To classical music abuse survivors – please do let me or the Home Office know of your wishes for the inquiryPosted: December 4, 2014
I will be attending the meeting about the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse at the Home Office on Monday December 8th, to accompany a survivor from a music school. This meeting is one of several to consult with abuse survivors and their representatives on their wishes for the national inquiry (here is an account of the meeting which took place at the end of October).
The website for the inquiry is here – this includes details of the Terms of Reference for the inquiry, the panel, and various other factors.
Amongst the major issues which have come up are whether the inquiry is to be statutory and judge-led, thus having statutory powers to demand evidence from institutions, where the cut-off point should be (at present the inquiry plans to look at events from 1970 onwards, but have indicated they may be prepared to go back further), and of course which institutions are to be considered.
I believe that the Home Secretary are serious about really listening to what survivors want from this inquiry, and what aspects will make them feel safe about participating, in the sense of being prepared to speak to the panel about their own experiences and other information. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for such an inquiry, and I have good reason to believe that the panel may seriously look into abuse in musical education.
With this in mind, I want to call upon all survivors either to let me know of their wishes in this respect (either by posting here, under a pseudonym if desired, or e-mailing me on email@example.com ), preferably before Monday, or to contact directly the Director of Safeguarding at the Home Office, John O’Brien, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I assure everyone who contacts me (and they can e-mail me at email@example.com ) that confidentiality will be absolutely respected, but also that I will forward their wishes as they stand. The important thing is that the Home Office and the Inquiry Secretariat hear what you think, not just what I have to say.
Some survivors and organisations have indicated their intention to withdraw from participation (see this open letter). Whilst having immense respect for some of the signatories of this, and sharing some of their concerns, I do believe that constructive, critical engagement is the better option. We have come a long way in getting this far, and I would worry that if the inquiry ends up being postponed until after the general election, its future may be in jeopardy. I am prepared to believe the view of Labour MP Tom Watson that his political opponent, the Home Secretary Theresa May, is committed to this inquiry and getting to the truth, unlike some of her political colleagues. I was very impressed at the last meeting I attended and want to encourage people in the classical music world to participate and make their views known.
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.
The following is the passage from Lucy Robinson, Gay Men and the Left in Post-War Britain: How the Personal got Political (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), pp. 129-139, dealing with the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE). Whilst not without some errors (for example misdating the foundation of PIE as 1975 rather than 1974, and confusing the British National Party – not founded until 1982 – with the National Front), and also glossing over feminist and lesbian paedophilia or pro-paedophilia, this is an important and relatively comprehensive account. In the footnotes reproduced at the end, where possible I have given a link to the material in question when it is available online; in other cases I have uploaded it at the bottom of this post itself
I intend soon to complete a comprehensive bibliography of books, articles and newspaper pieces relating to PIE.
Testing times and uneasy alliances: Gay Left and the Paedophile Information Exchange
The [Gay Left] Collective’s theoretical approaches can be best assessed when tested against actual campaigns. Single-issue based campaigns continued to make unity difficult and this was particularly true of the campaigns that the Collective became involved in around PIE. By looking at the issues around PIE and the campaigns that defended it, it is possible to see how transferable Gay Left’s approaches were. This is not to say that there is an easy correlation between homosexual and paedophile experience or desire, instead it is a way of seeing how paedophile self-organisation developed with a full consciousness of the history of the gay liberation movement.
PIE coincided with the Collective’s need for a campaign through which to impact the world. The second issue of Gay Left included a letter from Roger Moody. He called for an analysis of paedophiles’ transgressive role in society, solidarity between different identity groups and a revolutionary model of sexual behaviour. . From its third issue PIE ran adverts in Gay Left. Issue 7 of the journal was entitled ‘Happy Families – paedophilia examined’. Members of the Collective saw PIE, and the campaigns around it, as a new battlefield from which to extend sexual liberation. Conservative anxiety had switched its focus from homosexuality to paedophilia, so it seemed as though the lines of defence should too. Bob Cant and Steven Gee specifically addressed these issues in Homosexuality, Power and Politics. Kenneth Plummer also became involved in the debate contributing to a number of collections on the subject.  In acknowledgment, the chairman of PIE, Tom O’Carroll, thanks Plummer in his introduction to Paedophilia – the Radical Case. Whilst not supporters or advocates of paedophilia, the Collective argued that discussion around paedophilia and PIE could be used to challenge the idea that sexuality was ‘pre-given determined and firm’ as well as to open up debates on child sexuality.  However this proved to be a gross over-estimation of both society’s position on paedophilia, and of paedophilia as a political issue. The following section of this chapter explains how a paedophile identity developed in the wake of the gay liberation movement and why Plummer and others in the Gay Left Collective were overly optimistic in their assessment.
Saying the unspeakable: PIE’s development in context
As with GLF et al., paedophile self-organisation developed in an international context. In both Europe and the United States paedophiles felt that they were on the receiving end of increased aggression and also felt that they had the potential to organise against it.  The first UK based group was Paedophile Action for Liberation (PAL) some of whom had been involved in the GLF. PAL published the newsletter Palaver. This group were singled out in the Sunday People campaign that labelled them ‘the vilest men in Britain’ on 25 May 1975. PAL were exposed as the enemy within. Although the article contained no allegation of actual sexual assault it made it clear that PAL members represented an evil that every parent must be warned about. The manner in which the article was researched, and the treatment of those it accused was so severe that both the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) and Gay News acted as advocates and witnesses for the PAL members. The advocates were threatened themselves. PAL’s closure was inevitable and it eventually ‘tottered to death’ in 1977. 
PIE, PAL’s most successful counterpart, was formed by three members of the Scottish Minorities Group. Their postal address remained that of the Group’s Glasgow headquarters. Having learnt many lessons from its early roots, PIE took its remit beyond that of support for individuals; they were the first to attempt a collective identity for paedophiles.  PIE began in October 1975. By November 1975 it is recorded as having 100 members. By 1977 this had risen to 250. At its peak, membership reached 450.  However, by the end of 1979 PIE was effectively over. Like PAL before them, tabloid exposés, this time in the News of the World and the Daily Star, precipitated its demise. All that remained were court cases and newspaper coverage, leaving the Left and the liberation movements struggling for positions.  On the way a number of contradictions and unmaintainable legacies were exposed.
PIE first gained public attention after The International Conference of Love and Attraction, organised by Mark Cook, and convened by Kevin Howells and Tom O’Carroll. The title of the conference, and PIE’s publicity, concentrated on paedophilia as a way of describing emotions not actions – a distinction that made little difference to the reactions that confronted them. In reality, the conference proved just how far paedophilia stood from the brink of liberation. College authorities ejected O’Carroll from the building and he was beaten in the face. Protesters also beat Daily Telegraph reporter Gerard Kemp, and Richard McCance, General Secretary of the counselling group Friend, whose appeals to the police were ignored. Elsewhere unions organised against PIE holding meetings on their premises. 
In today’s contemporary climate any rational public discourse relating to paedophilia seems increasingly unmanageable.  For a brief period however, the campaign surrounding PIE offered a possibility of learning from the GLF’s mistakes and of pushing the liberational agenda into its third and most radical stage. In the process PIE’s contradictory position was exposed. On the one hand PIE made Wolfenden type appeals to professionalism, whilst at the same time it spoke to an audience who were increasingly informed by the counter-culture’s Do It Yourself values.
O’Carroll fostered GLF’s shared history in his account of PIE’s development. The Conference was justified as an act of ‘coming out’, the first stage of liberational development. GLF veterans acted as stewards for a PIE meeting in Red Lion Square meeting in 1977  and the International Gay Association made a public statement supporting PIE.  O’Carroll tightened the relationship between the two by concentrating on the organisational ties. By melding PAL into PIE, PIE inherited roots as a break away group from the South London GLF. He argued that PIE was one of the ‘radical blooms’ that sprouted from the ‘flourishing phenomenon’ of gay liberation. 62] This appealed to those who, following the attainment of certain concessions, were searching for a new radicalism with which to challenge wider social structures. The book produced from the conference, Adult Sexual Interest in Children, was designed to provide the factual basis for a ‘cooler and more reasoned’ approach to the issue.  Like the earlier GLF publications, it directed its iconoclasm at Freud and psychiatry as a whole and tried to undermine categorisation itself. It combined this with a Wolfenden style ‘rational’ argument suggesting that society’s solutions were more dangerous than the problem.  This double-pronged attempt to combine liberation and reform was not enough to alter paedophilia’s position. Twenty years later the News of the World still referred to this book as ‘vile’. 
Like the earlier homosexual law reform campaigns PIE’s immediate goals were to provide support and to collate and disseminate information.  In terms of support, PIE wanted to alleviate the isolation, guilt, secrecy and anguish associated with paedophilia as well as to dispel the myths surrounding it. As with reformist support organisations such as the Albany Trust, PIE used contact advertisements, magazine publication and letter writing to breakdown the strong sense of isolation felt by its members.  From the start PIE explained that alongside individual and collective support it wanted to educate the wider world. When PIE announced its launch in the C.H.E. Bulletin, it explained that its initial goal was the organisation of information to act as a resource.  It produced Perspectives on Paedophilia, which combined sympathetic research with an educational role, aimed at professionals who worked with paedophiles. PIE argued that, like homosexuals earlier, self-oppression and fear of the law meant that paedophiles felt they had no choice but to accept chemical castration or aversion therapy.  PIE also tried to counter the unequal distribution of sentences experienced by paedophiles. The realities of paedophile criminality meant that paedophiles received severe sentences for their first offence, suffered frequent attacks from other prisoners once in prison, and had to be placed on ‘Rule 43’.  Perspectives on Paedophilia reappraised psychiatric models and offered a variety of self-help alternatives to challenge the tradition façade of a choice between either treatment or punishment. 
In 1975, PIE made a submission to the Home Office Criminal Law Review Committee on the age of consent. In the submission, the connection between PIE’s case and the Wolfenden Report was made explicit. The submission directly quoted the Report to support PIE’s argument.  In reaction to the existing laws, which treated infants and adolescents the same, the main body of the submission outlined a convoluted set of age divisions as an alternative to the mechanistic age of consent. Briefly these were: Firstly, that there was no possibility of consent under the age of four years old. Then, between the ages of four and nine a parent or responsible adult should be qualified to indicate in court cases whether or not they believed the child to be able to communicate consent. The remaining years, ten to seventeen, should be treated with minimal intervention providing the child is of normal development. There should be no division between assessment of heterosexual or homosexual cases.  This caused considerable controversy. There had been a certain amount of debate surrounding the upper ages of consent, particularly within lesbian and gay communities. Some young people began to take the liberation movements at their word, and Kidz Lib started organising around young people’s own rights and sexual freedom. But, PIE found there was little support [end p. 131] for their plan to lower the age of consent so dramatically. Even within PIE there was little chance of publicly defending sexual contact with the younger age groups. Few in PIE would admit to interest in sexual activity with those under adolescence, which is reiterated in studies of paedophiles generally.  PIE had hoped to gain a level of legitimacy through the submission. However, Home Office acceptance of PIE’s submission did not extend to any sympathy for individual members. In 1979 the Home Office ensured that Steven Smith, a PIE member who was employed by a subcontractor working at the Home Office, was removed from his job. 
Impossible collaborations: PIE’s attempts at entryism
PIE developed its own form of entryism. In order to build alliances with other identity groups, it tried to make connections with various liberal, professional and liberational organisations. PIE contacted amongst others, GaySocs, Gay News, the National Association of Youth Officers, Peace News, groups of trainee social workers, Release, Probation Services, NCLCC, MIND as well as academic departments. The contradictory and arbitrary divisions in British law around age meant that campaigns around paedophilia fed into a variety of issues relating to young men and women. This was particularly fostered in the Gay Youth Movement, with whom PIE made public statements of solidarity. 
Compared with today’s possibilities, PIE was remarkably successful in building alliances. For example, its overtures to social workers’ professional organisations culminated in a four page ‘non-judgmental and neutral’ article in the trade paper Community Care. The article, ‘Should We Pity the Paedophile?’ by Mary Manning, was published in Autumn 1977. It was illustrated with stills from Death in Venice and alluded to paedophilia’s historically and culturally constructed meaning. When the Manning article described Tom O’Carroll as ‘a likeable and gentle young man who has an ongoing interest in social history’, Manning constructed a version of O’Carroll appealing to both the empathetic and the academic. 
Some organisations resisted any involvement with PIE. Bristol University’s Vice Chancellor refused PIE’s offer to provide a speaker for the Department of Social Planning. In the end the request was hypothetical, as the speaker had been sent to prison by the time the proposed date arrived. The National Association of Probation Officers took a similar approach.  Whereas other organisations were loosely supportive, but withdrew their support when they were confronted with either the reality of PIE’s beliefs or society’s reaction to them. Although the NCCL challenged the State’s right to intervene in post-pubescent sex, it did not directly support the PIE. A fierce internal debate ensued when PIE targeted the NCCL and applied for membership. Eventually the proposal was rejected at the organisation’s annual general meeting. Similarly, Christian Wolmar described his amazement when he joined the staff of Release in 1976 and found that they were providing a mailing address for PIE. Wolmar raised the issue at a collective meeting. A member of PIE was invited to come and justify its position. It appeared that any vague sense of commonality dissipated when faced with the perceived weakness and realities of PIE’s argument. Apparently, PIE’s ambassador talked about ‘the joy of sex with children’ and argued that there should be no age of consent. Following this meeting, Release stopped providing PIE with any resources. Wolmar was sure that if the relationship had continued for a few more months it would have coincided with the News of the World exposé and Release would have lost its Home Office funding. 
The real twist in the story of PIE’s attempted entryism into the rainbow coalition of liberal and liberational groups, was that PIE had been infiltrated itself, more than once. In 1977 André Thorne attended a few PIE meetings. He stole some completed membership forms, which he used to try and blackmail a highly placed PIE member. The proposed victim went to the police and Thorne was found guilty of blackmail.  Whilst the judge at the trial described the information in Thorne’s possession as ‘potential dynamite’, a widespread exposé did not follow. This time the only charges brought were against the infiltrator. The next series of events had far graver implications for PIE. Charles Oxley, a grandfather and headmaster, joined PIE under the pseudonym David Charlton. He had aroused some suspicions from fellow PIE members, but they had appreciated his willingness to help and he attended two executive committee meetings. He then took a number of stories to the News of the World.  Although none of Oxley’s accusations constituted actual criminal activity, based on his research the tabloid published the names and photographs of seven PIE members on 25 June 1978. This built on the earlier Daily Star campaign, which had named and photographed four members.  Following the articles, PIE could no loner find a sympathetic printer for its newssheet MAGPIE.  As the furore ensued, O’Carroll lost his job as a press officer for the Open University.  The police pre-empted the News of the World exposé by a day. The police had previously raided O’Carroll’s home, but it was this second search that resulted in arrest.  O’Carroll was arrested along with three other PIE members, John Parratt, David Trevor Wade and Michael Dagnall. 
When PIE members found themselves in court, their attempts at entryism blossomed into co-ordinated support. As with the Angry Brigade and the GLF, prosecutions built shared campaigns. The nature of the charge was central to the ways in which gay and left campaigners were able to organise support for PIE. Along with Oxley, the police had been unable to find any hard evidence of actual sexual abuse of children. They were charged with postal offences and the common law offence of conspiracy to corrupt public morals over contact advertisements in Magpie.  PIE’s defence at the trial rested on the argument that their function was to campaign for the recognition of the feelings of paedophiles and that this was not the same as sanctioning sex with children. To an extent, the prosecution concurred. The prosecution did not attempt to prove that PIE advocated breaking the law through sex with minors; instead they relied on statements and publications from PIE to demonstrate the conspiracy. Similarly both the defence and prosecution agreed on the ‘pathetic nature’ of the defendants.  The first trial resulted in one defendant being acquitted and the jury unable to agree on the others. Following a retrial, Tom O’Carroll was convicted and sentenced to two years. 
Beyond the trials initiated by Oxley against O’Carroll et al., a series of further charges were brought against PIE members, which resulted in guilty verdicts relating to conspiracy, obscenity and postal offences. As with the earlier accusations these prosecutions were not directly related to actual sexual offences against children.  However, public concerns following an attack on a six-year-old boy in Brighton  and two girls in Plymouth fed into the perception of PIE as dangerous.  Calls to ban PIE increased and the Department of Public Prosecutions opened a new dossier that included a ‘long list’ of its members’ names.  Leon Brittan, the new Home Secretary, made his presence known when he pre-empted one series of convictions by condemning the ‘views’ of PIE’s members. He argued that the public ‘rightly expect[ed] criminal law in this field to be effective’.  PIE’s argument that it was organising around the category of paedophile rather than in favour of child-abuse, was once more proved an irrelevant distinction. According to Parliament and the lower-courts, there was no paedophile identity that could be extracted from actual offences against children. Faced with this onslaught, PIE came under increasing attack. Members were evicted from their homes, groups lost the use of postal addresses and Midland Bank closed PIE’s bank account.  O’Carroll blamed a lack of rational debate and thought that public perceptions of paedophilia were a sign of an undeveloped society.  However the reasons that PIE failed went beyond timing.
A campaign too far: defensive projects for paedophilia
The type of charges brought against the PIE members and the type of people who pushed for the prosecutions, meant that sections of the Left and of the gay movement felt that they should support PIE. PIE had been attacked from two related directions, the conspiracy laws and Right. Oz, International Times and Gay Circle had all been prosecuted for the same charge. The Angry Brigade trial had showed how in particular political climates the law read loose links between groups and communications between individuals as conspiracy. Sheila Rowbotham recognised this when she explained that ‘[h]istorically the use of the notoriously vague offence of “conspiracy” has always been a sure sign that the British state was in one of its spasms of insecure authoritarianism’. 
The PIE prosecutions played out the relationship between the State, mainstream morality and the far-Right. Mary Whitehouse and the National Festival of Light, who had perennially attacked the counter-cultural and gay movements, spearheaded the campaign against PIE.  In August 1977 the Daily Mirror launched a ‘hysterical campaign’ against PIE.  This led to dramatic events at a public PIE meeting at Red Lion Square on 19 August.  The meeting was besieged by the British National Party and the British Movement who attacked; chanting ‘Kill them, Kill them’.  This ‘fascist violence’ was reported in the press the next day as the ‘fury of the mothers’.  In this context it was difficult for ‘”movement” people not to be drawn into sympathy with PIE on the old basis of “your enemy’s enemy is my friend”’.  After all, organisation against the far-Right had apparently been successful in attracting the young to leftist orientated events like Rock Against Racism carnivals.
Gay and Left supporters stand up . . .
In 1974 C.H.E. made statements of solidarity with PIE at its annual conference and included adverts for the group in its Bulletin, although C.H.E. frequently related paedophilia to heterosexuality rather than homosexuality.  IN 1975, the People implicated C.H.E. in its exposé of PAL. The broadsheet press picked up on the link, leading to concerns within C.H.E.’s rank and file over whether the issue of paedophilia had been brought onto the agenda as a ‘cause célèbre’.  In fact the issue had been publicly discussed at a number of C.H.E. conferences and it had been decided that C.H.E. would hold no active position on paedophilia, PAL or PIE. Although the tactic had not worked for the defendants in court, C.H.E. was able to negotiate a level of removed support of PIE by separating paedophile identity from paedophile activity. In 1983, the C.H.E. annual conference passed a resolution vehemently condemning ‘all violent attacks on children’ whilst upholding PIE’s right to ‘freedom of speech and organisation’. In so doing C.H.E. was attempting to reject the conflation of child-abuse and paedophilia. 
The Albany Trust’s support of PIE had more significant implications. As part of the first phase of PIE’s development, it had produced a booklet published by the Albany Trust.  Despite Grey’s eloquent discussion of the complexities of paedophile defence, in 1993 he still felt the need to explain the relationship between the Albany Trust and the PIE. He described a series of ‘private discussions about the counselling needs of paedophiles’. However this alone was enough to give impetus to a smear campaign by ‘moral monopolists’. Like C.H.E., both the Trust and Grey personally, were accused of ‘supporting child abuse’. The old adversary, the National Festival of Light described the Albany Trust as a ‘related body’ to PIE.  Although Grey made the distinction between the groups clear, the Trust paid a heavy price for its supposed connections with PIE and received the sanction that Wolmar had feared would be brought against Release. The Trust lost its public funding.  Even in Grey’s later account of the events he has to explicitly distance himself from personal ‘sexual interest in children’ in order to discuss the matter at all.  The fait accompli was such that any discussion of society’s treatment of paedophiles was assumed to have a personal motivation.
Alongside gay organisations, a broad based leftist alliance stepped in to protest against the ‘show trial’ that attacked the ‘freedom to communicate and organise’.  The Campaign Against Public Morals (CAPM) formed around the trial in an attempt to coalesce wide reaching support and published Paedophilia and Public Morals.  It argued that there should be no crime without a victim, CAPM asked, ‘Have YOU ever held radical views? Have YOU ever campaigned for social change? Because if you have it could be YOUR turn next’.  A number of groups answered in the affirmative: IMG, the SWP, Gay Rights at Work, Gay Noise, Revolutionary [end p. 135] Youth, German Study and Working Group on Paedophilia, Gay Rights at Work, Gay Workers in Print, the Campaign against Sexist Stereotypes and the Gay Noise Collective.  Like Gay Left, these groups’ support of paedophilia followed the Pastor Neimöller theory. Neimöller’s poem begins ‘First they came for the communists and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist’, and then lists other groups affected by the Nazi purges, trade unionists etc and then Jews, until ‘then they came for me – and by then there was no one left to speak out for me’. In other words if the State was not stopped from persecuting paedophiles it would not be long before there were different identity or political groups in the dock.  Groups related to the trial as both an immediacy in itself and also as part of a bigger challenge to the law. So the order of priorities was firstly to stop the show trial and have the charges dropped and secondly to defend the right of paedophiles to organise. The magazine Outrage! Noted that the defendants had been arrested, not for any physical abuse, but for ‘what they think’.  Gay Noise related PIE’s experiences to issues faced by lesbian mothers, to employment rights, the right to self-organisation, manipulation of psychiatric services and the use of the police.  Gay Noise also explicitly linked PIE with the context of the wider gay Left. Gay Noise saw paedophilia as important in the battle to restructure the women’s and gay liberation movement, because it could offer a socialist view of child sexuality.  The campaign could then be extended into a rejection of state harassment of the young and the abolition of the conspiracy laws. 
. . . and fade away
Beyond shared experiences of the conspiracy laws and resistance to the Right there was little common ground between PIE and the groups around the CAPM. There was not enough whole-hearted support for such a contentious issue. Paedophilia was not a class issue and the simple correlation between sexuality and political radicalism was a misnomer. In fact, in one article that contained interviews with a number of paedophiles, each one was a conservative.  Some sections of the Left directly attacked PIE on moral grounds. Along with the Right, the unions employed at various meeting halls and conference centres were often the most vociferous campaigners against PIE. Even those who were supportive during the trial later recanted. IMG questioned whether support for PIE was appropriate, and withdrew.  They refused to recognise the value of PIE’s autonomy. PIE’s right to self-organise was under attack again, although this time not in order to maintain the status quo, but to justify a left-wing focus on party organisation and class.
Some of the groups that PIE tried to attach themselves to were diametrically opposed to PIE’s agenda. There had been efforts to make links between the position of women, particularly lesbians, and that of paedophiles, but much of the women’s liberation movement did not see its role as extending grown men’s sexual liberty. The CAPM had prophesied that there would be a ‘concentrated effort to split the Women’s Movement and the Gay Movement on the question on which they have been historically the weakest; paedophila and child [end p. 136] sexuality’.  But women such as Spare Rib’s Susan Hemmings and Bea Campbell saw any attempt to link feminism and paedophilia as opportunistic .Hemmings argued that the connection was ‘irresponsible’, whereas Campbell dismissed it as an attempt to blackmail feminists into something they did not believe in.  Post-WLM feminist found paedophilia an abhorrent expression of patriarchal society. Paedophilia was ‘inherently sexist’. Adult men, not women, typified these unequal and objectifying relationships. If heterosexual men’s sexuality pathologically objectified women, then paedophilia objectified children in the same way. Following the PIE trial, feminist discourse on child-abuse took precedence over the gay Left’s call for paedophile liberation. In the divorce case following the short lived romance between the women’s and gay liberation movements, the feminists gained sole custody of the children.
Keeping identities separate: the danger of homosexual and paedophile association
It was largely feminists who were given roles as children’s advocates, but the idea that the same models would work for paedophilia and homosexuality was also beign questioned. Gilbert Herdt, Professor of Human Development and Psychology at Chicago University and leading anthropologist, asked the key question: ‘[c]an you call paedophiles a minority group who form their own subculture?’ Is there a Paedophile community from which to organise social reform let alone liberation?’  The variety of personal and political approaches taken by gay men suggest that there may be contention over whether a gay community exists, but let’s assume that a concept of gay community does exist, however wrought with tensions and lacking in coherence, however artificial and conscious the act of maintaining itself may be. Plummer explained that paedophiles had a less grounded sub-cultural tradition upon which to develop a collective identity. Furthermore the gay line of development from surreptitious underground, to law reform campaigners, to public declaration of liberationist intent could not be followed when the sexual activity was still illegal and initiated such outrage in the public. 
Many gay reactions to PIE reiterated concerns over any assumed allegiance between homosexuality and paedophilia. The relationship between PIE and Gay News was a measurement of this. Having acted as advocates for PIE in the face of the bigotry of tabloid journalism, the association had legal implications for Gay News. Yet, despite the publication’s earlier advocacy, in reality support for PAL and PIE had consisted of printing PIE’s address and the ‘occasional sympathetic article’.  Gay News had favourably reviewed Paedophilia: The Radical Case, but when PIE approached the magazine with a request to be included in the help lines list, they were refused.  W H Smith had refused to stock the magazine. Under pressure from the news-sellers and in reaction to the growing atmosphere, Gay News eventually refused to take any adverts. This exclusion from the major gay voice piece was the death-knell for PIE. 
It was not just Gay News that backed out of a relationship with PIE. There was a point of retreat, whereby paedophilia was dropped consciously ‘as a hot potato, too dangerous to everybody else’.  Gay Left’s Stephen Gee argued that homosexuals had not been, ‘sufficiently supportive [of PIE] nor have we challenged the dominant ideology childhood and child sexuality which informs this attack’.  PIE representative told Gay News that:
[p]olitically, PIE feel that the division between itself and the gay movement, which is acknowledge[d] as real, is in part the product of a realistic fear by the gay movement that its own gains could be jeopardised by too close a relationship with the paedophile movement. . . . We regret the alienation we feel from the gay movement and the feminist movement in this country. 
Homosexuality was regarded as a privilege that could be retreated back into in order to avoid taking on any stigma of association with paedophilia. A review in Gay Times in August 1997 charted this reassessment of the period:
Gay attitudes to paedophilia have undergone a transformation. In the early days of gay liberation, ‘intergenerational’ sex seemed to occupy a legitimate place on the homosexual continuum. Homosexuals were vilified and persecuted, and so were paedophiles. Denying child sexuality seemed part of the ideology of repression. But genuine anxiety about child sex abuse has hardened attitudes. Gay law reform is a serious business nowadays. We have spent decades trying to shrug off the charge that we just want to molest children. We can do without real perverts hitching a ride on the bandwagon, thank you. 
Yet, PIE’s entryism seems to have been perversely successful. The unshakeable assumptions pinking homosexuality with paedophilia were used to discredit the Left and liberational movements. Liberal attitudes to inter-generational sex became metaphors for concerns over sexual liberation generally, equal opportunities, union protectionism, anti-professionalism, of the ‘politically correct’ ‘gone mad’. This was particularly true of the debates and recriminations following the children’s homes’ child-abuse scandals of the 1980s where protecting gay rights was seen as a cover for the employment of paedophiles in children’s homes.  Whereas PIE were not directly implicated in the children’s home abuse scandals, they were the polemic expression of the ‘general tenor of the period’.  By 1999 Community Care published articles condemning its earlier liberal approaches to paedophilia which it associated with union monopolies stifling complaints about child sex abuse. 
PIE was seen as evidence of the worst excesses of the post-1968 liberation movements, especially because of the way in which it blurred distinction between adult and child.
[T]he argument that a distinction could be drawn between abuse and consensual sex with children struck a chord [because[ it was fashionable to see children as autonomous beings who should have the right to liberate themselves sexually. 
In PIE’s submission to the government, it presented itself as a champion of children’s rights. However this had less credibility than its expression of adult sexual liberation. The pleasure principle overrode the reality of adulthood and adult responsibility. According to David Shaffer, consultant in child psychiatry at Maudsley Hospital, ‘PIE ignor[ed] a child’s other interests apart from pleasure’. In the mind of Shaffer, hedonism should have come ‘pretty low on the list’ in the lessons the liberational adults should have been teaching their children.  Just as celebrations of Laing had little to do with real mental illness, PIE’s posturing had little relationship with the reality of childhood.
Christian Wolmar argued that ‘the failure of supporters of greater sexual freedom to distinguish between openness and exploitation meant that for a time paedophilia almost became respectable’.  However at the heart of the gay left/paedophile interaction there was an equally strong dynamic working against paedophilia. Any connection between paedophilia, the counter-culture and the Left was bound to increase rather than decrease reactions against paedophile self-organisation. So rather than representing a greying of attitudes towards sexuality debates surrounding paedophilia clearly demarcated the line beyond which behaviour was unacceptable. When Ken Livingstone and his Greater London Council sought to harness the energy of lesbian and gay politics, they confronted a similar dynamic. Attaching a left-wing campaign to personal politics was not going to bring down the State, but it might help to bring down the Left.
50. Roger Moody, ‘Paedophile Politics’, Gay Left 2 (Spring 1976) p. 23.
51. Kenneth Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’, in Perspectives on Paedophilia, ed. B. Taylor (Batsford, 1981). Kenneth Plummer, ‘Pedophilia: Constructing a Sociological Baseline’, in Adult Sexual Interest in Children, eds. Mark Cook and Kevin Howells (Academic Press, 1981).
52. Gay Left Collective, ‘Happy Families: Paedophilia Explained’, Gay Left 7 (Winter 1978-79).
53. Edward Brongersma, ‘An Historical Background’, The NAMBLA Bulletin 4, 2 (1983), p. 1.
54. A. Mayer and H. Warschauer, ‘The Vilest Men in Britain’, Sunday People (25 May 1975). Michael Mason, J. Grace, and C. Hill, ‘The Vilest Men in Britain’, Gay News 72 (1975). Plummer, ‘The Paedophiles’ Progress: A View from Below’, p. 128. Bob Taylor, Perspectives on Paedophilia (Batsford, 1981), p. xix.
55. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’, p. 118.
56. PIE, ‘Evidence on the Law Relating to and Penalties for Certain Sexual Offences for the Home Office Criminal Law Revision Committee’. Wolmar, Forgotten Children: The Sexual Abuse Scandal in Children’s Homes (Vision, 2000), pp. 138, 143. Plummer, ‘The Paedophiles’ Progress: A View from Below’, p. 128.
57. Anthony Bevins, ‘Labour’s Hard Left to Form New Group’, The Times (24 August 1983).[see below]
58. ‘Hotel Ban on Paedophiles’, The Times (25 August 1977). [see below]
59. E.g. Anna Gekoski, ‘Their Evil Is Incurable Says Crime Expert’, News of the World (23 July 2000). [see below]
60. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case (Peter Owen, 1980) p. 230.
61. Gay Noise Collective, ‘Campaign Moves into Full Swing’, Gay Noise 4 (25 September 1980).
62. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case pp. 208, 209, 247.
63. Plummer, ‘The Paedophiles’ Progress: A View from Below’, p. 126. ‘Hotel Ban on Paedophiles’ [See below]. Cook and Howells, Adult Sexual Interest in Children, p. viii.
64. Kevin Howells, ‘Adult Sexual Interest in Children: Considerations Relevant to theories of Aetiology’, Adult Sexual Interest in Children, eds. Mark Cook and Kevin Howells (Academic Press, 1981). Kenneth Plummer, ‘Paedophilia: Constructing a Sociological Baseline’, Adult Sexual Interest in Children. D.J. West, ‘Implications for Social Control’, Adult Sexual Interest in Children. [See here for more on West]
65. Mazher Mahmood, ‘Caught in the Act’, News of the World (5 August 2001). [See below]
66. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’, p. 116. C.H.E., Bulletin (Harverster, 1974).
67. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’, pp. 119, 116, 117.
68. C.H.E., Bulletin, 11 & 12 (Harvester, 1974).
69. C.A.P.M., Paedophilia and Public Morals (no date HCA). PIE, ‘Evidence on the Law’.
70. Richard Card, ‘Paedophilia and the Law’, in Perspectives on Paedophilia, ed. B. Taylor (Batsford, 1981) p. 21.
71. Taylor, Perspectives on Paedophilia, p. vii.
72. PIE, ‘Evidence on the Law’. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View form Below’, p. 122.
73. PIE, ‘Evidence on the Law’.
74. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 143. Christian Wolmar, ‘Home Truths’, Independent on Sunday (8 October 2000).
75. ‘PIE is in the Wars Again’, Gay News, August (1979).
76. North-Western Homosexual Law Reform Committee, Bulletin January (Harvester). O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 232. Grey, Speaking of Sex: the Limits of Language (Cassell, 1993) p. 91. C.A.P.M., Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. 21. Peter Tatchell, ‘Letter to the Editor’, The Guardian Weekend (17 February 2001). Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 140. ‘PIE is in the Wars Again’.
77. Mary Manning, ‘Should We Pity the Paedophiles?’, Community Care, Autumn (1977). Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 144.
78. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 140.
79. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, pp. 139-40.
80. ‘PIE Blackmail Case’, Gay News (1977).
81. David Nicholson-Lord, ‘Government “Apathy” on PIE Criticised’, The Times (31 August 1983). ‘PIE is in the Wars Again’.
82. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 233.
83. ‘PIE is in the Wars Again’.
84. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’, p. 128.
85. Mahmood, ‘Caught in the Act’ [see below], ‘Open University Man Suspended’, The Times (23 September 1977) [see below].
86. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 9.
87. Brian Deer, ‘Paranoid About PIE’, Gay News 185 (1980). Dr. T. Stuttaford, ‘Everett Picture Gives Credence to Dangerous Myth’, The Times (7 April 1995) [see below].
88. C.A.P.M., Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. iii. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 142. Outcome, Outcome 7 (1978).
89. Gay Noise Collective, ‘The Paedophile Information Exchange Trial’, Gay Noise 12 (12 December 1981).
90. ‘File on Child Sex Group for DPP’ [see below]. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, pp. 142-3.
91. Gay Noise Collective, ‘The Paedophile Information Exchange Trial’. Gay Youth, ‘Editorial’, Gay Youth 11 (Summer 1984). Bevias, ‘Labour’s Hard Left to Form New Group’. David Nicholson-Lord, ‘Child Sex Group Men Arrested’, The Times (9 September 1983) [see below].
92. Peter Evans, ‘Minister Condemns Paedophile Views’, The Times (2 September 1983). ‘Telephone Caller Says He Knows One of the Men Who Assaulted Boy’, The Times (25 August 1983). Nicholson-Lord, ‘Police Hunting Men Who Assaulted Boy Lack Vital Computer Software’, The Times (25 August 1983) [see below].
93. Nicholson-Lord ‘Government “Apathy” on PIE Criticised’. Nicholson-Lord, ‘Police Hunting Men Who Assaulted Boy Lack Vital Computer Software’ [see below]. ‘Hysterical Attacks on Paedophiles’. C.H.E., Annual Conference Report, September (1983).
94. ‘File on Child Sex Group for DPP’ [see below]. ‘MP Seeks to Ban Child Sex Group’ (23 August 1983). Nicholson-Lord, ‘Government “Apathy” on PIE Criticised’.
95. Evans, ‘Minister Condemns Paedophile Views’.
96. ‘Hysterical Attacks on Paedophiles’.
97. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 220.
98. Sheila Rowbotham, Promise of a Dream (Allen Lane, 2000) p. 70.
99. ‘Leaders of Paedophile Group Are Sent to Jail’, The Times (5 November 1984). ‘PIE Member Faces Child Pornography Charge’, The Times (17 November 1984) [see below].
100. Derek Cohen and Richard Dyer, ‘The Politics of Gay Culture’, in Homosexuality: Power and Politics, pp. 172-86.
101. ‘Three Men Fined after Paedophile Meeting’, The Times (21 September 1977) [see below].
102. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 230.
103. Cohen and Richard, ‘The Politics of Gay Culture’, p. 198. The far-Right continued this entryist relationship with the public campaigns pertaining to paedophilia. For example the National Democrat’s ‘Help Our Children’ campaign. (The Flag: The National Democrats, Help Our Children [website] (www.natdems.org.uk/the_flag.htm, August 2001 [cited 21 August 2001]).
104. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 142.
105. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 210. C.H.E., Bulletin, p. 129. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View from Below’. C.H.E., Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Homosexuality (C.H.E., 1975).
106. C.H.E., ‘CHE’s Reply to the Guardian’. C.H.E., ‘Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held on 12th, 13th & 14th September 1975’ (Harvester, 1975). C.H.E., ‘Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held on 14th June 1975’ (Harvester, 1975). Glenys Parry, Letter from Glenys Parry to Local Group Chairpeople, C.H.E. (Harvester, 17/09/1975).
107. C.H.E. Committee, Annual Conference Report, Annual Conference Report (Harvester, September 1983).
108. O’Carroll, Paedophilia: The Radical Case, p. 234.
109. NFOL, ‘Paederasty and the Homosexual Movement’, Broadsheet (1977) p. 20. Grey, Speaking of Sex, p. 90.
110. Grey, Speaking of Sex, p. 95.
111. Grey, Speaking of Sex, p. 91.
112. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 142. C.A.P.M., Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. iii.
113. C.A.P.M, Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. iii.
114. C.A.P.M, Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. iii.
115. Graham Mckerrow, ‘Judge Orders PIE Retrial’, Gay News (1981).
116. Gay Noise Collective, ‘The Paedophile Information Exchange Trial’.
117. ‘Hysterical Attacks on Paedophiles’, Outrage 3 (1983).
118. Gay Noise Collective, ‘Demonstrations against State Repression’, Gay Noise 13 (12 February 1981).
119. Gay Noise Collective, ‘Campaign Moves into Full Swing’.
120. Gay Noise Collective, ‘Editorial: The IMG and Paedophilia: the Wrong Initiative at the Wrong Time’, Gay Noise 12 (12 February 1981). Deer, ‘Paranoid about PIE’.
121. ‘Hotel Ban on Paedophiles’. Maurice Yaffe, ‘Paedophilia: The Forbidden Subject’, New Statesman (16 September 1977) p. 362. Dea Birkett, ‘Monsters with Human Faces’, The Guardian (27 September 1997).
122. Gay Noise Collective ‘Editorial: The IMG and Paedophilia: the Wrong Initiative at the Wrong Time’, Gay Noise 12 (1981) p. 2.
123. C.A.P.M, Paedophilia and Public Morals, p. 6.
124. Deer, ‘Paranoid about PIE’.
125. J. Geraci, Dares to Speak (GMP, 1997) p. 30.
126. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View form Below’, p. 130.
127. Mason, Grace, and Hill, ‘The Vilest Men in Britain’. Cohen and Richard, ‘The Politics of Gay Culture’, p. 198. Julie Bindel, ‘Rather Than Campaign on the Age of Consent. . .’, The Guardian Weekend (3 March 2001).
128. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 140.
129. Plummer, ‘The Paedophile’s Progress: A View form Below’, pp. 128-9.
130. Lucy Robinson, Interview with Peter Burton, unpublished (1 June 1999).
131. Gee, ‘Gay Activism’, p. 199.
132. ‘PIE is in the Wars Again’.
133. Gay Times (August 1997).
134. Wolmar, Forgotten Children. Wolmar, ‘Home Truths’. Margaret Hodge, ‘Not Quite, White’, New Statesman (16 June 1995). Wendy Parkin and Lorraine Green, ‘Cultures of Abuse within Residential Care’, Early Child Development and Care 1333 (1997) p. 75. S. Payne and E. Fairweather, ‘Minister Acts over Our Child Abuse Revelations’, Evening Standard (7 January 1992) [see below]. Polly Neate ‘Too Tolerant a Past?’, Community Care (15-21 July 1999).
135. There is a proven relationship between one member of the PIE and the children’s home scandals. Peter Righton was senior lecturer at the National Institute for Social Work, senior tutor at Open University, and sat on many committees including the Central Council for Education in Training and Social Work (Peter Righton, ‘Positive and Negative Aspects in Residential Care’, Social Work Today 8, 37 (1977)). He was charged with possession of books, videos and photos of young men (Peter Burden and Peter Rose, ‘Porn Squad Quiz Child Care Expert’, Daily Mail (28 May 1992) [see below]. He was later found to be PIE member number 51. Righton had used his professional position to assist a banned teacher, Charles Napier, who he had met through the PIE. Through Righton’s influence Napier was able to return to Britain and have the ban lifted (BBC, Children at Risk: Inside Story, 1 June 1994). Edward Pilkington, ‘Shadow of the Attic’, The Guardian (1 June 1994).
136. Polly Neate, ‘Too Tolerant a Past?’, p. 14
137. Pilkington, ‘Shadow of the Attic’.
138. Tim Gospill and Duncan Campbell, ‘Untouchable Subject’, Time Out (9 September 1977).
139. Wolmar, Forgotten Children, p. 153.
‘Hotel ban on paedophiles’, The Times, August 25th, 1977
‘Three Men Fined after Paedophile Meeting’, The Times, September 21st, 1977
‘Open University man suspended’, The Times, September 23rd, 1977
Anthony Bevins, ‘Labour’s hard left to form new group’, The Times, August 24th, 1983
‘File on child sex group for DPP’, The Times, August 24th, 1983
David Nicholson-Lord, ‘Police hunting men who assaulted boy lack vital computer software’, The Times, August 25th, 1983
David Nicholson-Lord, ‘Child sex group men arrested’, The Times, September 9th, 1983
‘PIE member faces child pornography charge’, The Times, November 17th, 1984
Dr. T. Stuttaford, ‘Everett Picture Gives Credence to Dangerous Myth’, The Times, April 7th, 1995
Daily Mail (London)
May 28th, 1992, Thursday
PORN SQUAD QUIZ CHILD CARE EXPERT
By Peter Burden,Peter Rose
A LEADING consultant on children’s homes has been arrested after police raided his house and seized videos featuring young males.
The action came after Customs at Dover intercepted a magazine and a book sent from the Continent to 66-year-old Peter Righton.
A major police inquiry has been launched to establish the identities and ages of those involved in the videos, where they were taken and by whom.
Books and magazines were also seized. It is an offence to possess an obscene picture showing under-16s.
Mr Righton, who has worked for several publicly-funded bodies, was on police bail last night waiting to hear whether or not he will be prosecuted.
He denied making any of the videos himself and said: ‘I am sure there will be a satisfactory outcome.’
He added: ‘It is no secret that I am gay. It’s not an offence, although one is made to feel it is.’
Mr Righton is widely regarded as the leading authority on council residential care of children.
The Department of Health’s social services inspectorate has been told of the raid at his home in Evesham, Hereford and Worcester, and a report is expected to go to Health Secretary Virginia Bottomley.
She is a patron of the National Children’s Bureau, a highly-respected charity for which Mr Righton has worked as a senior consultant.
The bureau, which monitors children’s welfare, receives £1million for administration from the Health Department and a series of grants for Government work such as providing training packages and videos for social services managers and social workers.
Mr Righton’s credentials include having been senior lecturer at the National Institute for Social Work in Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, which was established by Ministers in 1961.
It has an annual income of £2million, mostly from the Health Department.
He is also a senior tutor with the Open University, where his work includes advising social work managers from all over the country on the the rights of children in care.
Mr Righton has served on many committees including the Central Council for Education in Training and Social Work. He began his career working in approved schools and residential homes.
As part of his various jobs he has regularly visited children’s homes.
Chris Andrews, of the British Association of Social Workers, said: ‘He is a highly respected figure within the residential field, particularly working with highly disturbed children. He is very much concerned with therapeutic work in child care.’
Mr Righton stressed last night: ‘I have not been charged with any offence. I cannot see what offence they can charge me with.’
At the former farm cottage he shares with Mr Richard Alston, headmaster of a school for disturbed children, he insisted that none of the seized items featured under-age boys.
The raid by police and Customs officers took place on May 12. Mr Righton was released on bail after lengthy questioning and has been ordered to report back next month.
A full police report is expected to be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service soon.
Mr Righton was involved in controversy in 1977, when he called for a more liberal attitude to sex in children’s homes.
He said in the magazine Social Work: ‘Provided there is no question of exploitation, sexual relationships freely entered into by residents – including adolescents – should not be a matter for automatic inquiry.’
But last night he said he had been misrepresented in a part of the article appearing to condone sex between staff and adolescents in care. He was in fact against that.
Mr Righton, dressed in a T-shirt and slacks, added: ‘In the course of my work I did visit children’s homes but not many times.’
Of his relationship with Mr Alston, he said: ‘Yes, I do live here with Mr Alston, but what is wrong with that? We are consenting adults.’
Evening Standard (London)
October 7th, 1992, Wednesday
Minister acts over our child abuse revelations
By Stewart Payne, Eileen Fairweather
HEALTH SECRETARY Virginia Bottomley today ordered Islington Council to provide a swift response to the ‘serious and worrying allegations’ of abuse revealed in an Evening Standard investigation into its children’s homes.
Yesterday the Standard printed the disturbing stories of children in care who have been exposed to paedophiles, pimps and prostitution.
Today, beginning on Page 15, we examine the cases of two former Islington residential workers alleged to have abused boys in their care and how fears of a child sex ring were dismissed by management.
Following yesterday’s publication, Mrs Bottomley issued a statement saying she had instructed Islington Council to explain its actions ‘as soon as possible’.
‘To take advantage of the most vulnerable children in our society in the ways alleged in the Evening Standard article is despicable,’ she said.
‘I know that Islington Council will be looking very closely at their services for children and the people who provide them. I have asked the Social Services Inspectorate to give me a full report on Islington’s response.’
She added that she had recently urged new measures to strengthen independent inspection of children’s homes ‘in order to protect children from abuse and exploitation.
‘I intend to make sure that we have in place reliable systems that will pick up early warning signs.’
Islington Council confirmed that Mrs Bottomley had asked it to produce a report commenting on the Standard articles. ‘Its author will be independent of the social services department,’ said a spokesman.
The council also issued a statement from Labour councillor Sandy Marks, who chairs the social services committee. This ignores the central concerns raised by yesterday’s articles but takes issue on several points of detail. It says:
* ‘The circumstances of these young people are known to us and have been the subject of casework or detailed investigation.’
We reply: We do not dispute this. But, as the children’s stories showed, it was clearly ineffective. Some of our sources were involved in this casework and appealed to us because they felt it had not been resolved properly.
* ‘All our homes are inspected monthly and reports provided to management and councillors.’
We reply: We do not challenge the regularity of inspections, merely their efficiency.
* ‘The Standard has been asked for three months to furnish us with any new evidence. They have singularly failed to do so.’
We reply: We completed our inquiries and gave the council two weeks to prepare their reply. We do not claim to have found ‘new evidence’. What we have done is to expose how Islington failed to act properly on the evidence already given by parents, children and worried staff.
* ‘Neville Mighty, a key informant of the Standard, was the subject of allegations of gross sexual misconduct by young people in his care, was investigated and subsequently dismissed.’
We reply: Mighty was charged with sexual harassment but was found guilty only of using inappropriate language of a sexual nature. The matter is now under appeal. Twelve members of staff gave evidence on his behalf, including nine women. He is only one of our many sources.
* ‘The case of Roy Caterer was the subject of a Hertfordshire police investigation. No evidence or information was passed to the council.’
We reply: This is clearly wrong. Caterer was only imprisoned for sexually abusing children in care when a determined Islington social worker found some of his victims and went to local police. They liaised with Hertfordshire police.
That social worker wrote a report for her superiors and no action was taken on it.
Councillor Marks also claimed children interviewed by the Standard were paid.
And Mrs Margaret Hodge, leader of Islington Council, alleged in a radio interview with LBC Newstalk Radio that our reporters sat outside childrens home enticing children with £50 bribes for stories.
We reply: These allegations are absolutely untrue. Only one girl, no longer in care and unemployed, was paid £90 with her parents’ approval. This was for the time she spent helping reporters trace children who suffered in Islington’s care during the 12-week inquiry.
It is most unfortunate that Islington Council should seek to deflect the substance and seriousness of the situation revealed by the Standard’s inquiry by making inaccurate statements. We believe the council should concentrate its energies on reforming its inadequate social services procedures.
News of the World
July 23, 2000
Their evil is incurable says crime expert; Interview; Ray Wyre; NOW campaign; For Sarah Campaign against paedophiles
By Anna Gekoski
THE monster who murdered Sarah Payne will kill again unless he is caught, warns a senior sex crime psychologist.
Ray Wyre, an expert on cases of child abduction, explained that many paedophiles are incurable. “Research shows that once a paedophile starts to offend they have urges that don’t go away.
“Such behaviour will have its seeds in childhood where the person will most probably have been sexually abused himself. This will start a cycle of fantasy which spills over into reality in small ways at first.
“The offender may begin with indecent exposure before moving on to indecent assault, then attempted rape and then rape. In a small number this then leads to murder.”
Mr Wyre has worked with child sex killer Robert Black, convicted in 1994 of the murders of five-year-old Caroline Hogg, Sarah Harper, ten, and 11-year-old Susan Maxwell.
“Black had abducted and sexually assaulted a little girl when he was just a teenager,” he said. “The attack was so severe that she nearly died. Yet he was simply admonished for that offence. The authorities said at the time he’d grow out of it and it would be wrong to label him.
“I firmly believe that if he had been put away then, Sarah, Caroline and Susan would be alive today.” Mr Wyre believes that even where paedophiles are jailed for less than life the authorities should have the power to keep them in for the rest of their days if the prisoner is still considered dangerous at his release date..
“There are paedophiles I’ve worked with in prison who say they’ll offend again, some who even say they’ll kill,” he said. “Yet they’ve been given a fixed sentence and the law has no provision to deal with future danger.”
Another problem, he says, is that under current law the psychological treatment of paedophiles in prison is voluntary. “Many of the worst offenders, those who need treatment the most, choose not to undergo the treatment programmes,” he added. “We need a new system whereby treatment is mandatory.”
Meanwhile the hunt goes on for Sarah Payne’s killer. Mr Wyre added: “Men who abduct, sexually abuse and kill are men with a history. Tragically they are also men with a future. At some time he will do it again.”
News of the World
August 5, 2001
CAUGHT IN THE ACT
By Mazher Mahmood Investigations Editor, in Barjac, France
We find leering child sex perverts befriending kids at nudist camp
A NAKED grey-haired man brushes past children playing around a swimming pool at a nudist camp.
Grinning broadly, he stops to chat to the bare youngsters-many of them British-as they frolic in the sunshine.
Their unsuspecting parents smile politely at the scene. They have no idea that their children’s new playmate is one of the most infamous perverts on earth.
For the man is Thomas O’Carroll-founder of the evil Paedophile Information Exchange which campaigned for the legalisation of sex with children.
News of the World undercover reporters tracked 55-year-old O’Carroll-who has avoided being photographed for 20 years-to the family naturist resort in the south of France. And we discovered he was not the only paedophile lurking at the poolside.
Nearby, former teacher Simon St Clair Terry-once jailed for indecently assaulting a 12-year-old girl pupil-sat rubbing oil into the back of a naked 14-year-old he first befriended at the camp six years ago.
Both fiends spent the day mingling among families and wandering around the tents at the La Sabliere camp set in acres of woodlands in Barjac.
“I’m really enjoying myself here. It’s a fantastic place,” leering O’Carroll told a reporter posing as a tourist. “It’s full of children because of the school holidays.
“This place was highly recommended and it’s living up to all expectations! I’m going to Blackpool next week, although I don’t think that will be this good!”
O’Carroll-who served two years in jail for corrupting public morals–ate lunch by an underwater window in the side of the swimming pool.
Designed so that parents could keep an eye on their children, it was the perfect place for him to ogle naked tots as they swam past. “It’s more like an aquarium than a swimming pool,” he drooled.
Twisted O’Carroll bragged to our reporters that he was an academic.
But the former Open University press officer failed to mention that he was sacked after forming his infamous ring of child molesters.
The Paedophile Information Exchange boasted more than 300 members before police smashed it in the Eighties with a string of arrests following a News of the World investigation. Monster O’Carroll also made no mention of the vile book he wrote on the “myths of childhood innocence” in which he said: “Consenting children and adults have a right to private intimacy together just as lesbians and gay men do.”
Now O’Carroll-who owns a house in Leamington, Warwicks-is part of a sick new gang of 200 paedophiles called GWAIN-Gentlemen Without An Interesting Name-which is being watched by Scotland Yard detectives.
The highly organised group hold clandestine meetings at homes and members are in touch via e-mails. One of the group’s officials was arrested last year on suspicion of raping a 10-year old boy.
As O’Carroll wandered off to chat to an eight-year-old he had befriended, disgraced teacher Terry returned to the caravan he is sharing with a Belgian single mum.
She met the molester when he first came to the camp in 1995. Then her daughters were eight and 11.
He has been joining her for holidays there ever since, and also visits her at her home in Antwerp.
It is not known whether she is aware of his disturbing past-that he spent six months in jail in 1991 for assaulting a pupil. And that he kept a stomach-churning diary of his obsession with the youngster.
“I’m here for a month. I’m really lucky with my work. I get a lot of holidays,” 42-year-old Terry told our reporters.
“I’ve been coming here for years-it’s a great place.”
Terry-who works as an account manager for Waterstones’ bookshop in Canterbury, Kent-has a history of targeting young girls.
He has had involvement with the Girl Guides and once set up a club for 11 to 12-year-olds called the Pig Tin Club.
After sitting naked with two youngsters outside his tent at La Sabliere, Terry then joined in a ball game with a group of naked girls and boys.
Today both paedophiles can expect to be thrown out of their perverts’ paradise. Our dossier is available to the authorities in Britain and France.
DO you know a scandal that should be exposed? Call Maz on 0207 782 4402 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Various people looking into the Paedophile Information Exchange have mentioned the volume Warren Middleton (ed), The Betrayal of Youth: Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People (London: CL Publications, 1986). This book contained a wide range of articles mostly from a pro-paedophilia point of view either by PIE members or sympathisers; the fact that Peter Tatchell contributed a chapter has been the subject of various controversy (to which I will return in a later post). The following constitute the contents of the volume (see here for a selection of pages including more details on contributors):
Part One: Five Controversial Areas
Clive Coliman, ‘Incest’
Richard Green, ‘Child Pornography and Erotica’
Warren Middleton, ‘Child Prostitution’
Liz Holton and Kathy Challis, ‘Gender Differences’
Eric Presland, ‘Power and Consent’
Part Two: Miscellaneous Chapters
Tuppy Owens and Tom O’Carroll, ‘Love and Let Love’
Michael Ingram, ‘Children and Sex: A Child Counsellor’s View’
Beatrice Faust, ‘The Pedophiles’
Peter Tatchell, ‘Questioning Ages of Majority and Ages of Consent’
Roger Moody, ‘Ends and Means: How to Make Pedophilia Acceptable…?’
John Lindsay, ‘Socialism, Class, and Children’s Rights’
Part Three: Protection or Oppression?
Warren Middleton, ‘Childhood Sexuality and Pedophilia: Some Questions Answered’
Part Four: How Youth See the Issues
Jeff Vernon, ‘The Oppression of the Young: An Inside Perspective’
Appendix 1: Steven A. Smith, ‘PIE, from 1980 Until its Demise in 1985’
Appendix 2: Timothy d’Arch Smith, ‘The Uranians’
The first of these two appendices is informative as an insider’s history of PIE. As with all writings by PIE members themselves, this should be read sceptically, aware of how much might have been omitted or distorted in the interests of the author or other members. My earlier post on PIE and the Home Office clarifies how Smith (also known as Steven Freeman) essentially ran the organisation from the Home Office itself. He fled the country for the Netherlands soon after writing this article, as detailed below, and was eventually jailed in 1991, and then more recently was given an indeterminate sentence in 2011 after being convicted of producing drawings of children being raped (‘Ex-paedophile group leader Freeman jailed over child rape drawings’, BBC News, July 15th, 2011). Nonetheless, there is clearly lots of important information to dissect in this chapter which I reproduce complete, without comment, below.
Steven A. Smith, ‘PIE: From 1980 until its Demise in 1985’, pp. 215-245
The name of PIE has cropped up several times in this collection. Since the group had, in its time, been so thoroughly misunderstood and misrepresented, it was deemed only fair to allow Steve Smith, its last chairperson, an opportunity to redress the balance. Accordingly, he now takes up the story from where Tom O’Carroll left off. –ed.
Questions of Priority
It seemed to me, when I succeeded O’Carroll as chairperson in 1979, that the most sensible order of business for PIE was firstly to regulate its internal affairs (MAGPIE  was appearing very erratically – partly my own fault – and members were receiving nothing else of value from the group); secondly to begin an energetic recruitment drive to replenish our depleted executive committee; thirdly to formulate collectively a coherent body of policies on key issues; and fourthly to tackle our campaigning objectives as a group, rather than as one or two individuals speaking on behalf of the group. More than simply addressing an occasional CHE branch, student gaysoc or academic conference, what I wanted to see was PIE producing a manifesto on video for the widest possible circulation (as GYM had done), or trying for ‘community access’ slots on TV and local radio, or producing posters and broadsheets aimed at the public rather than potential members, or even working in concert with the NUSS (the now-defunct National Union of School Students) to redress the steady flow of anti-paedophile propaganda which the police were imparting to schools all over the UK.
PIE had always felt a sense of kinship (not often reciprocated) with the gay movement, and a firm commitment towards autonomous youth liberation (children’s rights), but I wanted to see develop a far closer interaction – on practical as well as philosophical levels – between PIE and the various paedophile groups in Europe and the States. I felt we should lend considerable effort to the formation of an international alliance along similar lines to the International Gay Association (this was before we discovered how bureaucratic the IGA was in practice). Lastly, with the abandonment of PIE’s Contact Page under the menace of further prosecutions, the EC felt very keenly that members still needed something from PIE in the way of social support; something beyond the ad hoc counselling which many committee members undertook on a one-to-one basis. If British law prevented paedophiles from writing directly to one another through a simple small ad service, then some alternative had to be found which would abrogate the profound isolation which had driven them to the desperate resort of joining PIE in the first place. We began to look afresh at the establishment of local groups, which PIE had attempted in earlier years without much success.
In the event, PIE failed to draw onto its committee the kind of radicalised, hard-working people that were needed, and not one of the above objectives was realised. Year by year, PIE had sunk deeper into a state of collective torpor, grimly determined to survive, if only in catatonic immobility. So, we failed to attract into PIE useful paedophiles who were commited [sic] both to political action and to the development of a mutual support framework – this was due in part to PIE’s consummately negative image in all quarters (the radical leader was quite as easily duped by the press stories about us as anyone else, judging from the strange impressions of PIE that had reached our ears), but due also to obstruction and non co-operation wherever we sought wider publicity for the group’s address. Many gay and alternative journals must share the blame for PIE’s then continued parlous, debilitated condition. I’m convinced there are still many thousands of paedophiles in the UK alone who are ignorant of PIE having ever existed, and I know for certain there are many others who saw the various ‘exposés’ and shock reports about us, but were thwarted in their efforts to find us.
Perspectives on Pearl Harbour
A former treasurer, on resigning from the EC, put it to me (though not quite in these terms) that PIE’s reputation across the board had become so desperately negative that the groups’ mere existence could only harm the paedophile cause, whatever we tried to do about it. We were a pariah among alternative movements, evil incarnate to society at large, and by continuing to exist so doggedly in the face of all opprobrium, PIE was doing for British paedophiles what AIDS was doing for the gay community. A harsh judgement, I feel. If AIDS had not existed the Moral Majority would’ve had to invent it. If PIE had not existed, it would have been necessary for the NEWS OF THE WORLD to invent us. And in one sense it’s true to say that the gutter press did invent PIE – or at least, the image of PIE which had been in general coinage since 1977; that of a secretive international ‘cult’, probably with underworld connections, certainly with influence in ‘high quarters’; a porn-producing syndicate of callous men intent upon nothing but their own sexual gratification. But if PIE’s early strategy had been different, how different would its public image have been?
Several times the idea of folding PIE and replacing it with a new paedophile grouping was mooted on committee, but we’d never have successfully jettisoned PIE’s reputation by the simple expedient of a name-change, and even a substantially different alignment would not for long have escaped the vitriolic attention PIE had enjoyed. This rose by any other name would have smelled no sweeter. There was nothing endemic in PIE itself which another broad-based group could have avoided and thus somehow bridged the ‘credibility gap’. NAMBLA in the US, for example, has placed its emphasis exclusively on gay paederasty (men attracted to teenage boys and youths), thus neatly sidestepping the two most controversial planks of PIE’s platform – heterosexual and pre-teen paedophile relationships. Notwithstanding this, NAMBLA has been attacked, boycotted and obstructed every bit as much as PIE had been by the media, women’s groups, sections of the gay scene, and has come in for just the same intimidation and harassment from the authorities. So much for tactical compromise. PIE’s trajectory into the public eye in 1977 can be compared to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, after which Admiral Yamamoto observed: “I fear that all we have done is to waken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve”. Doubtless, many paedophiles wish we’d let this particular giant sleep on, but neither they nor children can be liberated from his tyranny without at least waking him in the process.
The conflicting demands of our campaigning and befriending objectives from the start presented a fundamental dichotomy in PIE. What for years we viewed as one of PIE’s greatest strengths may in truth have been its greatest weakness, or at least its greatest liability; our acceptance into the group and onto its Executive Committee of paedophiles, whatever their attitudes, abilities or political persuasion (with the exception of the far Right, of course). By straining to be all things to all paedophiles I doubt that we fully satisfied any, and we certainly alienated a few. There is a very powerful argument which runs thus: that the accommodation of a passive, inert membership consumes so much of the energies of a small group’s activist core that the raison d’être of the group is lost in a sea of ‘club-shit’. In other words, committee devoted so much of its time and attention to the routine of organisation and providing reading material and other services for consumption by the Moloch that vital campaigning work was neglected. After six years hard labour on the PIE committee I can only say that this was absolutely true.
Probably the only way ahead for paedophilia in the UK will be the emergence of two distinct groupings – though working in concert – attending to these differing needs. I for one did not wish to see the majority of paedophiles abandoned while the few activists diverted their attentions elsewhere, as some would have had us do, but equally I recognised that our political momentum had been retarded by a plague of part-time paedophiles – those who wanted to know what was going on without getting involved any deeper; who wanted to see changes made but not to help bring them about. PIE’s committee did not comprise many true activists anyway – it never did – so it alone did not have the capacity to diverge, and the very few paedophile activists who could be identified outside the group showed no interest in helping the metamorphosis come about.
Perhaps PIE’s mistake was in tackling non-paedophile prejudice in the first place? Perhaps instead we should have operated under the most stringent security precautions as a kind of Masonic network through which paedophiles might have contacted one another in safety? I’ve heard this view from outsiders. I don’t think that locking oneself in the closet would have been a terribly progressive move; by its nature such a network would have benefited only a tiny minority of those ‘in the know’, and the outside world would have been vindicated in its suspicions about us if we had behaved so furtively and were so indifferent to public opinion and the political imperative of children’s liberation.
The most bizarre misconception about PIE was held by a guy who later joined the committee for a short while – Lee Edwards. He’d visualised PIE being as affluent and neatly-organised as the Mormon Church, with smoked glass offices in the City of London and a full-time secretariat. He was, let’s say, a shade disillusioned by the reality. PIE did actually have an office in Westminster only a smirk away from the desk of the Home Secretary, but more of that later. The group’s silence in recent years had done nothing to dispel the illusions of people – friend and foe – about us, but then Pie itself had been undergoing an identity crisis of sorts, uncertain about which direction it should be taking. But one thing is quite certain – if we were none of the things people expected us to be, we were certainly none of the things the press had claimed us to be in their haste to deceive the British public.
Loaves and Fishes
I found PIE in 1978 entirely by accident through a classified ad in TIME OUT magazine. Many others came to us through a regular listing in GAY NEWS. However, both sources of new blood had been closed off long before the trial.  Occasionally, we would discover a listing in some unexpected place, inevitably giving an old address, but in general PIE was unable to get a listing in any gay or alternative paper in the UK. After the trial we attempted to retrieve this situation by a general approach to dozens of such papers here or abroad, asking for either free listings or concessionary advertising rates. A special appeal was made to the membership for donations to fund this advertising drive. MANCUNIAN GAY was the only paper in the UK willing to help us. Abroad, our ad was accepted without qualm by THE BODY POLITIC (Toronto) and GAY COMMUNITY NEWS (Boston) – both excellent gay papers whose unequivocally supportive stance on paedophilia put the faint-hearted GAY NEWS to shame – also by REVOLT (Sweden), CSC NUSLETER (California) and several others. But where we needed members most of all, where members were potentially of most value to the group, here in the UK, the drive got us nowhere. TIME OUT kept our hopes up for several months with repeated promises of a listing, but finally backed out with the feeble excuse that, as PIE wasn’t strictly a gay group, it was inappropriate to include us in a gay listings column. The only option left to us – a rather desperate one – was to litter PIE’s address around the streets by means of a sticker campaign, and this is what we did.
The sticker featured the silhouette of a standing child embracing a seated adult encircled by our name and address. We decided on this low-key format, foregoing bold and provocative slogans, as the object was simply to attract new members, not to outrage every parent that saw them. Even so, we were politely requested by one (prospective) London MP to desist planting them in his constituency (they had been discovered rather close to schools, you know!). Well, the campaign brought us just a handful of new people – too few members had been planting the stickers on a regular basis for fear of being caught red-handed and beaten up; those that were planted were being far too eagerly torn down; and worst of all one committee member made the terrible gaffe of not renewing the postal address on the sticker, so that later mail was never redirected to us at all. Perhaps the act of planting stickers, like writing political graffiti, is little more than a satisfying gesture of defiance for the individual, but I think we made a mistake in not concentrating our efforts on a far smaller area – probably London itself – and perhaps, if there had been a next time, we should have gone for those bold, provocative slogans.
There were a number of projects in various stages of completion during this period – none of which had any significance to non-paedophiles. The PIE Press Service was revived, making available once more all PIE’s early material (UNDERSTANDING PAEDOPHILIA and CHILDHOOD RIGHTS, for example) together with items like Tom’s book PAEDOPHILA: THE RADICAL CASE,  which PIE subsidised to its members; the early US boylove magazine BETTER LIFE; and the celebrated BODY POLITIC article ‘Men Loving Boys Loving Men’  (which has been subjected to not one, but two trials of its own). We owe thanks to Julian Meldrum of the Hall Carpenter Archives for supplying us with much early PIE material. So many important documents were lost whenever Scotland Yard descended on the homes of committee members that arrangements were made with the Brongersma and Bernard Foundations in Holland to deposit copies with them for safe keeping.
A reading list of paedophile fiction was added to the press service, complied by Lewis Grey, David Joy and Leo Adamson, and later a non-fiction list condensed by Tom O’Carroll from the copious bibliography of his book. Work was also begun on a film guide and on a survival guide for paedophiles in the UK.
A growing number of our members were captives in US prisons. Coping with the special needs of these people prompted us to set up a prisoner support scheme which, under Peter Bremner and later Tony Zalewski, found correspondents for these prisoners and sought sponsors to cover the expenses of their membership, mailing them recommended books and items from the press service. It hardly needs saying that our attempts to operate the scheme with inmates of British prisons were scotched by this country’s Draconian censorship restrictions. Mail from US prisoners often carried an apologetic stamp on the envelope which read: “Prisoners’ mail uncensored. Not responsible for contents.” I look forward to the day when British prisons need to be so apologetic – I had a long and fractious correspondence with the governor of Wormwood Scrubs over the confiscation of several letters of mine and other items sent to Tom O’Carroll. As with all things in the US, prison regulations vary wildly from state to state, so while some members were receiving regular visits from the boys for whose ‘protection’ they had been imprisoned, others were not even permitted to receive MAGPIE. NAMBLA was far better placed than we were to defend the interests of these people, and is now doing so. PIE was powerless to help prisoners in the UK without some referral arrangement with the social services, and the Home Office lifting restrictions on visits and correspondence.
Given the monstrous treatment of many paedophiles in prison, and the squalid, dehumanising conditions that prevail throughout the prison system, it is a marvel to me that people can emerge from this ordeal without a deep and burning animosity towards the society that abused them so. Imprisonment is the grossest indecency.
If there was one venture that I expected to be an unqualified success and firmly supported by the membership, it was the re-establishment of social meetings through local group organisers. This was the sort of freedom which other oppressed groups – blacks, gay men and women, and many more – took entirely for granted. Any attempt by PIE to arrange social venues (this applied equally to workshops, AGM’s, marches and demonstrations of any kind) carried with it the implicit danger of press harassment, police observation, and physical attack from fanatics of every species. Accordingly, such precautions had to be taken to insulate these meetings from the hostile gaze that the people who had most need of them – frightened, solitary people with zero political awareness – were the last to be invited to them. Where possible, committee members attempted to meet new people in order to establish their bona fides, but there was always a substantial part of the membership who could not be directly vouched for, and we knew there was an agent of the NEWS OF THE WORLD among them.
Having an EC member in Birmingham, the first step was to organise meetings in this area for members in the midlands. Several meetings took place, but then the host was arrested and sent to remand prison on an unconnected charge, and interest petered out. With my help, an Australian member attempted to generate support for a PIE branch in his country (we had more members in Australia than in Scotland and Wales together), but the majority of those approached preferred to keep the breadth of the globe between them and the kind of flak which PIE attracted. This was not too surprising when one learnt that an earlier bid to establish an independent Australian paedophile group – SYBOL – crashed when a conservative gay group threatened to hand the organisers’ names and addresses to the police. Plans for a Canadian branch of PIE went awry also, but happily NAMBLA was able to establish a chapter there soon after.
Our greatest concentration of members had always been in London and the home counties. All but a handful of PIE’s workers through the years had lived there. From August ’82 we booked a private room one night a week in a series of West end pubs, inviting along all members who were known to us. The average attendance was very disappointing: always the same few faces. Presumably, everyone feared that a press plant would be present, as had in fact happened once before in 1979: A known freelance operating for the NOTW, had turned up half drunk at one pub meeting and begun asking those present to procure boys for him. “I know there are kids around who’ll go with you for money,” he said, “but where are they? Why don’t we do something instead of just sitting here?” No such investigative journalist graced any of the more recent meetings. TIME OUT reporter, John Gill, came along once or twice, but he was there at our invitation, preparing a feature on the anxieties and expectations of paedophiles living in London (a feature subsequently suppressed by the magazine’s editors). Other guests present at those meetings included many GYM members and one or two representatives from CHE – one of them a woman who was entirely supportive. Discussions with these people were on the whole constructive and stimulating, and made the meetings worthwhile for us on the EC, but the objective of a social forum for members outside the committee was never realised.
Babel Wasn’t Built in a Day
In August 1980 PIE circulated an open letter among every known paedophile group in Europe, Scandinavia and North America, and also to prominent individuals such as Dr. Edward Brongersma, Dr. Frits Bernard, Drs. Theo Sandfort, and Valida Davila of CSC (Childhood Sensuality Circle). The letter outlined an ambitious, some would say grandiose, proposal for a new transnational paedophile federation through which member groups would collaborate on material projects and share resources at the same time as working towards a common philosophical platform. As I wrote in MAGPIE 15, “Much more than a simple mutual aid society, such a federation would be the consolidation of a coherent international paedophile and children’s liberation movement out of the present chaos of tiny national groups working largely oblivious of one another”. This initiative was very much a personal commitment of my own – my committee colleagues were not all so inspired by this euro-vision. I had learned through PIE that there were groups in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, yet we knew virtually nothing about these people and their organisations, what they were doing in their own countries, or how their political analyses differed from that of PIE. Any contact we had established had been of a token kind, genuine in spirit but superficial in practice, so it was safe to assume that these groups were in the same state of ignorance about us. It seemed important to me that a full and penetrating dialogue be established at least with the strongest of them.
Inevitably, there were language obstacles. We mustered a few members to translate from French, German and Dutch for us, but although our files were brimming with magazines from these groups we could hardly ask people to translate whole magazines, and in any case one could not always rely on forming an accurate view of a group’s thinking merely by reading its general literature. (There had been no language barrier for Tom O’Carroll when he represented PIE at an Oslo conference ‘Amnesty for Love and affection’ hosted by the Norwegian group, NAFP, in 1979. There had even been discussions there on forming a new, broad-based international group called ‘Amnesty for Child Sexuality’, but nothing had come of this.)
The Open letter included a proposal for an early ‘summit’ conference of interested groups to discuss the general concept of an IGA-type alliance, and areas of practical collaboration between us. The most enthusiastic responses we received came from people and groups who had least to gain from the proposed alliance: “I am in complete agreement with your plans,” wrote Valida Davila; “Some people are ruined by oppression and persecution, and others are fired to fight back. I see your committee has chosen the latter road.” “We think the idea of an international association for paedophiles excellent,” wrote REVOLT of Sweden; “If there is anything we can do to support, never hesitate to ask.” Pasteur J. Doucé of the Centre du Christ Libérateur, Paris, wrote: “If I can be of any help in the formation of an international paedophile fellowship please let me know.” An anarchist commune for young people in Nuremberg, the Indianner, said that although they had deep reservations about the German group, DSAP, they still wished to “join a basic form” with us.
The groups themselves were not prepared to take a lead. They wanted to see PIE set up the conference itself. What better demonstration of the poor grasp our friends had on the political realities for PIE? We were possibly the only group among them which was unable to hold a general meeting for its own members without grave risk of injury to those attending, and prosecution of the organisers. After the events of 1977 for PIE, did anyone seriously expect an international paedophile conference to be permitted in the UK? NAMBLA chose to “wait and see what leadership develops on these concepts”. The paedophile wing of the Dutch civil rights umbrella organisation, NVSH, felt that their priorities should be domestic, and that international co-ordination should be left to the auspices of the IGA itself. NAFP in Norway “sympathised” but wanted “more concrete ideas”. 
The first months of the following year saw the emergence in France of a new paedophile organisation – the Groupe de recherché pour une Enfance Différente – and four of us from PIE sped along to its inaugural congress in November. Also present on that occasion were David Thorstad representing NAMBLA, Frits Bernard representing DSAP, and a member of the Belgian Paedophile Studygroup [sic]. The atmosphere at that opening day was something I had not experienced before even at PIE’s 1978 AGM – an intensity, an electric urgency of expression that welled as much from the floor as from the platform. The strength of the GRED committee was plain to see, as one after another they all addressed the meeting with equal vigour and self-assurance, and everyone it that packed hall (including, to our delight, a handful of women paedophiles) was involved, not quietly receiving the transmitted wisdoms of the committee. With the promise of an imminent reduction in France’s homosexual ‘age of consent’ from eighteen to fifteen, the liberation of children was for these people far from a remote utopian objective.
I came away from that conference profoundly frustrated, both with the inadequacy of PIE and my own inadequate French. I went to listen, but came away having understood little that I’d heard. I went to contribute my views, but came away without having said a word. I went to take part, but was obliged merely to observe. It’s not entirely unreasonable, of course, that a French group meeting in France should conduct its meeting in French, but I had rather hoped that, at least in the workshop on international collaboration, some concession would be made to a humble Anglophone like myself. Unfortunately, GRED’s English was only a little better than my French. One might think such a lesson in futility would have made me reconsider the practicality of collaboration on the level suggested by the Open Letter but, on the contrary, I felt all the more keenly how much we had to gain from a close dialogue and mutual co-operation with people such as GRED. If we left them with a rather poor understanding of PIE and what we had to deal with over here, that was entirely our own fault, of course, but even among the extrovert committee of GRED, and in its journal, PETIT GREDIN, there was a hint of the same parochialism displayed by the NVSH paedophiles and others, confining their analysis of the problems and solutions within national boundaries. Perhaps PIE was unique in this respect – that more than half our membership lived abroad, scattered among twenty or so countries, and it was plain to us that the ignorance and intolerance of paedophilia knew no frontiers, as with the inhibitory myths of childhood. While the police and the agents of ‘moral’ conformity were concerting their efforts internationally against us, would we not even collaborate in our own defence, if for no better motive?
Another item under preparation for the PIE Press Service at that time was a comprehensive directory of paedophile/children’s liberation groups – the first such guide ever to be published in the English language, filling in a little detail to that cold, unwelcoming expanse of acronyms: SAP, DAP, DSAP, PAC, AKP and so on. Questionnaires were distributed hot on the heels of the Open Letter, and the information that came back immediately helped to dissipate our own ignorance a little. We discovered, inevitably, that some of the groups had already collapsed. In Germany, for example, the Deutsche Studie und Arbeitsgemeinschaft Pädofilie had disintegrated over an ideological clash between anarchists, conservative reformists, and revolutionary socialists – notably about the nature and extent of freedom it wished to seek for young people. Blackmail threats had come into play here too, as with SYBOL in Australia, but this time one paedophile against another, to the utter damnation of those that made them. NAFP in Norway also, sadly, dissolved. And for each group that vanished another would suddenly appear elsewhere on the map – Stiekum in Belgium, for instance.
At the GRED conference it was agreed that the groups represented there would all follow NAMBLA’s example in joining the IGA itself and through it lobbying the gay movement directly for firmer support. The extent of our links with the gay political scene was an essential aspect of PIE’s strategy (insofar as PIE had such a thing) which I want to consider separately but, in the absence of a constructive dialogue with gays (or anyone else) in our own country about the radical means to accomplish our short and long term objectives, other paedophile groups abroad remained the only people from whom alternative strategies could be learned, our own analysis refined, different perspectives examined. Practical alteration to the law and its institutions is an objective necessarily specific to one’s own country, but awakening a whole culture to the living realities of sexuality and of youth is the promulgation of an idea, a new system of living, and is not confined to the arbitrary frontiers of states.
Prodigal Son? _ Or A Cuckoo in the Nest?
1983 was the first time in PIE’s nine-year history that a handful of members carried a PIE banner at the London Gay Pride march. The banner read simply: ‘Adults Loving Children loving Adults’ – a bisexual extension of the famous BODY POLITIC caption. This bold initiative was largely due to the efforts of one EC member, Leo Adamson, who, in a very short time of involvement in PIE, had propelled the group a deal closer to the gay movement than it had been for a considerable while. As a member of GYM (Gay Youth movement), Leo was able to speak for PIE at their annual conference ‘Gym’ll Fix It’, and he also took an active role in the group’s lobby of Parliament. In July ’83 he represented PIE at the IGA conference in Vienna. One could say that PIE had waited a long time for individuals with Leo’s stamina and conviction to come along and fulfil this vital liaison role.
Eric Presland, writing in CAPITAL GAY,  rejoiced in the appearance of PIE’s banner at the Gay Pride march, and bade us a hearty ‘Welcome back!’ While there was no doubting the sincerity of Presland’s support for PIE, nor his personal commitment to the liberation of children, there was an assumption behind his remarks that PIE had somehow drifted away from the gay movement in recent years, had now seen the error of its ways and returned – like the prodigal son – to its spiritual home. But it was not PIE that moved away from the gay movement in the UK, it was the gay movement that moved hastily away from us once the muck began to fly; and not because it viewed PIE as too reformist, sexist or reactionary – these tags were slapped on us much later – not because our proposals were insufficiently radical; they were too radical by half for the majority of gays. If we had concentrated, as NAMBLA had done in the US, simply upon sexual relationships between men and teenage boys, gays might have been rather more sanguine about solidarity with us. We were not prepared to barter away the interests of so many paedophiles and of pre-teenage children to realise that support.
If anything, the political leaning of the EC had become further to the Left than ever before, though unfortunately there was no output from PIE to attest to this. Committee may have been radical in its sympathies, but was singularly reticent to express this thinking through MAGPIE or CONTACT.  Repeatedly it was put to them that committee should buckle down and talk through some coherent policy positions on key questions – I prepared a discussion paper on pornography to set this process going – but there was no enthusiasm at all for the hard graft of policymaking. Little wonder then that Pie was seen as complacent and insular when it could not produce a single political position or line of analysis to promote wider debate. Those people who troubled to look for evidence of PIE’s philosophy or political credentials were left to glean what they might from the tone and content of MAGPIE, or from documents published years ago by a very different EC – the ‘Questions & Answers’ booklet  and our ‘Evidence to the Home Office Criminal Law Revision Committee’.  I don’t think there was anyone active in PIE at this time who was happy with the proposals contained in the ‘Evidence’ paper; many would have liked to see them publicly rescinded. All in all, if gays regarded PIE with some suspicion as being an unknown political quantity we had no-one but ourselves to blame for that.
“I don’t think the time is yet read,” wrote an editor of REVOLT in answer to our Open Letter, “for a great association that would support both gays and paedophiles. There are still too many prejudices in the various camps, and paedophile liberation has some very specific aspects which certainly would be overlooked (or neglected) in a general gay association.” I entirely agree with that view. Whereas those paedophile groups that had sprung initially from the gay movement (PIE, NAMBLA, GRED) had tended to survive without the umbilical intact, those which tried to submerge back into the gay movement, becoming just one of several special interest groups within it, (NAFP for example) expired in the process. It is manifestly obvious that the struggles and obstacles faced by paedophiles in the UK today, and indeed the major arguments marshalled against us, bear a striking resemblance to those which gays themselves were confronted with a scant few decades ago. Many of the tasks that face us are the same – combatting the monolithic heterosexuality of ‘educational’ propaganda, for one – and there is great scope here for joint action, but our demands of society are far from being identical, and nor are they at the same stage of accomplishment.
To pluck a metaphor from the mouths of our critics, in any relationship between paedophiles and gays, it is gays who are demonstrably the stronger partner, far greater in size and power, their social status much higher. In contrast, paedophiles are weak, vulnerable, and – as a political force – lacking in experience, our status just about the lowest there is. Can true equality ever be realised in such a relationship? Will gays not simply abuse their power advantage to silence or control paedophiles? Does the gay movement really care about the needs and aspirations of its younger protégé?
Well, you may be sure that PIE did not endorse that kind of negativistic approach. The assumption that the strong will tend inevitably to exploit the weak is true of fascists, not of sexual groupings. I believe that the gay movement in the UK neglected PIE’s struggle to establish a discrete paedophile consciousness, as it has largely neglected the predicament of gay people younger than sixteen or seventeen. From its position of comparitive [sic] strength it had much to offer us by way of philosophical analysis as well as options for positive action. Instead, we found ourselves forced consistently onto the defensive, perpetually having to justify our very sexuality, to avouch our responsibility as caring people. We were nothing beyond a coffee-table controversy to most gays, and our demands for acceptance and support were given barely more credence here than that which society gives to demands for gay equality. I’m afraid the movement itself has much to answer for the continuing misery and frustration gay children in this country are compelled to endure.
It was a measure neither of PIE’s ineptitude, nor of the political vacuousness of British paedophiles, that so few radical activists materialised among us. It was rather too facile to apply to us the logic of gay and feminist activism, as though the realities were no different for a paedophile coming out in a militant way. Every risk that a gay or lesbian accepts in entering a career of sexual politics, on whatever level, is multiplied many times for a paedophile doing likewise. It is a simple equation of greater risks equalling fewer volunteers. Beyond this rather elementary observation, it is in the nature of paedophilia that the greater number of us will channel their whole energies into working with and for children (however misguidedly), whether this be as youth workers, teachers, nurses or, yes, as scoutleaders. Individuals who would have been of immense value to a group such as PIE either never contemplated joining because their attention was squarely focussed on working with the young, or shied away from deeper commitment for fear the publicity would disable them from continuing such work. True, many of these people themselves inadvertently abet the social conditioning of youth, but they are sincere in the belief that their work is beneficial and constructive. The essential point is that a paedophile’s natural first loyalty is to children – not to other paedophiles.
Unlike gays and feminists, who seek the company of people like themselves for social and sexual reasons, and then develop a political consciousness within that society, drawing strength from their community for ‘coming out’ and embarking on political work, paedophiles do not tend to gravitate so readily into one another’s company, (those that would have no means of doing so, of course) and the breeding medium for radicalisation is so much less fertile for this often-overlooked reason. In the company of a thirteen year old boy one can learn a good deal about the realities of powerlessness and dependence and the frustration of being thirteen in this society – all the more so from a girl – but this is a long way from assimilating a commitment to political struggle. The younger the children a paedophile seeks for company, the more this argument applies.
Thanks in large part to PIE, some paedophiles did befriend one another, but all too often in such meetings the differences of perspective were more apparent than the congruences. There was a commonality of interest without a commonality of awareness. Therefore among paedophiles this consciousness has to be cultivated in an altogether more deliberate and artificial way. Those paedophiles who regard themselves (sometimes mistakenly) as the most revolutionary are generally those that move largely in gay circles. Undoubtedly, coming out as a paedophile via the gay movement increases one’s exposure to radical though – though anyone acquainted with CHE might laugh at this – but it may also leave one with a smug and false sense of security.
While my own sexual tastes extend to eighteen or nineteen year old guys, I confess I never had much inclination to join a gay group or frequent any gay clubs. I think my perspective might have been rather less parochial if I had, but this is to illustrate that there are many paedophiles like myself who wish to work in close harmony with gay society, not to join it. To those who say, “So why didn’t PIE make more effort towards a rapprochement with radical gay groups?” I reply, “Why didn’t the stronger, more numerous, and better-equipped gay groups approach PIE with advice, criticism, active support, even when we were reeling in the wake of an Old Bailey trial?” Why should we have had to make all the running? Let me cite one or two instances of the positive vibrations PIE was receiving from the mighty ‘λ’.
At the 2nd annual conference of the IGA (Barcelona, 1980), the only group to abstain from a general motion calling on member organisations to support paedophile groups more vigorously was Britain’s CHE, who insisted on their exception being noted for the record. At GYM’s 1982 lobby of Parliament (which only twelve of some four hundred MPs felt obliged to attend), it was a vice-president of CHE, Martin Stevens, MP (Conservative, needless to say), who favoured the retention of the homosexual age of consent at twenty-one (for males), whilst others present were quite willing to negotiate an initial reduction to eighteen. Stevens’ rationale – if we may dignify it by that term – was that if homosexual behaviour was legally sanctioned among teenagers, “teenagers might in later years regret their youthful flings”. Similarly, at the IGA’s 1983 Vienna conference, it was Michael Brown of Britain’s Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality who supplied the most stentorian opposition to every paedophile motion put before the conference. In this case, where one of the motions called upon PIE to urge all other paedophile groups to affiliate as we had done, Brown was joined by Denmark’s F48, Norway’s DNF48, and Lavender Left of New York, who had apparently determined by explicit resolution to vote against all paedophile-supportive motions. The excellent ‘Gay Youth Charter’ composed by GYM in 1982 was rejected by CHE’s own conference until a reference to paedophilia had been expunged from it. A comparison between GYM’s ‘Gay Youth Charter’ and CHE’s ‘Charter for Gay Rights’, published in the same year, is extraordinary – the one is detailed, uncompromising, bold and lucid; the other bland, timid and cursory.
CHE’s dilemma was summarised by their own Law Reform Committee thus: “CHE has hitherto directed its campaign towards achieving equality under the law relating to heterosexual and homosexual behaviour. The reasons for this, while in large part tactical, are nonetheless important. The argument for equality is much easier to explain to a prejudiced audience and can be forcefully advocated on grounds of simple justice.” It goes on to ask, “Would adopting a position in favour of the abolition of all ages of consent laws risk appearing, in the eyes of the general public, to be so extreme as to make (CHE’s) aims on other issues more difficult to achieve; or has it reached the position where no further significant advance can be made without working – in collaboration with other organisations – for reform of these and the other laws relating to sexual behaviour generally?” 
It was the same dilemma which confronted broader civil rights groups like the NCCL (National Council for Civil Liberties) when the rights at issue were those of PIE. Any association with our particular cause threatened to undermine their own political credibility cross the board. PIE was the hottest potato of all, and triggered off all kinds of atavistic terrors in more respectable reformist groups. We were therefore sacrificed on the altar of short-term tactical compromise.
Not to confine this criticism to gay and civil rights groups however the producer of London Weekend Television’s ‘Gay Life’ programme (screened once a week in the late night horror slot) promised me there would be a programme on paedophilia in the second series to which PIE might be allowed to contribute. Alas, there was not. Among the helplines which consistently declined to give PIE’s address to paedophile callers were Icebreakers, London Gay Switchboard, Brighton Gay Switchboard, and Friend. One of these told me their solicitors had advised them that by passing out our address it might be construed that they were acting as agents for the organisations.
The fact that PIE was not exclusively homosexual represented part of the reason for this moratorium. GAY NEWS and TIME OUT both quickly zeroed in on this objection, though as with the ubiquitous power argument, it often serve as a radical justification from the mouth for a decidedly unradical prejudice in the mind. I think it stood to the credit of the PIE EC (whose most active members had always been boylovers) that we did not cave in under such pressure. No heterosexual paedophiles ever stepped forward to defend their own ground, and this made it rather difficult for us to answer the challenges of the gays and feminists with total conviction. Between gays and our heterosexual members the strand of mutual acceptance was very thin indeed (between them and feminists it did not exist at all).
David Thorstad, while still spokesperson of NAMBLA, expressed his own position all too clearly: When Anita Bryant would say that gay men are child molesters, they would say ‘Oh no, we don’t do that; gay people are not molesters, it’s the heterosexual who are the molesters’. I’ve used that argument myself; I believe it’s true.”
Many heterosexual paedophiles are just as ready to swallow society’s stereotype model of gays, their masculinity squirming uncomfortably at the prospect of too close an association with the world of such caricatures. This kind of stupidity is an obstacle we can all do without.
No-one will be astonished to hear that the facet of gay politics in the UK for which PIE felt the closest affinity was gay youth, and that GYM came top of our list of groups to form an alliance with. The first meeting between members of our two committees only reinforced this feeling. As we sat about a table in a London pub, no more than a dozen of us, it was not a bunch of middle class, middle-aged liberal paedophiles confronted with a bunch of radical gay teenagers suspicious of our motives. In fact the majority of both committees were in their mid-twenties. The youngest PIE representative was twenty-one, the oldest GYM representative, twenty-six. Some suspicion was evident on GYM’s part, or rather a wry scepticism about PIE’s political soundness, but it was expressed with candour, not hostility. For our own part, the only major criticism of GYM was its arbitrary self-imposed age limit of twenty-six (a strange paradox in a group whose existence is a reaction against arbitrary age boundaries), in that this tasted a little of ageism in reverse – the idea being that, without an upper age limit, GYM would be taken over by older gays (older than the then committee guiding lights), or that gays would flock to it like moths to a flame in search of teenage boyfriends.
Strategically, so much more can be accomplished under the banner of gay youth than would ever be possible for an overtly paedophile organisation, but that apart, GYM has a freshness and directness which PIE lost long ago. Whereas we talked years back of producing a general information video, GYM have gone and made one. While PIE made ginger overtures to carefully-chosen MPs, GYM staged a general lobby of Parliament. While PIE agonised over whether or not we dared to call another AGM, GYM revels in mass meets.
It is time that gay society in this country woke up to the crucial role it has to play in the foundation of a stable, vigorous and independent paedophile movement which is committed to radical change. What emerges may not be PIE, nor will it be a clone of the gay movement itself, for paedophiles are more than simply gay and straight adults who like their partners particularly young. Ours is a whole different sexuality, our needs and priorities are very different. We are brothers with the gay world, not twins.
PIE in the Face of Fleet Street
Journalism is one of those unsavoury professions – advertising is another – in which an individual’s potential for success is inversely proportional to that person’s scruples. Note that I do not say there are no journalists of conscience or integrity in Fleet Street, only that such people had never been to the fore when the focus of attention was on PIE, or paedophile matters, or rights (in their totality) of people under sixteen, and that such exotic blooms must seem strange indeed in that arid, thorny habitat. Doubtless there remains one detective at Scotland Yard who really believes the police are the servants of the community, and not its warders; or doubtless Thatcher has one Cabinet Minister who genuinely believes in equality of opportunity. These are all, however, statistical freaks. If we find journalism itself to be venal and corrupt – as I believe it is – then this is a profound cause for alarm. As one American commentator observed succinctly, (but glibly), “The news media have become Orwell’s Big Brother of ‘1984’ – all pervasive, all influencing. The freedom of the press is eating away the freedom of the individual”.
Television long ago supplanted religion as the opiate of the working class, and most of the criticisms I make here of the press apply with equal force to the broader media, notably television. There is a disturbing trend towards tabloid-style presentation in TV news programmes, with the same crass, superficial coverage, the same rampant sexism and imperious moral tone, and the same calculated imbalance. Recent reports, for example, of a mother seeking legal compulsion on doctors to inform parents before prescribing contraceptives to girls under sixteen were invariably followed or preceded by progress reports from police investigating the sexual murder of a five year old girl. Such judicious editorial juxtapositions are common. (A contemporary report in a local Harrow paper on similar demands from the ‘Harrow Child and Family Protection group’ appeared on the same front page as an overtly sexist pin-up – of a fifteen year old girl.)
As to the quality of the coverage – in a Central TV news report on the swelling number of teenage runaways in the midlands (‘minors’ voting with their feet?), it was emphasised throughout that the principal fear was not of physical, but ‘moral’ peril; that girls would be “drawn into drink, drugs and prostitution”, and that boys would “fall into the hands of homosexuals”. (TV journalists, like their Fleet Street counterparts, do not care to use the word ‘paedophile’, you may notice.) As always, the people who had most to say on the matter, the people most directly affected, whose anxieties and exasperations had driven them to take off in the first place, were the only people not consulted. It might have been a report on lost dogs or stolen cars. So much for the objectivity and impartiality of British television news.
Every year since PIE had come into being, during the slow news time of parliamentary recess, the minions of the soft-porn tabloids had scurried out with their indignation and their power-winder cameras to rake together another shock story about the group. We were a silly-season staple for the NEWS OF THE WORLD, the SUNDAY PEOPLE and the DAILY STAR. The danger with papers of this vulgar, facile kind is that they are widely dismissed as being of no consequence to significant trends in popular opinion. The NOTW is generally regarded as a joke, but without the implicit malevolence and cruelty behind the joke being fully appreciated, or the extent to which the paper’s four million readers are being duped by the fantasies of its squalid-minded editor and staff. There is no room here to catalogue all the misshapen, libellous reports that have appeared concerning PIE over the last few years. An analysis of the coverage of the Old Bailey trial alone would require a full chapter, and in any case, such a virulent poison permeates this sea of press cuttings that the mere task of reading them all through is grossly offensive and unhealthy for one’s state of mind. Confronted with such wholesale, indiscriminate hatred a sense of proportion is difficult to maintain. There had been several major stories on PIE since Tom O’Carroll was convicted, each of which had repercussions far beyond the immediate distress inflicted on the committee members named, and illustrate well the harm which the gutter press can cause.
The first of these stories (NOTW, March 22nd., 1981) was occasioned by PIE having to open a new post Office box, the sponsor of our previous box, David Grove, having died. The Post Office leaked the home address of our new sponsor, Peter Bremner, to the NOTW so fast that the reporters were at his door before the box had even been used, and before the Executive Committee itself, let alone our members, knew where the P.O. Box was located.
Inside, the paper ran a feature on PIE, and the child pornography industry, being careful to blur any distinction between the two. The reporters were Charles Sandell and George Edwards. ‘The Dreadful Web of Child Corruption’ began as follows: “The evil men of Britain’s child sex organisation, the Paedophile Information Exchange, are just the tip of an iceberg. Behind them lies a web of pornography and degradation that spreads its tentacles worldwide – and even involves the Mafia.” After another couple of paragraphs which could leave no doubt in the reader’s mind that PIE was in fact a front for the manufacture and distribution of pornographic material, Sandell and Edwards went on: “The magazines… they produce do not stop at sexual abuse. Some show the systematic slow torture and even murder of children and young people.” Now if that was not a cut and dried case of libel, what is? Who could blame the public for its outrage against PIE when such nightmarish tales could be published about us with complete indemnity?
Someone else who spreads his tentacles worldwide is Rupert Murdoch, the Jehovah of yellow journalism, and the essence of this NOTW story quickly resurfaced as far away as Australia and in Sri Lanka where, in the SUNDAY OBSERVER (April 5th), PIE was described as “the sick porn merchants of the West”. Sri Lanka, like the Philippines, had long been celebrated among paedophiles and gays for its tolerance to homosexuality in general, and sudden government moves late in 1981 to curb sexual contact between local youth and Western tourists have been attributed in part to the scare campaign triggered by the NOTW. Perhaps this is overestimating the impact of that tawdry little paper, but the snowball effect of press hysteria was a very real phenomenon, as later stories demonstrated.
It was an open secret among anyone linked to the Executive Committee that for four years I was employed by a firm of electrical contractors, Complete Maintenance Ltd, to monitor a control panel of alarm systems at the Home Office, Westminster. The job entailed practically no work on my part, beyond attending the panel, and in fact I had a furnished office completely to myself seven days a week on a rotating shift basis. Much of PIE’s less sensitive file material was stored in locked cabinets there, where no police raid would ever have found them. Each year my security clearance was renewed by Scotland Yard without my connection with PIE being discovered. I’d known from the start that such a marvellous snook could never be cocked forever and sure enough the News of the World got hold of this information eventually. The paper contacted the Home Office immediately of course and gleefully drew this oversight to their attention. My security clearance was cancelled on the spot, my employers notified and I found myself not sacked but ‘rendered without employment’ – on the same day that reporter Alex Marunchak greeted me on my doorstep. ‘Child Sex boss in Whitehall Shock’ ran the headline.
And what do you suppose? – “Home Office security chiefs knew all about Steven Adrian Smith’s links with PIE”, claimed the report; “A Home Office spokesman said, ‘We’re aware of Smith’s background, and since the NEWS OF THE WORLD contacted us he has been told he’s no longer acceptable to us. He no longer works here. It would be true to say that he would still be here if you hadn’t been in touch.’” This silly bit of official face-saving apart, Marunchak went on to concoct a brief interview with myself. Instead of slamming the door in his face, which I seem to recall having done, I appear to have told him (with a swirl of my opera cloak), “Yes, I’m the chairman of PIE. So you’ve found out!” and so on. There was possible libel here too, for he alleged that at an EC meeting I had “bragged of (my) relationships with boys and urged members to organise a ‘dirty weekend’ with children at a south coast hotel.” This is imputing to me a specific criminality, but nonetheless – we were advised by a solicitor – whether I won a libel suit or not, and I stood every chance of doing so, that the sympathies of the jury would be wholly against me, and any damages derisory.
Some of us had fondly hoped that my inevitable discovery would at least throw such egg on the face of the government as to oust the Home Secretary (then, Mr. Whitelaw), but in the event, this story was curiously not picked up by any other paper (obviously, the ‘ruling class’ had to be protected), and our own attention was diverted by a plague of visits from DAILY STAR reporters the very next week. (Incidentally, the extent of security chiefs’ knowledge of my activities did not prompt them to investigate the content of my filing cabinets and a carload of PIE files was safely spirited from the building before it could occur to them to intervene.)
Once upon a time a reporter in the alternative press wrote (with just a hint of sarcasm) that it was about as difficult to ‘infiltrate’ PIE as to infiltrate Piccadilly Circus. He was absolutely right. One of the hazards of keeping our door wide open (as any counselling group must) is that all manner of creepy-crawlies are apt to find their way in along with more welcome visitors, and such a one was Charles Oxley, principal of two public schools, Christian fundamentalist, and wizened protégé of Mary Whitehouse.  Under the name of David Charlton he joined PIE with offers of practical help in EC work. He was good enough to type out for us Tom O’Carroll’s copious non-fiction booklist, and to photocopy at his own expense many other items for the PIE Press Service. As with anybody else who expressed a willingness to work, he was first met by an EC member to assess his character and reliability, then invited along to a couple of committee meetings. His sensational findings formed the basis of a four-page spread in the DAILY STAR (‘Child Sex Spy Tells All’ – August 21st, 1982) and many subsequent radio, press and police interviews. On the strength of just two meetings with the EC, Oxley had become the Establishment’s trusted authority on PIE. Who was taken in the more by his fantasies, PIE or the Establishment, is open to question. STAR reporters Paul Henderson and Barry Gardner played Woodward and Berstein [sic] to Oxley’s ‘Deep throat’.
Four committee members were named – David Joy, Peter Bremner, Lee Edwards and myself, and photos appeared of three of us (my mother was later to comment that the STAR photo was one of the best of me she’d seen!) It was no coincidence that the three committee members who were to be raided by the Obscene Publications Squad, almost exactly a year later, were David Joy, Peter Bremner and Lee Edwards. Not content with publishing our addresses, the DAILY STAR carried photos of our homes too, for greater ease of identification by neighbourhood vigilantes, mums’ armies, and neo-fascist groups.
The text itself was rather lame, even amusing in comparison to the previous year’s NOTW extravaganza, and only of interest for the crude, obvious manner in which colour was added. To convey the impression of PIE as a shifty, back-street organisation, our homes were variously described as “dingy”, “seedy”, and “an old mansion that comes straight from a horror movie”. Meetings were arranged, it said, “through a complicated exchange of letters and coded telephone calls” using “secret codes and passwords”. This was total fantasy and a familiar lie printed about the group – arrangements were far more mundane and prosaic than that, I’m afraid. Oxley knew that no pornography had been handed round at the meetings, but he was determined to create that impression at least: “Various paedophile books and magazine were mentioned and passed around” he hinted darkly. As I remember, Oxley took away one of these magazines himself for closer inspection, and never returned it – it was the latest issue of PAN (Paedo-Alert-News).
The news-gathering tactics of the DAILY STAR rate a mention here. We learned later that they had used menaces toward several children in Lee’s home street who would not answer their questions (Lee was staying with a family at the time, and the two daughters were tailed by the press for several days). When this proved fruitless, they set up a couple of young boys to accost Lee in the High Street and make conversation just long enough for him to be photographed form a parked car across the road. (Even when he called on me, Henderson had attempted to force his way into my house.) It was a standard routine for reporters on this kind of story to make a point of visiting all one’s neighbours and filling their heads with who-knows-what horrific yarns. There was a knife attack on Lee shortly after the story appeared, but as Lee is an ex-boxer he managed to send his assailant away with a bloody nose, never to return. Another standard hurdle with these reports was the local press follow-up, a boringly predictable after-shock when your local paper contrives to regurgitate the story for those of your neighbours who missed it the first time around. In this particular instance the STAR itself ran a follow-up story a few days later (‘Ban the PIE Men’) in which glory-hunting Tory back-bencher, Geoffrey Dickens, vowed he would table a Private Member’s Bill at the next session of Parliament which would proscribe PIE explicitly, and outlaw any other pro-paedophile organisations.  Dickens was the same stalwart who named diplomat Sir Peter Hayman, under House of Commons privilege, as the PIE member whose identity had been concealed throughout the trial (some six months after Hayman had been publicly identified in PRIVATE EYE magazine). Dickens did not win the Private member’s ballot, as chance would have it, and nothing more was heard of that pledge, but it seemed to us a serious threat at the time. Even a bungling oaf of Dickens’ calibre could hardly have failed with such an intimidatingly populist Bill, had he won the ballot.
By the winter of ’82, the papers were full of the Geoffrey Prime affair. Prime was exposed as a Russian supermole who worked at the government’s intelligence HQ at Cheltenham. Imprisoned for sex offences against young girls, as well as spying, it was alleged, unsubstantiated of course, that he either had links with Pie or was actually a member under an assumed name. As with the much earlier Sir Peter Hayman affair (he was the former British high Commissioner to Canada), and the later revelation that I myself and an EC colleague, Barry Cutler, were both employed on security at the Home Office, this latest scandal must have caused considerable embarrassment to the government. By now, PIE’s name must have been truly hated in the corridors of power. 
In June, 1983, the NOTW ran yet another of its regular silly stories, this time claiming that top TV stars and MPs were members of the Exchange. No names were mentioned, of course – except those of EC members. As a result of this and follow-up stories in such scandal sheets as the STAR and the SUN, committee members Mike Williams and Richard Travell lost their voluntary work as a scoutmaster and Sunday School teacher respectively. Travell was later denounced by his father, a church minister, and forced to move out of his home.
It would be possible to go on and on about the shock/horror stories concerning PIE, but this would serve little purpose since the point has been made. Suffice it to say that press harassment of the group was real, and it seemed that reporters were prepared to use any means, fair or foul, to ensure the organisation was destroyed. The time is coming when something will need to be done about the press in this country – and the sooner the better.
If paedophiles have little faith in the press, they have certainly got even less for the criminal justice system in this country, for being a paedophile is an invitation for every sort of injustice there is. While baby batterers walk away with derisory sentences after being slapped on the wrist and told not to do it again, people whose only ‘crime’ is that they love children can expect to have the book thrown at them and endure years of attacks in squalid prisons from real criminals. One can inflict horrendous physical suffering on a child, but if one is unfortunate enough to be a paedophile who has consensual sex – oh well, that’s classed as worse than murder.
Similarly with ‘corporal punishment’ which is, in truth, nothing more than a euphemism for legal assault. This practice is widely supported in these isles, and it is no coincidence that the organisations and people who were most opposed to PIE were the very ones who endorsed it most. The message is clear: abuse is okay as long as it is socially approved.
Back in its earlier days, PIE itself initiated a campaign against this practice and received letters of support from such well-known people as Baroness Wootton, and Sir Alfred Ayer, the philosopher. But PIE, being a tiny organisation, could only do so much.
For PIE, the time has now run out; but the ideas behind it will continue to survive.
Editor’s note: Soon after the above article was written, its author along with two other PIE EC members were arrested on incitement charges in connection with issue No. 6 of the group’s internal bulletin, CONTACT. Before the trial, Steve Smith fled to Holland where he still resides. The two other defendants were subsequently found not guilty of the incitement charges, but guilty of a lesser charge. After renewed threats to proscribe PIE, the group finally succumbed to political pressure, and the organisation disbanded in early summer, 1985. Because of this, all articles in this book referring to PIE, including the above, have had the tense changed from present to past.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
1. A journal of PIE
2. Lee Edwards was later alleged (though unproven) to have given or sold confidential information about PIE and its members to the NEWS OF THE WORLD, which published the details, much of them erroneous, in a front page splash.
3. I refer, of course, to the notorious Conspiracy to Corrupt Public Morals trials of early 1981.
4. Tom O’Carroll (Peter Owen, London, 1980).
5. ‘Men Loving Boys Loving Men’, by Gerald Hannon (BODY POLITIC, March/April, 1979).
6. It was Kenneth Clarke in CIVILISATION who said that ‘nearly all the upward steps in the history of civilisation have been internationalist steps.”
7. CAPITAL GAY (July 15th, 1983).
8. CONTACT! Which was edited by myself, was the internal bulletin of PIE.
9. PAEDOPHILIA: SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (PIE, 1979).
10. EVIDENCE ON THE LAW RELATING TO, AND PENALTIES FOR, CERTAIN SEXUAL OFFENCES INVOLVING CHILDREN – FOR THE HOME OFFICE CRIMINAL LAW REVISION COMMITTEE, ed. by Keith R. Hose and Michael Burbidge (PIE, 1975).
11. THE LAW RELATING TO CONSENSUAL SEXUAL ACTS: A DISCUSSION PAPER (prepared by The CHE Law Reform Committee’, 1980).
12. Oxley was, at the time of writing, chairman of the right wing National Campaign for Law and Order, which incidentally supports hanging and corporal punishment, and deputy chairman of Mary Whitehouse’s Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association.
13. Even revelations that he was consorting with two other women, despite the fact that he was married, didn’t stop Dickens attacking PIE. Hypocrisy has no bounds, it seems. I often wonder what the dickens the man would do if it weren’t for paedophiles???
14. Well before the Hayman affair, another Establishment figure, Lord Bingham, had also been revealed as a PIE member.
[ADDENDUM: The ‘Lord Bingham’ in question here was Richard Maurice Clive Bigham, Viscount Mersey (1934-2006), who admitted PIE membership and contact with a 10-year old girl, who would remove her clothes when offered money and sweets by him; the girl’s mother went on trial in Manchester Crown Court in 1978 on charges of inciting one of her daughters to commit gross indecency with Bigham. See ‘Peer’s son in sex case ‘revolted”, Glasgow Herald, July 20th, 1978]
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.