanted attentions will always be necessary. The difficult question is when does protection become stifling paternalism and ‘adult oppression’. Puberty is one obvious landmark, but the difficulty of simply adopting this as a dividing point is that physiological change does not necessarily coincide with social or subjective changes. It is here that it is inescapably necessary to shift focus, to explore the meanings of the sex play for the young people involved.
Kate Millett has powerfully underlined the difficulties of intergenerational sex when adult/child relations are irreducibly exploitative, and pointed to the problems of a paedophile movement which is arguing for the rights of adults. What is our freedom fight about? she asks. ‘Is it about the liberation of children or just having sex with them?’  If a progressive sexual politics is fundamentally concerned with sexual self-determination then it becomes impossible to ignore the evolving self-awareness of the child. That means discouraging the unwelcome imposition of adult meanings and needs on the child, not simply because they are sexual but because they are external and adult. On the other hand, it does mean providing young people with full access to the means of sexual knowledge and protection as it becomes appropriate. There is no magic age for this ‘appropriateness’. Each young person will have their own rhythms, needs and time scale. But the starting point can only be the belief that sex in itself is not an evil or dirty experience. It is not sex that is dangerous but the social relations which shape it. In this context the idea of consent takes on a new meaning. There is a tension in consent theory between the political conservatism of most of its adherents, and the radical voluntarism implicit in it. 50 For the idea of consent ultimately challenges all authority in the name of free self-determination. Certain categories of people have always been deemed incapable of full consent or of refusing ‘consent’—women in marriage, certain children, especially girls, under a certain age, classes of women in rape cases. By extending the idea of consent beyond the narrow limits currently employed in minimum age or age of consent legislation, by making it a positive concept rather than simply a negatively protective or gender-dichotomised one, it may become possible to realize that radical potential again. That would transform the debate about intergenerational sex, shifting the focus away from sex in itself to the forms of power in which it is enmeshed, and the limits these inscribe for the free play of consent. (pp. 223-231)
29. See, for example, Daniel Tsang, ‘Struggling Against Racism’ in Tsang (ed.), The Age Taboo, pp. 161-2.
30. Ibid., p. 8. There are plentiful examples of the automatic association made between male homosexuality and child molesting. In the year I write this, 1983, there has been a rich crop of them in Britain, with the low point being reached in the Brighton rape case, August 1983, where a deplorable assault on a young boy led to a rapacious press attack on the local gay community and legal action against members of the Paedophile Information Exchange, who were in no way connected with the case. The moral panic had found its victims; calm was restored; but the three men who actually assaulted the child were never found.
31. Kinsey et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, p. 117, note 16; Mary Whitehouse, Cleaning-up TV. From Protest to Participation, London, Blandford Press, 1967, and A Most Dangerous Woman?, Tring, Herts, Lion Publishing, 1982; Anita Bryant, The Anita Bryant Story. For general commentaries on events see the articles in Tsang, The Age Taboo; Altman, The Homosexualization of America, pp. 198ff; Mitzel, The Boston Sex Scandal, Boston, Glad Day Books, 1980; Tom O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, London, Peter Owen, 1980, ch. 12; Ken Plummer, ‘Images of Paedophilia’ in M. Cook and G.D. Wilson (eds), Love and Attraction: An International Conference, Oxford, Pergamon, 1979; Major events included the Revere ‘Sex Scandal’ in Boston, the raid on Body Politic following its publication of the article ‘Men Loving Boys Loving Men’ in Dec. 1977; the ‘kiddie porn’ panic of 1977; the trial of Tom O’Carroll and others in England for conspiracy to corrupt public morals in 1981.
32. Pat Califia, ‘The Age of Consent; An Issue and its Effects on the Gay Movement’, The Advocate, 30 October 1980, p. 17. See also Florence Rush, ‘Child Pornography’ in Lederer (ed.), Take Back the Night, pp. 71-81; Illinois Legislative Investigating Commission, Sexual Exploitation of Children, Chicago, The Commission, 1980 (see further references in Tsang, op. cit., pp. 169-70); and on similar events in Britain Whitehouse, A Most Dangerous Woman?, ch. 13, ‘Kiddie Porn’, pp. 146ff.
33. Roger Scruton, The Times (London), 13 September 1983.
34. Kinsey et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, p. 121.
35. Interview by Guy Hocquenghem with David Thorstad in Semiotext(e) Special: Large Type Series: Loving Boys, Summer 1980, p. 34; Tom O’Carroll, Paedophilia, p. 153.
36. See, for example, ‘“Lesbians Rising” Editors Speak Out’ in Tsang, op. cit., pp. 125-32; Stevi Jackson, Childhood and Sexuality, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1982, ch. 9. See also, Elizabeth Wilson’s comments on the debate about proposals to lower the age of consent in England in What is to be Done about Violence against Women? p. 205.
37. Theo Sandfort, The Sexual Aspects of Paedophile Relations: The Experience of Twenty-Five Boys, Amsterdam, Pan/Spartacus, 1982, p. 81.
38. Kenneth Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress’ in Brian Taylor (ed.), Perspectives on Paedophilia. See J.Z. Eglinton, Greek Love, London, Neville Spearman, 1971 for a classic statement of the first legitimation, and O’Carroll, Paedophilia, especially chs 2 and 5 for the second.
39. For an overview of these stereotypes (and the facts which rebut them) to which I am very much indebted, see Plummer, ‘Images of Paedophilia’.
40. Glenn D. Wilson and David N. Cox, The Child-Lovers. A Study of Paedophiles in Society, London and Boston, Peter Owen, 1983; Peter Righton, ch. 2: ‘The Adult’ in Taylor, Perspectives in Paedophilia; Parker Rossman, Sexual Experiences between Men and Boys, London, Maurice Temple Smith, 1976.
41. Tom Reeves, ‘Loving Boys’ in Tsang, op. cit., p. 27; the age range given on p. 29. On PIE members’ interests see Cox and Wilson, op. cit., ch. II.
42. Krafft-Ebing, Psychopathia Sexualis, p. 552: ‘By violation of sexually immature individuals, the jurist understands all the possible immoral acts with persons under fourteen years of age that are not comprehended in the term “rape”.’
43. On paedophilia as abuse see Florence Rush, The Best Kept Secret: Sexual Abuse of Children, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1980; Robert L. Geiser, Hidden Victims: The Sexual Abuse of Children, Boston, Beacon Press, 1979. For alternative opinions: Sandford, op. cit., pp. 49ff; cf. Morris Fraser, ch. 3, ‘The Child’ and Graham E. Powell and A.J. Chalkley, ch. 4, ‘The Effects of paedophile attention on the child’ in Taylor (ed.), Perspectives on Paedophilia.
44. See interview with the then 15-year-old Mark Moffat in Semiotext(e), loc. cit, p. 10; cf. Tom Reeves’s account of being cruised by two 14-year-olds in Tsang, op. cit., p. 30; and O’Carroll, ch. 4, ‘Paedophilia in Action’ in Paedophilia.
45. Taylor (ed.), Perspectives on Paedophilia, ‘Introduction’, p. xiii. In the rest of the discussion I shall, however use the term ‘paedophile’ to cover all categories as this is the phrase adopted most widely as a political description: ‘Boy lover’ is specific, but exclusive.
46. On offences see P.H. Gebhard, J.H. Gagnon, W.B. Pomeroy and C.V. Christenson, Sex Offenders, New York, Harper & Row, 1965; J. Gagnon, ‘Female child victims of sex offences’, Social Problems, no. 13, 1965, pp. 116-92. On identity questions see Plummer, ‘The paedophile’s progress’.
47. O’Carroll, Paedophilia, pp. 120, 118.
48. Ibid., ch. 6, ‘Towards more Sensible Laws’, which examines various proposals, from Israel to Holland, for minimising the harmful intervention of the law; compare Speijer Committee, The Speijer Report, advice to the Netherlands Council of Health concerning homosexual relations with minors, English Translation, London, Sexual Law Reform Society, n.d.
49. Interview with Kate Millett by Mark Blasius in Semiotext(e) Special, loc. cit, p. 38 (also printed in Tsang (ed.), op. cit.).
50. Carole Pateman, ‘Women and Consent’, Political Theory, vol. 8, no. 2, May 1980, pp. 149-68.
Jeffrey Weeks, Sexuality, third edition (London & New York: Routledge, 2010; first edition 1986)
4. The limits of consent: paedophilia
The power relations that sex can involve are most dramatically illustrated by the question of sex between the generations, or paedophilia. Few topics arouse such fear and anxiety in contemporary societies. The ‘paedophile’ has become a symbol of predatory evil, a synonym indeed not only for child abuser but also in many cases for child abductor and even murderer. The peculiar horror invoked by the abuse of innocence, by the imposition of adult desires on the vulnerable, powerless child, speaks for a culture that is profoundly anxious about the boundaries and differences between adults and children, and has become increasingly concerned with protecting the young as long as possible. Yet this has not always been the case.
In the late nineteenth century paedophilia was lauded by some for its pedagogic possibilities – the so-called Greek love justification: in the passage from childhood dependence to adult responsibility, guidance, sexual and moral, of a caring man can be invaluable, it was argued. It was further legitimated in the twentieth century by the supposed facts of childhood sexuality: sexology itself has revealed the wide extent of childhood sexual potentiality including the existence of infantile masturbation. If something is so natural, and omnipresent, should it be as rigidly controlled as childhood sexuality is today? And again, if it is natural, then surely it cannot be harmful even if it takes place with adults. As Tom O’Carroll, a militant supporter of inter-generational sex (who ended up in prison for his pains) wrote ‘. . . there is no need whatever for a child to know “the consequences” of engaging in harmless sex play, simply because it is exactly that: harmless’. 
For the vast majority of the population this is not harmless play, it is simply child sex abuse. It involves powerful adults using their experience and wiles to gain satisfaction from exploiting children. The growing sensitivity to abuse is the result of long campaigns, often led in Western countries by feminists, or by campaigners who experienced abuse themselves. This has become a global phenomenon, with international campaigns to end the traffic in children and the worst abuses of sex tourism. This without doubt marks an advance in society’s awareness of the reality of exploitation, and the power of adults over children. Yet there is something rather odd in the ways in which various late modern societies, from Australia to Europe to the USA, have focused on the figure of the anonymous paedophile rather than on the hard reality that most abuse of children is carried out by a close relative or family friend, or perhaps by a priest, as a wave of scandals from the UK and Ireland to Australia and the USA has recently underscored. 
Despite, or perhaps because of, the emotiveness of the issue, it is important to be as rational and dispassionate as possible in looking at what is involved. Age is an ambiguous marker. Is there an ideal age at which consent becomes free, rather than abusive, and a relationship becomes consensual, rather than coercive? Certainly the vast majority of us could agree that it should not be 3 or 8, but what about 12 or 14 or 15 which are the ages of consent in various European countries? Laws vary enormously, and sometimes affect boys and girls quite differently. Brian Taylor has pointed to the existence of eight possible subcategories of inter-generational sex, depending on the age of those involved, the distinction of gender, the nature of the sexual proclivity, and the interaction of all three (Taylor 1981). This suggests that there are paedophilias, not a single paedophilia, and the social response should be sensitive to these distinctions, even as it focuses rightly on protecting the young and vulnerable. (pp. 95-97)
6 O’Carroll (1980: 153). For the various legitimations offered, see the discussion in Plummer (1981).
7 There is an excellent debate on the implications of the early twenty-first century anxiety about paedophilia in Loseke et al. (2003). For feminist perspectives, see Reavey and Warner (2003).
Jeffrey Weeks, The World We Have Won: The Remaking of Erotic and Intimate Life (London & New York: Routledge, 2007)
‘Through stories – of desire and love, of hope and mundane reality, of excitement and disappointment – told to willing listeners in communities of meaning, people imagine and reimagine who and what they are, what they want to become (Plummer 1995 [Plummer, K. (1995) Telling Sexual Stories: Power, Change and Social Worlds, London: Routledge], 2003 [Plummer, K. (2003) Intimate Citizenship: Private Decisions and Public Dialogues, Seattle: University of Washington Press]). Of course, all this does not mean that anything goes. It is noticeable that as some barriers to speaking are removed or redefined new ones are erected. Paedophilia began to speak its name in the 1970s, but has been redefined as child abuse and trebly execrated in the 2000s.’ (p. 10)
‘The age of consent may be an ambiguous barrier for young people themselves but it is a fraught one for many adults, usually men. The age of consent itself is constructed in terms of protection of young girls, and it assumes male agency (Waites 2005a [Waites, M. (2005a) The Age of Consent: Young People, Sexuality and Citizenship, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan]). But the growing awareness of the extent of child sex abuse poses wider questions about the power relations between adults and children (see Reavey and Warner 2003 [Reavey, P. and Warner, S. (eds) (2003) New Feminist Stories of Child Sexual Abuse: Sexual Scripts and Dangerous Dialogues, London and New York, Routledge]; O’Connel Davidson 2005 [O’Connell Davidson, J. (2005) Children in the Global Sex Trade, Cambridge: Polity Press]). The government has responded to widespread anxieties about breach of trust on the part of adults by attempting to write into law notions of protection that should operate in certain types of adult child relationships, such as teaching (Bainham and Brooks-Gordon 2004 [‘Reforming the Law on Sexual offences’, in Brooks-Gordon, B., Gelsthorpe, L., Johnson, M. and Bainham, A. (eds) (2004) Sexuality Repositioned: Diversity and the Law, Oxford, and Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, pp. 291-296]; Epstein et al. 2004 [Epstein, D., Johnson, R. and Steinberg. D.L. (2004) ‘Thrice Told Tales: Modernising Sexualities in the Age of Consent’ in Steinberg, D.L. and Johnson, R. (eds) (2004) Blairism and the War of Persuasion: Labour’s Passive Revolution, London: Lawrence & Wishart, pp. 96-113). These have the habit of all attempts at redrawing boundaries of becoming fiery touchstone issues, as the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Ruth Kelly, found out in early 2006. The discovery by the press that there were teachers in schools who had previously been accused of abusing children threatened to engulf her and end her career, though she could realistically have had very little knowledge of how her civil servants operated the register of offenders (Doward 2006a:8-9; [Doward, J. (2006a), ‘Sex Scandal that Engulfed Kelly’, Observer, 15 January, pp. 8-9] see also Aaronovitch 2006: 21) [Aaronovitch, D. (2006), ‘The Paedophile Panic: Why We Have Reached Half Way to Bonkers Island’, The Times, 12 January, 21] Behaviours which were once regarded as natural and even healthy (childhood nudity, for example) have become fraught with menace, as parents and carers have discovered when their holiday photographs of naked children playing on the beach have been processed, and police summoned.
Many of these anxieties had been brought to the surface following the murder of the 8-year-old Sarah Payne in summer 2000. The News of the World’s campaign, in response to this, of naming and shaming alleged paedophiles, in turn stimulated a local vigilante campaign led by mothers on the Paulsgrove housing estate in Hampshire (Bell 2003: 108-28 [Bell, V. (2003), ‘The Vigilantt(e) Parent and the Paedophile: The News of the World Campaign 2000 and the Contemporary Governmentality of Child Sex Abuse’’, in Reavey and Warner 2003, pp. 108-28]). This raised in turn a number of crucial issues: the role of the press in stirring up moral panic, the role of class in configuring the response to the working-class mothers’ action, the role of women in confronting an alleged lack of communication from the state, and the role of the state itself in responding to acute anxiety, ignorance and fear. But as important was the shift in the perception of sexual risk and the management of risk that was taking place. As Rose (1999: 206) [Rose, N. (1999), Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self (2nd edn), London and New York: Free Associations Books] points out, outrage at the neglect of abuse emerged most strongly from the very group in society that was once deemed most likely to abuse children – the working class itself. And in practice, of course, the vast majority of cases of abuse take place within families or are by someone known to the child. Yet the anger focused on the dangerous stranger, the paedophile, bearer of a particular psychopathology and history, completely detached from the family. A similar process has been at work in relation to so-called paedophile priests in the Roman Catholic Church. A scandal that the church had long hidden, it raised crucial questions about the religious calling, church discipline, priestly celibacy and simple trust. Yet in the church’s eyes it became less about abuse than about Catholic attitudes towards homosexuality, gay priests and the like. When in 2006 a new Pope sought to ban gays from taking up the priesthood, it was widely seen as a response to the paedophile scandal (Loseka 2003: 13 [‘”We hold these Truths to be Self-evident”: Problems in Pondering the Paedophile Priest problem’, Sexualities 6 (1), February, 6-14]). Anxiety has become individualized, thus expunging the most dangerous sites for the production of abuse, the home, the local community, and it appears the Catholic church, from the story. (pp. 153-154)
The Scotsman, March 25th, 1988
Alastair Dalton, ‘Brand loses job fight over views on child sex’
THE controversial academic Chris Brand, sacked by Edinburgh University for promoting his views on paedophilia, yesterday lost his appeal against his dismissal.
The independent QC asked by the university to hear the appeal agreed that the psychology lecturer’s behaviour had amounted to gross misconduct and ruled that his dismissal could not be said to have been improper or inappropriate.
Mr Brand, 54, last night described the university’s actions as “treacherous”, but refused to say whether he planned to take his case to an industrial tribunal or the courts.
He was dismissed for gross misconduct last August by the university principal, Professor Sir Stewart Sutherland, after he published on the Internet his view that consensual sex between adults and children was acceptable as long as the child was intelligent.
Mr Brand had previously caused a storm after his 1996 book, The g Factor, claimed there was genetic proof black people had lower IQs than white people. It prompted students to disrupt his lectures and the book was withdrawn by the publisher. The university found no grounds for disciplinary action against him then, although the principal described his views as “obnoxious”.
Gordon Coutts, QC, who conducted Mr Brand’s two-day appeal hearing last week, stated : “The appeal fails. I reject all the revised amended grounds of appeal. I find that the appeal does not raise any question of academic freedom.”
He added: “In pursuit of his objectives, he (Mr Brand) set out to promote controversy. In that he succeeded but cannot now complain if the effect of his behaviour has been to render his continued employment by the university impossible.
“The principal of the university did not dismiss him for views he held; he was dismissed because it was established that his behaviour made it impossible for him to work within a university department.”
Sir Stewart said yesterday he was “naturally content” that “an independent legal expert has endorsed in the clearest possible terms” the findings of the university’s disciplinary tribunal and his subsequent decision to sack Mr Brand.
He said: “I would repeat that it is for aspects of his conduct, not his opinions, that Mr Brand has been dismissed. Mr Brand has again, in recent months, been reported in the press as alleging this process was an attack on academic freedom, though this was not argued by his counsel at the appeal hearing. It has not and never has been such an attack, as independently confirmed by the appeal decision.
“Neither I nor my colleagues at this university have sought in any way to censor Mr Brand’s researched conclusions, on ethnic background and intelligence, for example.
“But it was made clear to him, well before he publicised views on paedophilia, that he also had responsibilities to act with care, whether in a departmental, teaching or wider situation – advice which he apparently chose to ignore.”
Mr Brand condemned the university. He said: “Their behaviour has been shameful.
They have been treacherous to their own academic staff and a disgrace to academia.”
Mr Brand, a former prison service psychologist, had stated on his web site: “Academic studies and my own experience as a choirboy suggest that non-violent paedophilia with a consenting partner over 12 does no harm so long as the paedophiles and their partners are of above-average intelligence and educational level.”
He was suspended in November 1996 and a three-member disciplinary tribunal was appointed the following April to consider the charges against him.
The tribunal ruled that Mr Brand had compromised his position, and his teaching had fallen below the standards expected of him. It further ruled that the university’s reputation had not been damaged by Mr Brand’s publications on the Internet, but a disciplinary offence had been committed.
Mr Brand, a London-born father of three, had been at Edinburgh University since 1970.
Last night Nicola Owen, convener of the Anti-Nazi League Society at Edinburgh University, said: “It’s wonderful news.
It vindicates all the students who fought to get Mr Brand removed from the university.”
PIE and the Home Office: Three+ members/supporters on inside, funded, magazine printed and phone linePosted: March 15, 2014
The extent to which the Paedophile Information Exchange established a thorough presence at the Home Office in the late 1970s and early 1980s is now becoming clear as more information becomes available. What transpires is alarming:
(a) According to a whistleblower who worked under senior civil servant (Assistant Secretary) Clifford Hindley, Hindley dismissed the objections of another member of staff to government money going to PIE, who received a total of £70 000 between 1977 and 1980. A recent report has quoted the whistleblower saying this funding was at the request of Special Branch, who may have been pursuing some undercover operation to monitor paedophiles; late former Home Office Minister Tim Raison must, according to the whistleblower, have approved the application. After early retirement in 1983, Hindley published a series of pro-pederastic articles on music and classical Greece in scholarly journals. whose arguments were scarcely-disguised PIE propaganda.
(b) PIE chair Steven Adrian Smith (who replaced Tom O’Carroll), also known as Steven Freeman, used a telephone number at the Home Office as the contact point for PIE, whilst he was working there as an electrical contractor, on behalf of firm Complete Maintenance Ltd. According to his own account, Smith stored file material in cabinets at the Home Office and received full security clearance from Scotland Yard, (Keith Dovkants, ‘Child sex ring’s ‘Home Office Link’, Standard, November 7th, 1984; Alex Marunchak, ‘Child-Sex Boss in Whitehall Shock’, The Sun, August 15th, 1982; Steven A. Smith, ‘PIE, from 1980 Until its Demise in 1985’, in The Betrayal of Youth: Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People, edited Warren Middleton (London: CL Publications, 1986), pp. 215-245). Smith claims he was provided with a furnished office as part of his contract, from which he could use the phone line, but another source connected to the Home Office informs me that it was unthinkable that such a contractor would be given access to a Home Office phone line. Smith was later said in court probably to have actually published the PIE magazine (which would then have been Minor Problems) in the Home Office itself (Sue Clough, ‘Paedophile jailed over child porn material’, Press Association, December 16th, 1991).
(c) PIE Secretary and Treasurer Barry Cutler was also employed in the Home Office in the early 1980s, until being discovered by the News of the World, whereupon he was sacked (Michael Parker, Stuart White and Alex Marunchak, ‘The Nasty Nine: Bosses who mastermind the secret web of filth’, News of the World, August 28th, 1983). Cutler was also highly active in the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, acting in 1999 as a spokesperson for the organisation on the abolition of Clause 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act (Graeme Wilson, ‘Fury at move to drop schools’ gay propaganda ban’, Daily Mail, August 23rd, 1999), and remaining on their Executive Committee at least as late as 2010.
(d) A Whitehall civil servant received a series of slides with images of abuse of young boys and obscene letters delivered to his departmental address. When this was discovered, one colleague’s protests that these materials should be handed over to the police were ignored, and it was treated as a purely internal matter (‘Two-year cover-up on dirty pictures’, Daily Express, November 25th, 1983). It is not known whether this was one of the three individuals above.
(e) Adrian Fulford (now Lord Justice Fulford), who was named last week in the Mail on Sunday as a key organiser of the so-called Conspiracy Against Public Morals to support key PIE figures, and wrote an article defending PIE (Martin Beckford, ‘High Court judge and the child sex ring: Adviser to Queen was founder of paedophile support group to keep offenders out of jail’, Mail on Sunday, March 9th, 2014), also acted as Smith’s defence barrister in a court case concerning publishing obscene material featuring children in 1991. Smith had previously fled to the Netherlands to avoid trial, and was tried after being deported by Dutch authorities (Sue Clough, ‘Paedophile jailed over child porn material’, Press Association, December 16th, 1991).
The Prime Minister or at least the Home Secretary need to make a statement about this level of PIE infiltration (involving three, possibly four individuals directly linked to the organisation) into the very government department responsible for law and order. Also, to answer the following questions:
(i) who was responsible for their employment (and dismissal or delay thereof) these individuals?
(ii) which ministers (Labour and/or Conservative) would have been aware of these individuals’s presence in the department?
(iii) which would have authorised the payments to PIE?
During the period of PIE’s official existence, 1974-1984, the Home Secretaries were Roy Jenkins (1974-1976), Merlyn Rees (1976-1979), William Whitelaw (1979-1983) and Leon Brittan (1983-1985); Ministers for Home Affairs were Lord Harris (1974-1979), Alex Lyon (1974-1976), Brynmor John (1976-1979), Lord Boston (Jan-May 1979), Leon Brittan (1979-1981), Timothy Raison (1979-1983), Patrick Mayhew (1981-1983), and David Waddington (1983-1987); Junior Ministers and Parliamentary Private Secretaries were Shirley Summerskill (1974-1979), Lord Belstead (1979-1982), Lord Elston (1982-1984), David Mellor (1983-1986) and Lord Glenarthur (1984-1986).
We also know that senior diplomat and MI6 officer Peter Hayman was an active member of PIE, and that members of PIE (including Smith – see above) received active political and legal support from a current High Court Judge (see Beckford, ‘High Court judge’, above); a further judge, now Chief Coroner, Peter Thornton, was also involved with the provision such support (Martin Beckford, ‘Now Chief Coroner is exposed as paedophile apologist who wanted age of consent to be 14’, Daily Mail, March 16th, 2014). Leading PIE member Peter Righton managed to wean his way into the whole social work and child protection world, occupying senior and influential positions (see a whole range of articles here), and his name has been linked to networks operating in public schools (see Eileen Fairweather, ‘Paedophile ring alleged at top public schools’, Standard, September 19th, 1996) and children’s homes. Not to mention PIE being affiliated to NCCL, who would take out adverts in two different PIE publications, Understanding Paedophilia and Magpie; current senior Labour politicians, including Deputy Leader Harriet Harman and Shadow Minister for Policing Jack Dromey were involved at the heart of NCCL at this time. The names of other senior politicians, including late MPs Peter Morrison (Conservative) and Cyril Smith (Liberal Democrat) have also been publicly linked to organised abuse involving young children in homes.
This is an extremely serious situation which demonstrates that the PIE network was able to infiltrate some of the upper echelons of British government and society in the 1970s and 1980s, This needs to be thoroughly investigated with proper resources and funding.
I also have clear information on the extent to which PIE members or sympathisers were very influential in different branches of academia – sociology, social work, child protection and the study of child abuse, criminology, music and the arts, and gender and sexuality studies. Some of their work was published by reputable scholarly journals (as I have detailed in the case of Hindley), and many obtained senior positions in leading universities. Various of their students continued to develop their ideas. To this day, some of their publications are still cited or otherwise used as if they were reliable and trustworthy, to such an extent that I believe elements of these professions have been corrupted.
Clear documentary evidence points to a highly-organised network with PIE at its centre; a network responsible not simply for the advocacy of paedophilia, but the organisation international rings of abusers and for the trafficking in child pornography. The seriousness of this cannot be underestimated. All politicians should be supporting the work of Tom Watson MP in trying to bring to light this awful network (which cannot be assumed to be merely ‘historic’), and address honestly the ways in which its activities and ideologies may have infiltrated their own parties.
[UPDATE: @murunbuch, who runs the fantastic Spotlight blog, has tweeted to indicate his guess that the Home Office employee mentioned in this 1983 report in the Daily Express, who had pornographic photographs of children sent to his departmental address, was Hindley]
Both Exaro News and the Sunday People broke an important story yesterday concerning a senior civil servant at the Home Office who has been identified as blocking any objections to funding being distributed to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE). This civil servant was J. Clifford Hindley, who was head of the Home Office’s voluntary services unit (VSU) and an assistant secretary at the Home Office, in which capacity he oversaw ‘co-ordination of government action in relation to voluntary services and funding of certain voluntary organisations’, with the VSU dealing with ‘community programmes’ (David Hencke and Alex Varley-Winter, ‘Revealed: Whitehall official who blocked objections to fund PIE’, Exaro News, March 1st, 2014). Hindley was also secretary to the Devlin Committee on Evidence of Identification in Criminal Cases (‘The Age of Consent for Male Homosexuals’, Criminal Law Review 595-603 (1986)).
One colleague of Hindley’s at VSU found that PIE had made a re-application to the department for funding in 1979 or 1980, and raised concerns with Hindley on the grounds that the organisation campaigned to legalise sexual relations with children. However, Hindley apparently just took away the paperwork and told his colleague to drop his objections. This individual recently approached Labour MP and leading anti-abuse campaigner Tom Watson, who took up the issue with current Home Secretary Theresa May, who ordered the permanent secretary at the Home Office, Mark Sedwill, to investigate; the individual has also been speaking to Operation Fernbridge, who are looking into grave allegations of children being procured for VIP guests at Elm Guest House in Barnes (ibid; see also Tom Watson, ‘After 30 years without an answer it’s time to find out who protected the infamous Paedophile Information Exchange’, Mirror, November 21st, 2013; and Stephen Wright, Tim Shipman and James Slack, ‘Labour MP calls for probe into state cash for Paedophile Information Exchange after claims files that prove it received taxpayers’ money have been shredded’, Daily Mail, February 25th, 2014; on Operation Fernbridge, see the range of articles here). Between 1977 and 1980, a total of £70 000 (equivalent to around £400 000 today) is said to have been given to PIE by both Labour and Conservative governments; the grant re-application which came up in 1979-80 was probably a renewal of a grant given since 1977. A Freedom of Information investigation has revealed that all Home Office files about PIE since 1979 have (legally) been destroyed. During the period of PIE’s official existence, 1974-1984, the Home Secretaries were Roy Jenkins (1974-1976), Merlyn Rees (1976-1979), William Whitelaw (1979-1983) and Leon Brittan (1983-1985); Ministers for Home Affairs were Lord Harris (1974-1979), Alex Lyon (1974-1976), Brynmor John (1976-1979), Lord Boston (Jan-May 1979), Leon Brittan (1979-1981), Timothy Raison (1979-1983), Patrick Mayhew (1981-1983), and David Waddington (1983-1987); Junior Ministers and Parliamentary Private Secretaries were Shirley Summerskill (1974-1979), Lord Belstead (1979-1982), Lord Elston (1982-1984), David Mellor (1983-1986) and Lord Glenarthur (1984-1986). It is not yet known whether any of these were aware or consulted about PIE’s funding.
The period in question falls within that during which PIE was affiliated to the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) and incorporates the police raid in 1978 on the flat of PIE member ‘Mr Henderson’, the alias of former High Commissioner to Canada and deputy head of MI6, Sir Peter Hayman, who was later named in Parliament by Geoffrey Dickens (Hayman was jailed in 1984 on charges of possession of child pornography, and died in 1992) (Kier Mudie and Nick Dorman, ‘Huge sums of TAXPAYER’S cash ‘handed to vile child pervert group’ by Home Office officials’, The People, March 2nd, 2014, at ; see also David Hencke, ‘Revealed: The civil servant in the Home Office’s PIE funding inquiry and his academic articles on boy love’, March 1st, 2014).
But Hindley is also a figure well-familiar to all of those of us interested in the operas of Benjamin Britten; in light of the revelation that he looks very likely to have been responsible for ensuring PIE’s government funding, I wish to consider a selection of his written work and in particular its recurrent and unhealthy fixation upon the theme of pederasty.
Hindley studied classics and philosophy at Oxford, then theology at Cambridge. Following this, he worked for a period as a minister in England, and also as a New Testament scholar, taking a position as Professor New Testament Studies at Serampore College, West Bengal, from 1959 (also serving as Deputy Librarian there, as well as literary editor for the Indian Journal of Theology) as well as being active in the church union movement in North India and publishing several articles (listed in the bibliography at the end). In 1964 he was a joint leader of the Protestant wing of joint Catholic-Protestant meeting on Christian social action problems at St Mary’s College, Kureseong, organised by Jesuit fathers (‘Joint Action’,The Anchor, Vol.8, No. 29, July 16th, 1964, p. 16). He finished his term at Serampore in 1968 (Katherine Smith Diehl, Carey Library Pamphlets: Secular Series; A Catalogue (Serampore, India: The Council of Serampore College, 1968), p. xi). Some time after this (it is not clear whether he left India straight away), Hindley joined the civil service (and appears to have abandoned his theological activities from this point onwards), whilst maintaining a strong interest in music as an amateur pianist and choral singer (see biographies of Hindley in The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 89, No. 1 (Spring 1994), p. 175 and Mervyn Cooke (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Benjamin Britten (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. vii, and here, here, and here). He was friendly with former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe (born 1929), who famously was tried (and acquitted) in 1979 on charges of attempted murder of and conspiracy to murder his lover Norman Scott; Thorpe and Hindley dined together at the Reform Club in London (Mudie and Dorman, ‘Huge sums of TAXPAYER’S cash ‘handed to vile child pervert group’’).
Hindley retired from the Home Office in June 1982 (‘People’, Community Care, May 20th, 1982), though three years later published a paper on the ‘The Age of Consent for Male Homosexuals’, (Criminal Law Review 595-603 (1986)), arguing against the recommendations of the Policy Advisory Committee on Sexual Offences (P.A.C.) who in a 1981 report had recommended reducing the male homosexual age of consent to 18; Hindley drew upon various other evidence to argue for equalisation of heterosexual and homosexual ages of consent.
Otherwise, following his retirement until his death in 2006, Hindley lived at least some of the time in Brent Way in Finchley (which address is given at the bottom of the first of his articles on Xenophon) and turned to writing academic articles on musical subjects, predominantly the operas of Benjamin Britten, and also on aspects of sexuality in Ancient Greece, before his death in 2006 (it is not clear if he knew Britten personally, as has been claimed; Hindley’s name does not appear in any of the Britten biographies). One biography cited him as in retirement as having specifically made a study ‘of aspects of ancient Greek pederasty’ (‘Notes on Contributors’, History Workshop Journal, No. 40 (Autumn, 1995), p. 295). The uncomfortable nature of some of these writings may provide a clue to understanding Hindley’s attitudes and inclinations.
It is very hard to deny that there are pederastic themes in some of Britten’s operas: most obviously The Turn of the Screw (1954) and Death in Venice (1971-73, rev. 1973-74) (relating to the arguable presence of such themes in the original literary works of Henry James and Thomas Mann respectively, though modified through librettists and Britten’s musical settings); and possibly also in Peter Grimes and Let’s Make an Opera (The Little Sweep). The works are however generally ambiguous, and for that reason have generated a variety of interpretations, in which context Hindley’s stand out for their unequivocality. Various biographers (not least the late Humphrey Carpenter in his Benjamin Britten: A Biography (London: Faber & Faber, 1992) and John Bridcut in Britten’s Children (London: Faber & Faber, 2006)) have gone to immense lengths to find out whether there was anything untoward in Britten’s relationships with the numerous boys with whom he worked for performances of his operas, works of children’s choirs, and so on; whilst it seems clear that Britten certainly greatly enjoyed the company of young boys, and appears to have been sexually attracted to them, only a small amount of evidence has been uncovered of any exploitation through enactment of these desires. That evidence there is includes the testimony of Harry Morris, who did accuse Britten of abuse (see Bridcut, Britten’s Children, pp. 46-53), and also various accounts chronicled by Bridcut of naked swimming and sharing of beds with boys aged as young as 11.
Hindley wrote eleven different articles on Britten during his retirement, almost all of which maintain an intense focus on the male homosexual/erotic elements to be discerned in the operas. He was far from alone or the first (or last) in this respect – such concerns are equally central to the writings of Philip Brett, Michael Wilcox or Stephen McClatchie, for example – but some of Hindley’s articles differed from the writings of these and others through their specific focus, sometimes quite obsessive, on man-boy love.
Hindley’s first published essay on Britten (Hindley, ‘Love and Salvation in Britten’s ‘Billy Budd’, Music & Letters, Vol. 70, No. 3 (Aug., 1989), pp. 363-381) dealt with the opera Billy Budd (1950-51), whose libretto was fashioned after Melville’s novella by Eric Crozier and E.M. Forster. This is a fastidious piece of research in which Hindley mines the archives to examine different drafts of the libretto, all of which inform his interpretations of parallel doomed homosexual interactions between Billy and the malevolent Master-at-Arms Claggart on one hand, and Billy and the Captain of the ship, Vere (‘Starry Vere’ to Billy), on the other. The character of Billy is certainly highly youthful, sings in sometimes abnormally high registers for a baritone when excited (as in his ode to Vere towards the end of Act 1), and is described by Vere as ‘such a fine specimen of the genus homo, who in the nude might have posed for a statue of a young Adam before the Fall’, and is supposed to look at Vere as ‘a dog of generous breed might turn upon his mater’. Elsewhere he is referred to as ‘Baby’ (by Dansker) or ‘Beauty’ (by Claggart), whilst one of the shanties includes the words ‘My Aunt willy-nilly was winking at Billy’ and ‘She’ll cut up her Billy for pie, For all he’s a catch on the eye’. Vere comes across in Hindley’s interpretation as a type of tortured father-figure for Billy; nonetheless, there is no obvious implication of Billy’s representing any type of pre-pubescent figure, simply an archetype of youth, strength (a ‘flower of masculine beauty and strength’ to Claggart) and a type of innocence married to an upright moral sense. But in this essay, Hindley makes explicit his belief that:
Whatever may be true of some of Britten’s other operas, the question of paedophilia is, I think, not to the point in Billy Budd. While there is some difference in age (unspecified in the opera) between Vere and Billy, they are both grown men, acting in a world of men. They may be contrasted with the midshipmen, who are portrayed as boys with unbroken voices. (p. 364, n. 8)
However, in another article from two years later (‘Britten’s “Billy Budd”: The “Interview Chords” Again’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 78, No. 1 (Spring, 1994), pp. 99-126), Hindley looks in detail at one notorious passage from the opera, from Act 2, Scene 2, where a series of thirty-four triadic chords (the so-called ‘interview chords’) are heard whilst Vere communicates to Billy (in a room offstage) the verdict of the drumhead court that he is to be sentenced to death. This passage had been extensively analysed by others (most notably in Arnold Whittall, ‘’Twisted Relations’: Method and Meaning in Britten’s Billy Budd’, Cambridge Opera Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2 (1990), pp. 145-171) in terms of their dominant tonal centre and recurrence elsewhere in the opera, and how a gradual resolution of the more remote harmonies this might be interpreted in terms of themes of Vere’s redemption. Hindley (pp. 99-103) interprets these chords as effecting a modulation from F major into C major, against which the F major opening of the next scene, where Billy lays in irons, acts to convey a sense of a ‘fresh start’. Furthermore (pp. 103-106) he deduces, by an examination of its recurrences through the course of the opera, that the key of F minor can be seen to represent ‘malign fate’, also drawing attention to how deeply the concept of fate which stands above human agency has been analysed in Melville’s novella, not least by poet William Plomer, a friend of both Forster and Britten. With this in mind, Billy (who Hindley argues ‘is not the childish subordinate depicted by Melville, but a man capable of reflecting on fate’ (p. 106)) is seen as the instrument by which Vere is ‘saved’ from such fate, by virtue of being loved by him; a love which cannot be made explicit since the opera was written at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in the UK and deeply taboo (pp. 106-107). Viewing F major as the key associated with Billy, and C major as that with Vere, Hindley presents the chord sequence (which becomes increasingly tranquil) as ultimately representing a calming of Vere from the distraught figure he was when faced by the prospect of informing Billy of his forthcoming execution; ‘Vere’s peace of mind is secured through Billy’s love, which accepts that the duty of the commander must override the feelings of the lover’ (p. 110).
But it is at this point where Hindley looks to link this passage with others in Britten’s output with more clearly pederastic elements. First he evokes an essay by Christopher Palmer examining the third of Britten’s Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente, specifically his setting of Hölderlin’s Sokrates und Alcibiades (Christopher Palmer (ed), The Britten Companion (London: Faber and Faber, 1984), p. 264), in which Palmer points out Britten used a similar sequence of triads:
Warum huldigest du, heiliger Sokrates,
Diesem Jünglinge stets? Kennest du Größers nicht,
Warum siehet mit Liebe,
Wie auf Götter, dein Aug’ auf ihn?”
[Why do you court, holy Socrates/Always this youth? Do you know of nothing greater?/Why do you gaze with love/As if at the Gods, your eyes on him?]
Furthermore, Hindley cites Humphrey Carpenter’s suggestion (Carpenter, Britten, p. 137) that W.S., to whom the song is dedicated, was Wolfgang “Wulff” Scherchen, son of the conductor Hermann Scherchen, who Britten met in 1934, when the boy was just thirteen (Bridcut, Britten’s Children, p. 55), and has been claimed to be ‘the figure who embodied Aschenbach’s (and Britten’s own) dilemma in Death in Venice: the enchantment he found in the beauty of boys’ (ibid). Some more recent scholarship has concluded more definitely that a sexual relationship was consummated between Britten and the young Scherchen, but not until four years later (Paul Kildea, Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century (London: Allen Lane, 2013), pp. 138-145), the only such sexual encounter Britten apparently had with anyone other than his long-term lover Peter Pears. Carpenter, as cited by Hindley, suggested the song implied a happy love affair; Hindley seems very keen to link this (at a time before Kildea’s dating of their sexual encounter) with the relationship between Billy and Vere, and brings in his own link with (around fourteen-year old) Tadzio in Death in Venice, by remarking on Britten’s use of a triadic sequence when Aschenbach’s desires are first stirred by the boy in Act 1, Scene 5 of the later opera, writing ‘Whilst most of these passages were composed later than Billy Budd, a number of earlier triadic sequences within the opera itself seem already to have come to signify a form of erotic desire’ (p. 111). To Hindley, the use of triadic sequences signifies an ‘erotic desire’ which is primarily to be linked to its later pederastic manifestations. Later in the essay, Hindley also links a hint of a Lydian inflection in C in the triadic sequence in Budd to a use of a similar musical device in Britten’s early work for piano and orchestra Young Apollo op. 16 (1939), known through Britten’s letters to have been inspired by Wulff, and also to Tadzio’s music in Death in Venice (Hindley, pp. 113-114).
Another essay of Hindley’s, from the same year as the first essay on Budd, is this time concerned with The Turn of the Screw (Hindley, ‘Why Does Miles Die? A Study of Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw”’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1 (1990), pp. 1-17) (a two part video of the opera can be viewed here and here). Here, drawing upon the earlier work of Patricia Howard (Patricia Howard (ed), Benjamin Britten: The Turn of the Screw (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985)), Hindley considers two categories of interpretation for Henry James’s novella: the first being that the ghosts of Peter Quint and Miss Jessel, who hover around the children Miles and Flora respectively, represent some objective form of evil which the figure of the Governess battles against; the second holds that they represent an externalisation of the Governess’s own neuroses. Whilst allowing that James’s work is ambiguous, Hindley (pp. 1-2) maintains that the second interpretation is not applicable to the opera by Britten, with libretto by Myfanwy Piper (with whom Hindley had corresponded in 1989, though I have not had an opportunity to read the correspondence – it is kept at Tate Gallery Archive GB 70, Reference Number GB 70 TGA 200410/1/1/1846, dated August 15th, 1989 – see here). Drawing attention to the fact that there is one scene (the closing scene in Act 1) in which Miles and Quint interact without the Governess’s being present, Hindley argues if Quint was a figment of her imagination, then so must be Miles (not allowing that this scene, and that in Act 2, Scene 5 also discussed, might both simply be projections of her most feverish paranoia).
Piper gives words to both Quint and Miss Jessel; Hindley is little interested in the latter (whose presence, musical characterisation, and ambiguity in relationship to Flora are to my mind more striking than those between Quint and Miles, even if they do assume a secondary plot role). To Hindley, Quint’s words communicate ‘ambition, adventure, wealth, a degree of double-dealing, admittedly (“the smooth world’s double face”), but above all the realization of mysterious but deep desires’, and he goes on to write:
Quint expresses a desire for power in leading on the natural curiosity of the boy and the responsiveness which he shows to an older man. But the same may be said of the Governess in her wish to dominate Miles. In none of this do we feel the kind of ghoulish evil which will demand a death. (p. 3 – Miles dies at the end of the opera)
In order to present as benevolent a view of Quint as possible, and thus absolve the possibility he might be viewed as a mysterious and predatory stranger seeking to manipulate and sexually abuse a young boy, Hindley draws once again upon Christopher Palmer’s work, arguing that Quint’s music, making extensive use of celesta and harp, with pentatonic harmonies, has roots in the exotic music of the Balinese gamelan (which Britten had come to know through the work of Colin McPhee, who he met in New York when Britten had left the country at a time of military conscription in 1939, and with whom he would later record some of McPhee’s Balinese transcriptions for two pianos – see Adam Sherkin, ‘The fateful meeting of Benjamin Britten and Colin McPhee’, Musical Toronto, November 10th, 2013) to produce a music which represents to Miles ‘the opening of magic casements, a world of enchantment and glamour, of preternatural, supernatural, unattainable beauty’ (Christopher Palmer, ‘The colour of the music’, in Howard (ed), The Turn of the Screw, p. 105, cited Hindley p. 3). Palmer interprets this as being associated with evil, but Hindley, drawing upon the fact mentioned by Palmer, that Britten avoides the conventional symbol of evil, the interval of a tritone, the diabolus in musica, holds that the score implies ‘beauty and goodness’ for the situation between Quint and Miles. As the late Philip Brett pointed out, however, the orientalist tropes upon which Britten draws can equally signify dread as well as allure, and as such might be read other than as unequivocally affirmative (Philip Brett, ‘Eros and Orientalism in Britten’s Operas’, in Brett, Music and Sexuality in Britten: Selected Essays, edited George E. Haggerty, with introduction by Susan McClary and afterward by Jenny Doctor (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006), p. 142). If there is ‘evil’ in the Screw, for Hindley (rarely very interested in female characters at all) this has to be assigned to Miss Jessel rather than Quint (p. 4).
Piper drew upon a line from W.B. Yeats’ poem The Second Coming – ‘The ceremony of innocence is drowned’ – in her libretto (sung by Quint and Miss Jessel at the beginning of Act 2), which she said Britten suggested was a theme of the whole work (Piper cited in Patricia Howard, ‘Myfanwy Piper’s The Turn of the Screw: libretto and synopsis’, in Howard (ed), The Turn of the Screw, p. 49). Against conventional malign interpretations of this line, Hindley argues:
What is “the ceremony of innocence,” and is its drowning a bad thing? A ceremony is an artificial sequence of actions which may have a meaning assigned to it by convention and tradition but which has no intrinsic rightness or authority. Applied to a child, the phrase suggests that in infancy the child accepts everything it is told: its standards of behaviour are derivative. Whether in obedience or disobedience, it follows the judgments imposed upon it by adults. But this acceptance of conventional standards (for no other reason than that they are conventional) can last long into adulthood. In that sense, adults, too, can engage in the “ceremony of innocence.” They can have a kind of unquestioning naïveté about what is going on. They, too, can be described as “innocents”. Drowning the ceremony of innocence, therefore, while it may be taken to refer to a corruption of primal purity, may equally well signify the release of the convention-bound spirit into a world of more mature and sophisticated experience. (p. 5; in n. 6 of this page Hindley draws a parallel with Yeats’ evocation of the breakdown of conventional standards in Europe as a result of the First World War)
When such ‘drowning’ entails the sexual abuse of a child by an adult, it might well suit the purposes of the adult in question to portray this as a ‘release of the convention-bound spirit into a world of more mature and sophisticated experience’ (and here we begin to enter the sort of rhetoric to be found in the PIE journal Magpie – see my earlier posts here and here). There is, however, a perfectly reasonable way of arriving at Hindley’s type of argument above, if one views the drowning of innocence as a by-product of emerging sexuality in general. Hindley, citing the words sung by both Quint and Miss Jessel, ‘Day by day the bars we break/Break the love that wraps them round’, argues that ‘sooner or later the bars [the love of parents or guardians] must be broken if the child is to grow up’ (p. 6). This would concur with an interpretation of the Governess as an over-protective figure who cannot cope with the children developing a will – and a sexual being – of their own, and also resonates with Britten’s routinely misogynistic characterisation of matriarchal figures (as with Miss Sedley (and, in a more complex fashion, Ellen Orford) in Grimes, both Albert’s mother and Lady Billows in Albert Herring, Miss Wingrave in Owen Wingrave and others).
But Hindley goes much further than this. First he writes of the appearance of these lines that ‘It has the mien of an affirmation rather than a threat’ (p. 6), then presents the ‘innocence’ which is lost as being that of the Governess, her ‘unquestioning and naïve acceptance of conventional values, a world in which conflict is virtually unknown and where there are no mysteries’ (p. 7 – I find it hard to imagine that Hindley’s sentiments could not equally be applied to many social or child protection workers). Then he examines Quint’s vocal music, and considers Peter Evans’ interpretation of Quint’s opening calls to Miles as ‘the directly exercised evil influence of the ghosts on the children and, through the terrifying spectacle of the increasing guile and malice which floods their still childish natures, its extension to the governess’ (Peter Evans, The Music of Benjamin Britten (London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1979), p. 215, cited Hindley p. 8), as well as Patricia Howard’s identification of the fact that the music by which the Governess expresses her wish to protect the children is almost identical to that used by Quint to corrupt them (Howard, ‘Structures: an overall view’, in Howard (ed), The Turn of the Screw, p. 72f), but rejecting this interpretation as follows:
But once Quint’s influence is no longer seen as intrinsically evil, but (potentially, at least) as beneficial, then a solution to the problem suggests itself, one which arises out of the interpretation here offered of the phrase “the ceremony of innocence is drowned.” Read as a metaphor for the maturing of experience, the phrase need not carry the disquieting overtones of “corruption.” To replace the restrictions and limitations of childhood by the free and wide experience of the adult is more gain than loss. No doubt in this process each must make his or her own way, but (as Socrates said of philosophy) governesses, tutors, and the whole process of nurture and education should be the midwives to assist at the birth of the mature personality. (p. 9)
On one level Hindley might seem reasonable, but he conveniently brushes over the fact that Miles is still a child (his voice has not yet broken, so he has not fully reached puberty). In this light, his sentiments draw upon the rhetoric of paedophiles, presenting their own sexual exploitation of not-yet-sexually-developed children as an essential stage in the children’s own maturing, and thus almost as a selfless act in the child’s own interests. Were Quint merely a metaphor for something within the child themselves, this would not apply, but for Hindley this is clearly not the case; instead he wishes to suggest it is part of an external educative process for Miles:
The term “tutelage” seems the best available. It has the added merit of implying a degree both of personal concern and of authority or control over the young person committed to one’s charge-a form of power which both the Governess and Quint in varying degrees seek to exercise over the boy. Let us then call the music associated with it the ‘”Tutelage” theme. (p. 10)
From this view, the music associated with the Governess’s attempts to protect the children from abuse and exploitation are portrayed by Hindley purely in terms of her own submission to the patriarchal authority of the guardian who has commissioned her (p. 10), when it comes to Quint’s music, Hindley affirms:
If the relationship of tutor or governess may deepen into love, we must now address the question which the partial lifting of taboos in recent years has allowed to feature more prominently in the discussion of this opera-the implicit homosexual relationship between Quint and Miles. No doubt the ban on all forms of homosexual relationships at the time the opera was written would have excluded any direct representation of “the love that dare not speak its name.” But given the inevitable reticence of language, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Mrs.Grose’s description in Act I, Scene 5, points to a sexual relationship. Quint, she says, was “free with everyone, with little Master Miles.” He “liked them pretty,” and “had his will, morning and night. (pp. 10-11 – Hindley is referring to the real non-ghost Quint who had been present in the house before his death and her arrival).
Hindley is sure to be aware of Oscar Wilde’s interpretation, as given in his trial, of Lord Alfred Douglas’s 1894 poem Two Loves, from which the phrase ‘The love that dare not speak its name’ comes:
“The Love that dare not speak its name” in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as the “Love that dare not speak its name,” and on account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so the world does not understand. The world mocks at it and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it. (cited in the transcript of Wilde’s trial)
What exactly constitutes a ‘young man’ is of course debatable, but the same-sex aspect of such love is not its key attribute, rather the age difference between the participants. Intergenerational sex by no means equates to paedophilia (though research into the former has been used cynically by groups representing the latter – see Veronique Mottier, Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction, (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 104-106) nor is there any reason to declare it illegitimate when both parties are of an age where they are deemed able to grant sexual consent, but this is clearly not the case in The Turn of the Screw. Hindley goes on to describe this in terms which almost read like a manifesto for sexually abusive teachers:
Whatever textual analysis may yield, for many listeners the matter will be settled by the music given to Quint when he is first heard in the opera. The beauty and yearning of his melismata on the name of Miles betoken love.15 It is equally clear from the music that this love is much more than a rather furtive physical affair. The music is also, of course, a version of the Tutelage theme. The appositeness of this link is seen when it becomes clear (in Quint’s subsequent words) that his relationship with Miles is not just that of a valet or house servant. It is about the opening of magic casements of experience for the boy. We recall that for the ancient Greeks training for adulthood was one of the functions of the socially regulated experience of love between men and boys. As K. J. Dover, probably our most outstanding contemporary authority on ancient Greece, has pointed out, they saw no clear dividing line between the educational and the erotic side of the relationship. (p. 11)
Here Hindley alludes to Kenneth J. Dover’s book Greek Homosexuality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978), specifically the following passage towards the end of the book:
Erastes and eromenos [the two pederastic roles; the former the older and active partner, the second the younger and more submissive one] clearly found in each other something which they did not find elsewhere. When Plato (Phdr. 255b) said that the eromenos realises that the love offered by his erastes is greater than that of all his family and friends put together, he was speaking of an idealised, ‘philosophical’ eros, and yet he may have been a little closer than he realised to describing the everyday eros which he despised. Indeed, the philosophical paiderastiā which is fundamental to Plato’s expositions in Phaedrus and Symposium is essentially an exaltation, however starved of bodily pleasure, of a consistent Greek tendency to regard homosexual eros as a compound of an educational with a genital relationship. The strength, speed, endurance and masculinity of the eromenos – that is to say, his quality as a potential fighter – were treated (and I offer no opinion on the unexpressed thoughts and feelings of erastai) as the attributes which made him attractive. The Spartans and Cretans went a stage further in professing to have much more regard for qualities of character than for bodily beauty (Ephoros F149; cf Plu. Agis 2.1, on the achievement of Agis, as a lame boy, in becoming the eromenos of Lysander). The erastes was expected to win the love of the eromenos by his value as an exemplar and by the patience, devotion and skill which he displayed in training the eromenos. At Sparta (Plu. Lyc. 22.8) the educational responsibility of the erastes was so interpreted that he bore the blame for a deficiency in courage manifested by his eromenos. ‘Education’ is the key-word in Xenophon’s evaluation of a chaste homosexual relationship (Lac. 2.13, Smp, 8.23), and Spartan terminology (‘breathe into …’, ‘inspire’ [Aelian Varia Historia iii 12, Hesykhios Ɛ 2475] = ‘fall in love with …’, and eispnēlos or eispnēlās [Kallimakhos fr. 68 Pfeiffer, Theokritos 12.13] = ‘breather-into’ = ‘erastes’) points to a notion that the erastes was able to transfer qualities from himself into his eromenos. On growing up, in any Greek community, the eromenos graduated from pupil to friend, and the continuance of an erotic relationship was disapproved, as was such a relationship between coevals. Homosexual relationships are not exhaustively divisible, in Greek society or in any other, into those which perform an educational function and those which provoke and relieve genital tension. Most relationships of any kind are complex, and the need for bodily contact and orgasm was one ingredient of the complex of needs met by homosexual eros. (Dover, pp. 202-203)
One shudders to think what safeguarding and child protection agencies would make of the above. Dover’s immensely influential book, the first major study of both homosexuality and pederasty in Ancient Greece, can be read as a historical study rather than an advocacy, drawing attention to protocols from Ancient Greece crafted to protect boys from any suggestion that the motivation for sexual relations was pleasure, and how it was socially coded as a rite of passage (see David M. Halperin, How to Do the History of Homosexuality (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2002), pp. 71-72, 141-143), Hindley takes an affirmative view, also linking the Ancient Greek view presented by Dover to that found in writings of Jeremy Bentham and Edward Carpenter (Hindley, p. 11, n. 16).
Dover’s book was also greatly favoured in a section of Magpie, which presented a ‘PIE Top 20’ (Magpie, Issue No. 14 (Oct.-Dec. 1979), pp. 4-5) of non-fiction books on and about paedophilia, of which Dover’s was one; the only others with a Greek theme were J.Z. Eglington’s Greek Love (New York: Oliver Lawton Press, 1964), which the Magpie writer pointed out argued the case for ‘love’ of pubescent boys, but ultimately came out against it; and Thorkil Vanggard’s Phallos: A Symbol and its History in the Male World (New York: International Universities Press, 1972, originally published in Danish in 1969). Eglinton and Vanggard had appeared in a shorter non-fiction book list (alongside the likes of the Dutch book Sex met Kinderen) in an earlier issue (‘Non-Fiction Book List’, Magpie, Issue No. 4 (June 1977), p. 8), before Dover had been published in 1978), and a further issue had a more extended consideration of Eglinton (‘Review’, Magpie, Issue No. 8 (no date given); reprinted from Gay News, Germany), alongside a detailed examination of a book by Yale professor Parker Rossmann, Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys (New York: Association Press, 1976). But Hindley’s affirmation of Dover’s view resonates strongly with a passage in an essay by the leading Dutch scholar and rights-advocate of paedophilia, Dr. Edward Brongersma, who wrote on multiple occasions for Magpie:
It asks for some psychological discernment to see that – and why – some experiences in this field may be a source of fear and anxiety to one child, while to the other they are something unique, fantastic and delicious. Children who haven’t been brought up in an unhealthy fear of everything sexual, who have had sexual play with comrades, who were not taught to be disgusted by the body and its functions and who don’t have an abnormally weak sexual impulse, will mostly react positively when approached by a sympathetic adult. In more than 50% of the cases they even take the initiative themselves.
Nowadays there are more and more expert authors who have an open eye for the positive effects such an affectionate relation may have. No wonder! Could real love, affection, sympathy, tenderness ever have a bad effect on the evolution of a human being? The ancient Greeks had their wisdom about this and in our present day the official Speijer Commission, appointed by the Dutch government, came to the conclusion that “in a number of cases (heterosexual as well as homosexual) initiation by an adult may result in a better evolution of the boy or girl concerned”. The German scientist Prof. Schlegel advances the opinion that sexual contacts with an adult may be as necessary at puberty as maternal love and tenderness in the first period of life. Mature sexual behaviour has to be learned by children’s sexual play as many ethnological researches show. If our society had better understanding of this, our adolescents would enjoy more sexual liberty and be less tempted to aggressive behaviour. (Dr. Edward Brongersma, ‘Paedophilia: The Effects’, Magpie, Issue No. 11 (May 1978), p. 5. It is worth noting how Hindley himself looked very positively at the findings of the Speijer Commission in his ‘The age of consent for male homosexuals’).
The wisdom of the Ancient Greeks could as well be used to legitimise slavery as paedophilia; more importantly, such allusions give such practices a mythical aura such as can be appealing to those purportedly of ‘taste’ rooted in antiquity (a view which permeates Germaine Greer’s odious pederastic book The Boy (London: Thames and Hudson, 2003)), to which is added the view that this is in the interests of the child, not the adult exploiting them. It is clear when Hindley writes that ‘Quint has already progressed to a warmth of love which the Governess only begins to approach in the course of the opera’ (p. 12) and that ‘Quint is not a monster but one who opens fascinating new opportunities to the imaginative boy’ (p. 15) where his sympathies lie. And in one footnote, Hindley’s real sympathies become abundantly clear:
In considering this relationship [between Miles and Quint] it should be remembered that (for reasons unexplained in the opera) Miles is without father or mother, and, although materially well provided for, he has been virtually abandoned by his only relative-his uncle and guardian. This kind of emotional deprivation is akin to that of a number of the boys described in recent case studies, where it has been found that in some circumstances sexual relationships between men and boys can be gentle, positive, and supportive, with no self-evident negative consequences. Cf. Theo Sandfort, The Sexual Aspect of Paedophile Relations (Amsterdam 1982); G. D. Wilson and D. N. Cox, The Child Lovers: A Study of Paedophiles in Society (London 1983). (pp. 15-16, n. 21)
(Wilson and Cox’s study was a serious piece of psychological scholarship based upon a sample of volunteers all from PIE, conducted with the aid of Tom O’Carroll)
Compare this to the following by Father Michael Ingram, convicted sex offender and regular contributor to Magpie:
What seems to have happened was that the boy was rather deprived of affection from his parents who were cold and undemonstrative. He had often allowed the man to cuddle him, and this sometimes led to the man feeling him inside his trousers. If one can make a strong attempt to mask the disgust this might evoke, and consider the possible damage done to the boy by being starved of love at home, by enduring the anger, fearful interrogation, and most of all by submitting to the formal repetition by the doctor of the acts which were causing all the trouble, one can see that the offender was the last one from who the boy needed protection. (The Rev Fr Michael Ingram, O.P. ‘”Filthy”’, reprinted from Libertarian Education, in Magpie, Issue No. 5 (July, 1977) pp. 5-6.
Or the following description of a cover picture in Magpie, saying it:
‘….is of a 12 year old boy full of joy and happiness despite being form a home where is own mother didn’t know his correct age, and where his father is a thief and a drunkard. This picture of inner peace was made just weeks before the police brutally interrogated him, jailed his benefactor and returned him to the “custody of his parents” with a statement that he “requires psychiatric counselling”.’ (Magpie, Issue No. 10 (no date), p. 12).
Around the same time as examining The Turn of the Screw, Hindley wrote the first of two articles on Britten’s last opera Death in Venice (Hindley, ‘Contemplation and Reality: A Study in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’’, Music and Letters, Vol. 71, No. 4 (Nov., 1990), pp. 511-523). That Mann’s 1912 novel Der Tod in Venedig deals with the frustrated and ultimately destructive erotic lusting after a boy of around fourteen by a much older man, is not in doubt, whilst the novel’s own references to the ideas of Plato have long been explored by critics. As elsewhere, Hindley is rightly concerned to look at the transmogrification of Mann’s original through its being transformed by the librettist (again Piper) and composer. From the outset, his sympathies are again clear, writing that an analysis of the changes:
suggests that Britten intended to show not only the obsession which destroyed Aschenbach but also the positive possibility of a sublimated love of youthful male beauty along the lines of the Platonic philosophy, a theme which in Mann is treated with the utmost ambivalence. In brief, what in Mann is represented, almost unquestioningly, as progressive self-abandonment to an obsession is transformed in the opera into a double movement, towards and away from a positive realization of the Platonic ideal. (pp. 511-512)
Hindley achieves this by playing up the significance of the Greek allusions, in particular the scene featuring the Games of Apollo, ‘a pinnacle of idealism’ in Britten/Piper, rather than ‘the beginning of a decline’ in Mann (p. 512), and a much more straightforward identification of the sun with Apollo and then with Tadzio in Britten/Piper (‘No boy, but Phoebus of the golden hair/Driving his horses through the azure sky/Mounting his living chariot shoulder high/Both child and god he lords it in the air’) (pp. 512-514). As he would do four years later in his second essay on Billy Budd discussed above, Hindley links the use of a Lydian inflection to the earlier Young Apollo, and evokes another of Britten’s Hölderlin settings, this time to the poem ‘Die Jugend’ (the fourth of the Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente) and its imagery of the sun as ‘Father Helios’ (Hindley, p. 514).
In terms of Britten and Piper’s rendition of those Platonic ideas which Hindley claims are ambivalent, hesitant and ambiguous in Mann (pp. 514-515), Hindley is once again unequivocally affirmative:
None of these hesitations and ambiguities are found in the treatment of the Platonic philosophy in the opera. On the contrary, the closing scene of Act I is a remarkably lucid exposition of the Platonic teaching on beauty and boy-love, surely intended to affirm an artistic credo, or, at the least, to present a serious option for Aschenbach. The basis of the symbolism here is set out in a letter from Myfanwy Piper to Britten dated 28 January 1972, in which she wrote: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that Aschenbach was a devotee of Apollo -that Apollo is the God whom he puts up against Dionysus and that Tadzio therefore also can and does represent Apollo in his mind . ’20 It is but a short step to using the Apollo/Tadzio symbolism as a means of presenting Platonic idealism on stage, in terms of music, voice and dance. While there is something in the criticism that the dances are overlong, they (and this whole scene) are no mere extraneous divertissement, but an essential part of the philosophical development. In response to the Voice of Apollo they present the doctrine that the Divine is manifest in a perfect human form. There is no hint of ambiguity (still less, covert sexual desire) in the Chorus’s declaration, commenting on the action in the manner of the chorus of ancient Greek drama:
Beauty is the only form
Of spirit that our eyes can see
So brings to the outcast soul
Reflections of divinity.
The thought is reaffirmed at the conclusion of the Games (‘Beauty is the mirror of spirit’), at which point Apollo demonstrates his identification with the boy’s beauty by taking over his theme. (pp. 515-516)
Hindley links this to a wider interest in Plato’s writings on male love amongst literary homosexual circles in England of which Britten and Pears were part, as well as the setting of Hölderlin’s Sokrates und Alkibiades mentioned before. But nowhere does he distinguish between love for an adult, or at least one who has reached an age of sexual maturity, and that for a child. On the contrary:
When the Voice of Apollo sings ‘He who loves beauty worships me . . .’, the opera invites us to see this new experience, mediated through Tadzio, as the culmination of Aschenbach’s artistic quest, the quest of one who in his maturity had built his art on simplicity, beauty, form, and one who ‘strives to create beauty’. But what is the next step? For Plato, it is to commune with the beautiful beloved in a relationship which will ‘beget spiritual children’-‘virtues and qualities and actions which mark a good man’ (p. 516, citing the Symposium).
Hindley also locates some text omitted from the final version of the libretto, from the reflection on artistic inspiration following the Games: ‘When genius leaves contemplation for one moment of reality/[When the flower is fruited, the child of body and mind…]/Then Eros is in the word’ (passage in square brackets omitted), and argues for a Platonic interpretation of these as ‘the engendering of ‘spiritual’ children (whether moral virtue or high art) through devoted association with a beautiful youth’, again in contrast to Mann, where they are associated with debauchery (pp. 520-521). And as in his interpretation of the Screw, Hindley maintains that when the Lady of the Pearls attempts to protect her son from Aschenbach, ‘she embodies the reaction of conventional society whose hostility to even a ‘Platonic’ and sublimated relationship Aschenbach, the famous writer, could not openly defy’, so that ‘she (and through her, society) must share in the responsibility for deflecting Aschenbach from a potentially ideal relationship which could have brought him fulfilment as an artist and as a man’ (p. 522). Actually, such a relationship might be just as likely to earn Aschenbach a prison sentence, and Tadzio a lifetime of bitterness, estrangement and self-hatred for allowing himself to be the victim, no matter Hindley’s implication (somewhat in the manner of Brongersma above) that through his smile at Aschenbach he is the agent of desire to which Aschenbach finds himself unable to do other than submit. If as Hindley argues, in Mann ‘any concern for the youth other than as an occasion for the artist’s self-expression is explicitly repudiated’ (p. 523), in the opera he sees ‘an affirmative vision of Platonism as a genuine option for the artist, developed and amplified by an emphasis on the significance of a real relationship with the beloved for the artist himself’, so that ‘Refusal of that ideal … leads to introverted sterility and degradation’ (ibid). Not only is pederasty to be celebrated, according to Hindley, but not to act upon it is to be met with patronising derision.
In a second article on the opera from two years later (Hindley, ‘Platonic Elements in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’, Music and Letters, Vol. 73, No. 3 (Aug., 1992), pp. 407-429), Hindley looks more deeply at the roots of the opera in Plato’s Phaedrus and Symposium, presenting clearly his view of Plato’s teaching on eros and beauty as follows:
The visible beauty of this world (particularly the beauty of a lovely youth) is a manifestation (in a myriad particular exemplars) of the eternal essence of Beauty, which in Plato’s thought is identical with the Form of the Good or ultimate reality. What moves men to respond to this beauty and share in this vision is eros or ‘love’, but Plato also taught that in its highest manifestation such love of beauty stops short of physical love-making, expressing itself rather in a communion of contemplation with the beloved and the begetting of ‘spiritual children’ such as wisdom and virtue. It is Plato’s later interpreters who applied this teaching to the work of the creative artist, who in creating beauty mediates an experience of the transcendent or, as others would express it, ‘the divine’. (pp. 407-408)
To Hindley, the first act of Britten’s Death in Venice is a presentation of this philosophy in terms of Aschenbach’s relationship to Tadzio, and the second demonstrates the destructive consequences of failing to act upon it (p. 408), in contrast to the view of Mann, in which the destruction is a result of occasioning upon this way of thinking in the first place. And the passage of Hindley above goes as far as to interpret Plato’s own interpreters (he cites R.C. Cross and A.D. Woozley, Plato’s Republic: a Philosophical Commentary (London: Macmillan, 1956) and W.K.C. Guthrie’s History of Greek Philosophy. 4: Plato: the man and his dialogues, earlier period (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975)) as implying that artistic creation amounts to a displaced pederasty. Throughout this essay (which contains a good deal of astute musical observations) the boy Tadzio is presented by Hindley as the embodiment of some transcendent beauty as well as an object of sexual desire, a Platonic ideal who is nonetheless viewed in utterly eroticised terms. If the pederastic themes are disguised in a somewhat high-flown philosophical, mythological and musical language by Hindley, there are no less palpable as a result, any more than in the ongoing theme of Platonic ‘sublimation’ which Hindley identifies in the opera and relates to Britten’s own biography (pp. 422-423). But this latter is something Hindley may regret in Britten:
In fact we are dealing with relationships between males, and that not in ancient Greece but in near-contemporary society. Even after the partial decriminalization of homosexual acts in England in 1967 it was difficult (particularly for those brought up under the previous era of repression) to advance such thoughts. If Britten had wished to advance them, he would undeniably have felt inhibited by the social pressures which dictated that such things should not be spoken of. Or was it that he was tortured by the tension between a commitment to the ideal of ‘sublimation’ and the urgent (but resisted) desire for a physical consummation? Could he have allowed himself to wonder, whatever his own rule of life may have been, whether to follow the normal Greek route of love for an adolescent boy might, in Aschenbach’s case, have yielded more for the artist than the austere path laid down by Plato? In either case, we would have an explanation both of the late appearance of the thought ‘The flower is fruited’ in the composition process and the decision to abandon it. (p. 423)
Britten did realise same-sex physical consummation (at least as far as is believed by his biographers) through his relationship with Pears, despite the repressive climate for the majority of his life which made such consummation illegal. To bemoan this repressive situation is more than legitimate, and would be in line with the reflections of many other commentators; but Hindley is going a stage much further in lashing out against the ‘social pressures’ which specifically forbade (and rightly continue to forbid) that such consummation could be achieved with an adolescent boy.
Hindley’s other Britten essays deal with operas in which such themes are less obvious, though. Since the appearance of Philip Brett’s article ‘Britten and Grimes’ (The Musical Times, Vol. 118, No. 1618 (Dec., 1977), pp. 995-1000, reproduced in Brett (ed), Benjamin Britten: Peter Grimes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), pp. 180-189), many commentators have interpreted the ostracisation of Grimes by the inhabitants of his village as a metaphor for societal estrangement of homosexuals. As Hindley himself points out in an essay partially devoted to this opera (Hindley, ‘Homosexual Self-Affirmation and Self-Oppression in Two Britten Operas’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 2 (Summer 1992), pp. 143-168), Brett went on to examine how earlier drafts for the opera made the theme of the love of Grimes for his boy apprentice explicit, only to be suppressed in later versions (Brett, ‘’Fiery visions’ (and revisions): Peter Grimes in progress’, in Brett (ed), Peter Grimes, pp. 47-87) , as pointed out by Hindley. Had they remained explicit, the opera would likely have been a much more contentious work both at the time of its premiere in 1945 and perhaps equally if not more so today (as some aspects of exploitation of child labour are deemed less acceptable, and awareness has heightened of child abuse). But Hindley is concerned to show how clues to a ‘specifically intergenerational homoeroticism’ (p. 143) can be found in the final work as it stands. The Grimes of George Crabbe’s original poem was a cruel exploiter of child labour, probably the murderer of the first apprentice, but Hindley argues that the Grimes of the opera is quite different; he is ‘innocent of that charge’ of murder of the first boy, to Hindley, on the grounds of the coroner’s acquittal (a remarkable statement of Hindley’s faith in the judicial process), whilst ‘the subsequent scenes of hallucination and even madness effectively exonerate him’ because ‘They carry the stamp of authenticity when Peter recalls his agony at having witnessed two deaths which he was powerless to prevent’ (p. 144). Even the most obvious indication of Grimes’s brutality, the bruise found by Ellen Orford on the second boy’s neck near the beginning of Act 2, to Hindley shows that ‘Grimes has a callous harshness, no doubt exacerbated by his ostracism from society, but such a temper falls short of sadistic cruelty’ (ibid). At all costs Hindley is concerned to defend Grimes, with callous disregard for the welfare of the boy (I would personally argue that the supposedly saintly character of Ellen is actually the primary villainess of the opera, as she is the only one of the townspeople actively to volunteer to help Grimes procure more child labour, and her aria to the boy upon discovering the bruise, ‘Child, you’re not too young to know’, and attempts to diminish the significance of his own physical ordeals compared to her affairs of the heart – the boy’s bruise serves mostly as an obstacle on the road towards her own dreams of union with Grimes – demonstrating self-serving hypocrisy, but that is for another article).
Hindley mentions a reference in an earlier draft of the libretto to a ‘nine-tailed cat’, about which Grimes says to the boy in the hut ‘Will you move/If the cat starts making love?’, a clear indication of sadism (p. 144), but as this was removed, the clear evidence for the Borough’s suspicions is apparently absent (that questions about what really happened with the first boy might be more than idle gossip is not countenanced by Hindley as a possibility). So Hindley looks to establish that Grimes as ostracised homosexual outsider is not merely a metaphorical or allegorical interpretation of the work, but a way of viewing its actuality. From Ellen’s Act 1 aria ‘Let her among you without fault cast the first stone’, relating to the biblical story of a woman taken in adultery, Hindley reads that Ellen is implicitly accusing the other villagers themselves of sexual misdemeanours (rather than her using a well-known phrase out of its original biblical context, which seems entirely reasonable), referencing the promiscuous urges of Ned Keene and Bob Boles (when drunk), the flirtatious nature of the nieces, and for that matter Mrs Sedley’s addiction to laudanum. The chant of the congregation, just out of the church, in Act 2, ‘Grimes is at his exercise’, is ominous in Crabbe’s poem (‘None put the question, – “Peter, dost thou give / The boy his food? – What, man! the lad must live / Consider, Peter, let the child have bread, / He’ll serve the better if he’s stroked and fed.” / None reason’d thus – and some, on hearing cries, / Said calmly, “Grimes is at his exercise.” // Pinn’d, beaten, cold, pinch’d, threaten’d, and abused – / His efforts punish’d and his food refused, – / Awake tormented, – soon aroused from sleep, – / Struck if he wept, and yet compell’d to weep, / The trembling boy dropp’d down and strove to pray, / Received a blow, and trembling turn’d away, / Or sobb’d and hid his piteous face; – while he, / The savage master, grinn’d in horrid glee: / He’d now the power he ever loved to show, / A feeling being subject to his blow’). In the opera, however, Hindley interprets the fact that this is a canon based upon the last line sung by Grimes before exiting as indicating that ‘Grimes’s fault, whatever it was, is to be seen as on a level with the failings of the rest of the Borough’ (p. 145, citing the setting of the phrase ‘Each one’s at his exercise’). But that very last line came right after Grimes physically hit Ellen, the woman who loves him, and Hindley is able to make light of both domestic violence and child sexual abuse in one foul swoop. For Brett, the break with Ellen at this moment ‘is only symbolic of his [Grimes’s] final capitulation to the values and judgment of society at large’ (Brett, ‘Britten and Grimes’, p. 997). For Hindley, however:
I differ with Brett concerning the point at which self-oppression begins its corrosive work in Grimes’s personality. It seems to me that at the moment of climax, when he cries “So be it, and God have mercy upon me,” Grimes is not abasing himself before the Borough, but is defiantly affirming his right to go his own way. It is only later that he succumbs to the unremitting campaign of ostracism and unfounded accusations, and buckles under the strain to the point of suicide. […]
The cause of the rupture between Peter and Ellen is her conclusion that he can never succeed in his proposed program of rehabilitation [in terms of becoming rich through fishing, and achieving bourgeois respectability that way, as discussed earlier by Hindley]. In considering his violent response, we must be aware of the psychological tension behind it. The one person to whom Peter had looked for help has repudiated him. As if to underscore Ellen’s words, the congregation sings “Amen,” and Peter, picking up their affirmation, declares “So be it! And God have mercy upon me.” Practically everything conspires to emphasize the climactic nature of this utterance. In particular, the music prepares for it by a reiterated pedal of 28 measures on F for the horns (Figs. 16-17), against which Ellen and Peter exchange words in a tonally ambivalent manner. Peter’s expostulations are in B-flat minor, and at the climax the role of the pedal F as a dominant is clarified by the cadence to B-flat major in which Peter’s words are set (Ex. 3). This phrase is then repeated (in diminution) by the orchestra to set off the extended chorus, which is dominated by the words “Grimes is at his exercise.” [….]
[On the omission of a stage direction ‘The boy screams’, after Grimes hits Ellen, from an earlier version of the libretto, followed by Grimes saying ‘Now we’ll see, young stranger, come / Where the road leads. Young stranger home’:]
The sequence of changes, however, suggests three inferences: (1) that Britten wished to avoid the original suggestion of “La” that the resolution of Grimes’s problems might lie in defiantly setting up an open relationship with the boy; (2) that the composer required, instead, some decisive verbal formula to match the musical climax denoted by the resolution of the reiterated pedal on F, referred to above; and (3) that the implications of the first suggestion (“To hell then”) were unsatisfactory. (pp. 147-148)
It should not be too difficult to arrive at a straightforward explanation for this scene: a frustrated Grimes lashes out violently at someone closest to him, who is also physically weaker, the townspeople are horrified, picking up on his final utterance in a cattish manner (perhaps also motivated by more abstract musical requirements for Britten), but continue to distrust Ellen herself for continuing to stand by a man who is violent towards both the woman who loves him and also the boy who has been entrusted to him. But this does not suit the twisted world-view of a Hindley: Grimes is presented as isolated through no fault of his own, driven to violence by abandonment by Ellen (who does not abandon him, simply loses faith in his mission) in a manner which comes close to blaming her for bringing the violence upon herself, but the road to true fulfilment is through the ‘open relationship with the boy’ which Britten ultimately shied away from including explicitly. Partner violence and the sexual abuse of children are both equally legitimised. The only character for whom Hindley shows any regard is Grimes himself; all the others (including the boys) are there to be despised as representatives of the much-detested society around or simply there to serve him.
Hindley’s two writings on Xenophon (Hindley, ‘Eros and Military Command in Xenophon’, The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 44, No. 2 (1994), pp. 347-366, and ‘Xenophon on Male Love’, The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 49, No. 1 (1999), pp. 74-99) focused upon the relatively small sub-section of Xenophon’s work dealing with eroticism and love, draw further upon ideas from Dover’s work. Here once again he misses no opportunity to dwell upon pederastic themes:
[A]s Sir Kenneth Dover has pointed out, the story of Episthenes in Xenophon’s Anabasis reflects the same belief in stiffening a fighting force with the powerful bonds of erōs. The historian himself, it will be remembered, intervened on behalf of this lover of boys and the young man he was seeking to save from execution, and spoke to Seuthes, the local ruler in whose service he then was, sympathetically of the company of fighting youths whom Episthenes had raised, chosen on the basis of their good looks. (‘Eros and Military Command’, p. 347)
Vice offers a life of pleasure, in which Herakles need not concern himself with weighty matters of war and public affairs, but may plan his life around the choice of whatever will delight him by way of the senses, including the love of boys. Nor need he be too scrupulous about the means employed to attain these ends. (ibid. p. 348)
For Xenophon the need for self-control and the perils of enslavement to bodily pleasure (above all, sex) are particularly important in those who exercise any kind of authority. Even when it comes to appointing a farm bailiff, he suggests, one should avoid a man who is excessively in love, because concern with his boy lover (paidika) may interfere with the punctilious performance of his duties.” Not surprisingly, then, the virtue of self-control is seen as essential for those who exercise military command. (ibid. p. 349)
The phrase [a Greek phrase which Hindley translates as ‘a very fine young fellow’] commonly denotes moral worthiness and is used by Xenophon as a term of general approbation, applicable as well to a slave as to a general. One wonders however whether its application to a youth who has no part to play except as an associate of Alketas, does not bring to the surface an underlying aesthetic reference, in a way which elsewhere requires further specification. In this sense, Rex Warner translates, ‘He was a fine attractive boy.’ However that may be, Xenophon’s narrative seems clearly to imply that the Spartan commander’s neglect of his duties in pursuit of this boy had resulted in a significant military reverse. (ibid. p. 350)
Hindley goes on to suggest that the Greek term λακωυίξειυ, sometimes used to indicate unambiguously taking the Spartan side in a political sense, or to speaking the language concerned or with a certain accent , could be ‘used without further specification – in its reference to pederasty’ (p. 353). This he does by further extensive reference to Dover (who also suggested it could have meant ‘to have analy intercourse, irrespective of the sex of the person penetrated’), taking up the bulk of the article (pp. 353-362). Not being a classical scholar, I am not in a position to judge the veracity or otherwise of Hindley’s arguments; suffice to say that this is clearly the primary motivation behind his interest in Xenophon, which he can then trace in terms of the accounts depicted. In his second Xenophon article, Hindley turns to the theme of pederasty on the first page, in order to address the belief (as apparently presented in Eva Cantarella, Bisexuality in the Ancient World (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992) and Bruce S. Thornton, Eros: The Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997)) that ‘there has been a tendency to regard Xenophon as opposed to pederasty (or at least its physical expression outright’ (Hindley, ‘Xenophon on Male Love’, p. 74). Hindley portrays Xenophon as belonging to ‘the upper-class gentry [in Athenian society] who, while not aspiring to the heights of Platonic philosophy, might be prepared to think about their relationships with boys’ (ibid), and considers how Xenophon was aware of different views on pederasty within various Greek traditions, before going on to consider how the Greek historian’s editorial comments serve as reflections upon the formal discussions of pederasty which he attributes to others in his writings. There can be no doubting the thoroughness of Hindley’s application to this task; once again, whilst unqualified to remark in more detail upon his exegesis (unlike with Hindley’s musicological work), the obsessiveness of this theme is unmistakable to any reader, its erudition and continual eliding of the boundaries between plain same-sex and pederastic desire (or simply subsuming the former into the latter) in no way mitigating from the sordid and exploitative nature of the philosophy upon which he lavishes attention. He summarises one passage from Xenophon’s Memorabilia (1.3.8-15) as follows:
(a) Xenophon acknowledges homosexual desire in himself (a not surprising fact, but a not unimportant one either).
(b) he challenges Sokrates’ rigorist view on grounds of common sense.
(c) he acknowledges circumstances (though circumscribed) in which the physical expression of sex with boys may be accepted by the mind without harmful consequences. It is for the individual ψυχή to regulate these matters.
(d) while Sokrates’ practice of abstinence is to be admired, it may be questioned whether this rule is to be made universal, since even the master allowed some relaxation. (p. 85)
Xenophon’s character Kritobouls is ‘a willing pupil of Sokrates’ but ‘The one point at which he seems to resist Sokrates’ teaching is over his associations with young men’ (p. 85). Elsewhere, Hindley loves to find every reference to ‘boy-love’, and concludes that as ‘self-control is not to be identified with celibacy’, Xenophon’s retention of Sokrates sacrificing of the pleasures of the body towards those of the mind were mostly in order to defend his teacher from charges of ‘corrupting the young’ (p. 98), concluding:
What I hope I have demonstrated, however, is an interest on his part in right sexual relationships between older and younger men and boys, and the articulation of a viewpoint, if not a theory, on this subject which stands in tension (and, by the time of the Hiero self-conscious tension) with Sokrates’ absolutist rejection of all genital relations between males. It may be termed a way of moderation. It embraces love of body and love of mind, in which the older respects the younger partner and what he offers. It maintains self-discipline over physical expression without denying the latter its place, and finds pleasure in a freely given (sexual) love as an ingredient in friendship. (pp. 98-99).
And in a further essay on Ancient Greece (‘Law, Society and Homosexuality in Classical Athens’, Past & Present, No. 133 (Nov., 1991), pp. 167-183), Hindley continues the same themes with reference to Dover’s work:
Initial doubts are prompted by two passages which clearly imply that there was no law against intercourse between citizens and free-born boys. In the oft-quoted speech of Pausanias from Plato’s Symposium, the speaker, while advocating the love of older youths, says that “There ought to be a law forbidding love of young boys, to avoid expending a great deal of trouble on an uncertain venture”. The argument is of course jocular, but it would make no sense at all if everyone knew that the law did in fact forbid intercourse of this kind. The same conclusion follows from Aeschines’ statement that, while the lawgiver prohibited a slave from loving a free-born boy, “he did not prevent the free man from loving, associating with and following [a boy]”.
May, however, a closer study of the law of hubris, particularly as regards the “shame” involved in pederasty, require us to override these apparently clear statements? Recent studies agree that when applied to law, the term hubris is to be understood in its everyday usage. But this involves an enormous range of meaning: for example, eating and drinking in an excessive or disorderly manner; fighting and doing physical harm to people; depriving someone of his possessions or rights; or the unrestrained use of personal power by a tyrant. The list will also include sexual violation, but this is only one among many applications, and it is going too far to assert that the words hubris and hubrizein “have a strong sexual connotation”. (pp. 168-169)
No doubt in a general sense the hubris law did protect children – by prohibiting forcible interference with them. But to interpret the summarizing function of this law more widely would conflict with Aeschines’ statement that the law does not forbid a free man to love a boy, and with the orator’s own acceptance that he himself was erōtikos – a lover of boys. (p. 177)
While therefore younger boys are not excluded, there are sufficient instances of older erōmenoi to rule out any argument based on the essentially “feminine” characteristics of pre-pubertal boys, inability to ejaculate, lack of testicles and so forth. Similar considerations preclude the application of arguments about the “shame” of yielding to an erastēs based on the chaperonage rules to the whole range of pederastic relationships. While the evidence suggests that there was no “age of consent” below which intercourse was per se unlawful, one might well speak of an “age of protection” which the rules regulating opening hours for schools and gymnasia and the custom of oversight by a paidagōgos were designed to maintain. (p. 179)
This far from exhaustive account of Hindley’s writings in retirement should leave no doubt as to what a central role pederasty played in much of his thought. Beneath a scholarly and deeply learned exterior, steeped in antiquity, lies an obsessiveness and distorted morality which is not so different to that to be found in the more obviously explicit writings to be found in Magpie and other paedophile publications. I do not believe we should censor Hindley’s work, by any means, nor that it is without worth. But if the allegations about his having facilitated government financial support for one of the most insidious of all paedophile organisations – members of which have been linked to child pornography and abuse rings and international networks, ritual exploitation of those in children’s homes, and a whole host of cases of sexual predation upon very young boys in other institutions – are proved correct, as looks likely, then Hindley’s scholarly legacy should be afforded a good deal more critical treatment than has hitherto been the case. And above all, in no sense should Hindley’s work be seen as representative of wider gay-focused studies and scholarship. There is no more intrinsic link between same-sex desire and paedophilia as there is for opposite-sex desire; both remain minority inclinations belonging to those in desperate need of help before they do untold damage. It is to Hindley’s discredit that he attempted to dissolve such distinctions, and legitimise paedophilia as the most natural representation of same-sex desire, in exactly the manner in which paedophile groups appropriated the language and rhetoric of gay rights to suit their own twisted ends.
Articles by Clifford Hindley
(some articles were published as ‘J.C. Hindley’, ‘The Rev. J.C. Hindley’ or ‘J. Clifford Hindley’)
‘The Philosophy of Enthusiasm’, The London Quarterly and Holborn Review No. 182 (April and July 1957), pp. 99-109, 199-210.
‘The seal and the first instalment’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 9, No. 3 (July-Sep., 1960), pp. 108-119.
‘The translation of words for “covenant”’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar., 1961), pp. 13-24.
‘Serampore and the Future’, in The Story of Serampore and its College (Serampore: COuncil of Serampore College, 1961), pp. 102-108.
‘The meaning and translation of covenant’, Bible Translator, Vol. 13, No.2 (April 1962), pp. 90-101.
‘A prophet outside Israel: Thoughts on the study of Zoroastrianism’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 11, No. 3 (July-Sep., 1962), pp. 96-107.
‘Honest to Robinson’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 13, No. 1 (1964), pp. 2-10.
‘Witness in the Fourth Gospel’, Scottish Journal of Theology, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Sep., 1965), pp. 319-337.
‘History and Rudolf Bultmann’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec., 1965), pp. 193-208.
‘The Christ of creation in New Testament theology’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 15, No. 3 (July-Sep., 1966), pp. 89-105.
‘The Son of Man: a recent analysis’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 15, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec., 1966, pp. 172-178.
‘Der historische Jesus in indischer Sicht’, in Indische Beiträge zur Theologie der Gegenwart, ed Horst Bürkle and Wolfgang M.W. Roth (Stuttgart: Evangelisches Verlagswerk, 1966), pp. 23-58
‘The Mediator of a New Covenant’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Jan.-June, 1967), pp. 121-136.
‘The resurrection in recent Western theology’, Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 17, No. 2 (April-June, 1968), pp. 71-88.
‘Toward a Date for the Similitudes of Enoch: An Historical Approach’, New Testament Studies 14 (1968), pp. 551-565.
‘The Jesus of History: An Appraisal from India’, in Indian Voices in Today’s Theological Debate, edited Horst Buckle and Wolfgang M.W. Roth, English Edition (Delhi: Lucknow Publishing House, 1972).
‘The Age of Consent for Male Homosexuals’, Criminal Law Review 595-603 (1986).
‘Love and Salvation in Britten’s ‘Billy Budd’, Music & Letters, Vol. 70, No. 3 (Aug., 1989), pp. 363-381.
‘Why Does Miles Die? A Study of Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw”’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1 (1990), pp. 1-17.
‘Contemplation and Reality: A Study in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’’, Music and Letters, Vol. 71, No. 4 (Nov., 1990), pp. 511-523.
‘Law, Society and Homosexuality in Classical Athens’, Past & Present, No. 133 (Nov., 1991), pp. 167-183.
‘Homosexual Self-Affirmation and Self-Oppression in Two Britten Operas’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 2 (Summer 1992), pp. 143-168.
‘Platonic Elements in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’, Music and Letters, Vol. 73, No. 3 (Aug., 1992), pp. 407-429.
‘Britten’s “Billy Budd”: The “Interview Chords” Again’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 78, No. 1 (Spring, 1994), pp. 99-126.
‘Not the Marrying Kind: Britten’s “Albert Herring”’, Cambridge Opera Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Jul., 1994), pp. 159-174.
‘Eros and Military Command in Xenophon’, The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 44, No. 2 (1994), pp. 347-366.
‘Britten, Auden and Johnny Inkslinger’, Perversions, ii (1994), pp. 42-56.
‘Britten’s Parable Art: A Gay Reading’, History Workshop Journal, No. 40 (Autumn, 1995), pp. 62-90.
Review of William H.L. Godsalve, ‘Britten’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: Making an Opera from Shakespeare’s Comedy’, Music & Letters, Vol. 77, No. 2 (May, 1996), pp. 299-300.
‘Xenophon on Male Love’, The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 49, No. 1 (1999), pp. 74-99.
‘Eros in life and death: Billy Budd and Death in Venice’, in The Cambridge Companion to Benjamin Britten, edited Mervyn Cooke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 147-166.
Entries on Achilles, Aeschines, Agathon (and Pausanias) Alexander the Great, Aristophanes, Ganymede, Harmodius and Aristogiton, Socrates, Theocritus in Who’s Who in Gay and Lesbian History: From Antiquity to World War Two, edited Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon (London and New York: Routledge, 2001), pp. 1-2, 8-11, 15-16, 27-28, 174-175, 201-202, 408-410, 438-440.
‘Sappho’s ‘Rosy’ Moon’, The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 52, No. 1 (2002), pp. 374-377.
‘Sophron Eros: Xenophon’s Ethical Erotics’, in Xenophon and his World: Papers from a Conference Held in Liverpool in July 1999, edited Christopher Tuplin (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2004), pp. 125-146.