Antony Grey and the Sexual Law Reform Society 2

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

dkennedy@thetimes.co.uk

Who’s who from the era of misguided civil rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Peter Righton – His Activities up until the early 1980s

[Updated: I am immensely grateful to Peter McKelvie, Liz Davies, Martin Walkerdine and @Snowfaked (on Twitter) for providing extra information which has helped to fill in gaps in my earlier account]

I do intend at some point to publish a comprehensive account of all that can be ascertained about the life and activities of the sinister figure of Peter Righton, perhaps the most important of all figures in terms of the abuse scandals soon to be investigated by the national inquiry, and believed to have been a serial abuser himself with a great many victims. Both demands of time and also legal constraints do not permit this at present, but for now I wanted to publish some information and sources on Righton’s activities up until the early 1980s. 

Righton was born in June 1926 as Paul Pelham Righton, in Kensington . He grew up in Kent , and attended Ardingly College, West Sussex from 1940 to 1944, where he was a ‘favourite’ for history master and A dormitory housemaster, Denis Henry d’Abedhil Williams. From 1944 to 1948, Righton served in the Royal Artillery, based initially for his six week’s primary training at barracks in Lincoln from April 1944 (Righton, ‘Working with the ‘misfits”, Social Work Today, May 6th, 1985); no further details are known at present other than that his rank upon demobilisation was Lieutenant. By 1948, aged 22, Righton was living in 19 Garway Road, in the Paddington area of London (my thanks to Martin Walkerdine for this information). That year, Righton went to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, graduating in 1951 (with a second class degree), and receiving his MA in 1955 .

Following graduation, Righton undertook training in the probation service from 1951 to 1952, and served as a Probation Officer in Gray’s, Essex from 1952 to 1955, where he also ran a project to develop reading skills for children with learning difficulties. In January 1956 he began teaching at Gaveston Hall, near Horsham in West Sussex, but was only in this position until July of that year. In Righton’s diaries, he lists boys he abused whilst at Gaveston Hall. The circumstances of his departure are unclear; after leaving he retreated for six months to the Society of Saint Francis, a closed order (all information courtesy of Peter McKelvie).

Righton re-emerged in January 1957 to teach at Cuddesdon College near Oxford. Soon afterwards (in the same year), however he moved to teach English at Redhill, a school for disturbed boys in Maidstone, Kent. Righton had taken a range of vulnerable pupils under his wing, and Mark Thewliss claims he was abused by Righton there from the age of 12. Righton’s diaries list boys he abused at both Cuddesdon and Redhill (source Peter McKelvie; see the Inside Story documentary below for more accounts of Righton’s activities at Redhill). He left Redhill discreetly on April 8th, 1963, resigning his position (source Peter McKelvie) (not 1964 as mistakenly mentioned before). In July 1963, a police investigation began into complaints against Righton of abuse; around time he wrote several potential suicide notes admitting having done harm to boys. However, Righton was able to get the investigation dropped after having lunch with a police inspector (Source McKelvie).

After leaving Redhill Righton worked for two years (1963-65) as a tutor and organiser for the Workers’ Educational Association in Wiltshire; his address was given as North Flat, Marden Grange, Marden, Devizes, Wiltshire.

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From 1965 onwards, Righton established his influence within the world of social work and child care. He became a tutor in charge of a two-year course for child care officers at Keele University from 1965-68 (see Inside Story below); how and when exactly he had become qualified in this field, are who were his referees, are questions the answer to which remains unclear.
then as. From 1968 to 1971 he was a Senior Lecturer at the National Institute of Social Work, a government-funded educational and research centre. On October 11th 1968, as Paul Pelham Righton, he gave a talk at Shotton Hall, Peterlee, entitled ‘A New Deal for Children: Thoughts on the White Paper ‘Children in Trouble” (Paul Pelham Righton, A new deal for children Reflections on the White Paper ‘Children in trouble’ a paper given at Shotton Hall on 11th October 1968 (Shrewsbury: Shotton Hall Publications, 1968); he also published an article entitled ‘The Need for Training’, F.G. Lennhoff and J.C. Lampen (eds), Learning to Live: A Sketchbook of Residential Work with Children (Shrewsbury: Shotton Hall, 1968), pp. 13-16, which is reproduced on the Online Journal of the International Child and Youth Care Network, Issue 95 (December 2006). In 1969, Righton published an article entitled ‘Social work and scientific concepts’ in Social Work, Vol. 26, p. 3. . He also at some point in the late 1960s started working at North London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University), based at Ladbroke House, Highbury Grove, leaving the institution in 1970 (source Liz Davies).

The report by Tom Bateman for the BBC Radio 4 Today earlier this week made clear that as early as 1970, Righton was already credited as giving ‘considerable assistance’ to a Home Office report (Advisory Council on Child Care: Research and Development Committee; Community Homes Project, Second Report (London: Home Office Children’s Department, April 1970). The relevant chapter is printed below.

IMG_2578 IMG_2579 IMG_2580 IMG_2581

Between 1971 and 1974, Righton was a development officer at National Children’s Bureau and head of two-person Children’s Centre (‘The National Children’s Bureau’, Evening Standard, May 12th, 1993)

In October 1971, here listed as a ‘lecturer in residential care’ for the National Institute for Social Work, and ‘director-designate of the centre to be established by the National Children’s Bureau later this year’, Righton addressed a social services conference organized by the County Councils Association and the Association of Municipal Corporations, arguing for integration of social workers with residential home staff, and against too-frequent placing of those with social, physical and mental handicaps in residential homes. He also thought children ‘could be greatly helped in a residential unit’.

Times 291071 - Homes for handicapped become scapegoat for guilt of society (Righton)

In 1972, Righton published ‘Parental and other roles in residential care’, in The Parental Role: Conference Papers (London: National Children’s Bureau, 1972), pp. 13-17 (Peter Righton – Parental and Other Roles in Residential Care). Here he wrote about the  shift during last 25 years away from ‘total substitute care’ towards ‘planned alternative provision’, with child placed in open community with frequent access to their own parents. Righton argued that many still believed that substitute parenting is central role of residential worker, and that the family is good model for a residential unit. He questioned this – saying that it is impossible to provide ‘a relationship of the desirable uniqueness, continuity and intensity in a residential setting’, mentioning that the majority of children in care still have their own parents and maintain some sort of relationship with them. Righton argued that it would cause conflict by having ‘two competing sets of adults’ trying to outdo each other. He preferred to see residential care as ‘alternative caring ‘sui generis’ rather than as substitute family care’. It has been suggested to me by some experts in child care that the substitute parent model helped children feel safe from abuse and mistreatment in care; Righton’s concern to move away from this model may well have been another strategy to facilitate the ability of himself and others to sexually exploit children in residential care.

This same year, Righton also had a letter published in The Listener (June 29th, 1972), in which he expressed his fierce objection to Lord Hailsham’s views on homosexuality (my profound thanks to Daniel de Simone for locating this); Righton would use claims of homophobia more widely to silence critics of his relatively overt exploitation of young boys.

Righton on Lord Hailsham, The Listener 1972

Also in 1972, Righton took part in a published debate with Antony Grey (of the Sexual Law Reform Society and Albany Trust, who would later fund PIE – see articles here and here), and Kevin O’Dowd over the role of therapy. At another time during this year, Righton shared a platform (New Society, Vol. 21 (1972), p. 60) with Keith Joseph, then Secretary of State for Social Services, and who has himself been named as an abuser according to at least one source (Matthew Drake, ‘Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet bigwigs named in Leon Brittan paedo files’, Sunday Mirror, July 24th, 2014)

In January 1973, together with Ronald Bennett, QC, Righton was called to conduct an independent inquiry into allegations of violence by staff against boys in Larchgrove Assessment Centre on the outskirts of Glasgow; the report found that 13 out of 30 allegations were proved and was highly critical of the corporation for allowing conditions inducive to violence to occur; later reports found that John Porteus, a houseparent, had sexually abused boys at Larchgrove in the late 1960s, and others testified to sexual abuse during this time. Righton and Bennett’s report did not deal with sexual abuse, and it was possible for a convicted abuser, Robert William Henderson, to gain a position towards the end of 1973, where he formed ‘an indecent association with a 13-year-old boy’. Glasgow City Council are currently looking for any documentation connected with the case, whilst the council and Scottish government have called upon anyone who suffered abuse there to contact the police; it has been revealed that there are claims that staff of both genders were involved in the abuse of boys at the home (see ‘Notorious paedophile headed Scottish care home inquiry’, Sunday Herald, August 24th, 2014).

Also in 1973, Righton gave the Barnardo’s Annual Lecture (Edward Pilkington, ‘Shadow of the Attic’, The Guardian, June 1st, 1994); the title was ‘A Continuum of Care’, which was published the following year (Peter Righton, A Continuum of Care: The Link between Field and Residential Work (London: Barnardo’s, 1974)). This year, he also published Counselling Homosexuals: A Study (London: Bedford Square Press, 1973).

On March 8th, 1973, Righton gave a talk on ‘Co-operation in child care’, for the British Association of Social Workers Conference at St. Williams’ College, York (Residential Social Work, Vol. 13 (1973), p. 63). In September 1973, he argued that children’s homes were like ‘ghettos’ which ‘stigmatize’, because they are deprived of being part of a normal family. As a remedy of this, Righton believed such homes ‘should be made as open as possible to people in the immediate neighbourhood, and to the families and friends of the children living there’; and ‘Staff and children should be encouraged to go out to meet people and residential schools should take both children needing special substitute care and those needing boarding education’, all of which (not, of course, said by Righton) would ease the access of paedophile predators to them.

 

Times 180973 - Children's homes 'ghettos that stigmatize'

From 1974 to 1982, Righton was Director of Education for the National Council of Social Work (‘In Residence’, Social Work Today, February 4th, 1985)

In 1974, Righton visited Algeria in April, and published ‘Child Care in Algeria’, International Social Work, Vol. 17, No. 4 (October 1974), pp. 51-53. (Peter Righton – Child Care in Algeria). He also gave the David Willis Lecture for the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, at New Barns School, Toddington, Gloucestershire (where he would later become a governor, and which was closed down following a police raid in 1992), published as ‘Planned environment therapy: a reappraisal’, in Association of Workers with Maladjusted Children Journal (1975) (see James S. Atherton, Review of Perspectives on Training for Residential WorkBritish Journal of Social Work, Vol. 8, No. 2 (1988), pp. 227-229). From 1974 to 1982, his address was listed as 48 Barbican Road, Greenford (near Ealing, West London) (source Ealing Local History through Martin Walkerdine). This also became in 1975 the address of the organisation London Friend, which had been founded in 1971 (one of the co-founders was Mike Launder, a social worker activist; another was the well-known writer Jack Babuscio (1937-90), though it is not clear whether Babuscio did not resign before Righton’s involvement) as the counselling wing of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (Rosemary Auchmuty, ‘London’, in George E. Haggerty, John Beynon and Douglas Eisner (eds), Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia, Vol. 1 (New York: Garland Publishing, 2000) , p. 477), but split from CHE that year 1975 (London Friend, ‘LGB&T milestones – a timeline’)

In October of that year, the Paedophile Information Exchange was founded in Edinburgh by Ian Campbell Dunn and Michael Hanson (Marcello Mega, ‘Paedophile list set up by gay rights leader’, Sunday Times, July 6th, 1997); the group would soon afterwards relocate from Edinburgh to London, and Keith Hose would take over as chair. Righton was part of the group (member number 51, and a member of the Executive Committee, by mid-1976 at the latest (‘It’s the Magnificent Six’, Understanding Paedophilia, Vol. 1, No. 2 (June-July 1976), p. 7), serving as ‘Organiser of prison-hospital visits/general correspondence/PIE befriending’; in May 1977, he stepped down from the committee (at the same time as Hose stepped down), by which time his position was listed as ‘Community Liaison Officer’ (‘Stop Press – Stop Press’, Understanding Paedophilia, Vol. 1, No. 4 (1977), p. 12).

In October 1975, Righton became chair of a working group for the mental health association MIND, with the assistance of the King’s Fund Centre; this led to the publication of Assessment of Children and Their Families: A Report Produced by a MIND Working Party Under the Chairmanship of P. Righton (London; MIND, 1975). MIND also organised for Keith Hose to speak at an event called Mind Out in 1975 (Annette Rawstrone, ‘Paul Farmer of Mind apologises after report that pro-paedophile leader spoke at 1975 event’, Third Sector, July 23rd, 2014). In 1977, London Friend’s sister organisation Cardiff Friend, and the MIND Office in Wales, organised a day seminar entitled ‘New approaches to homosexuality’; speakers were Righton, Michael Launder, and Rachel Beck, co-founder of the then recently established service Lesbian Line (‘Seminar on homosexuality’, Social Work Today, Vol. 9, No. 11 (November 1st, 1977)).

From 1976 to 1985, and especially from 1976 to 1979, Righton published regular articles in Social Work Today, which are all collected here. Of particular note is his article ‘Sex and the residential social worker’, Social Work Today, February 15th, 1977, thus written during Righton’s period on the PIE Executive Committee. Citing a 1975 article by then Lecturer in Social Work at Brunel University Leonard F. Davis seeking to legitimise sexualised touching of children in care (Leonard F. Davis – Touch, Sexuality and Power in Residential SettingsBritish Journal of Social Work, Vol. 5, No. 4 (1975), pp. 397-411 – Davis himself acknowledged Righton’s advice in the preparation of the paper; he is listed as having ‘recently completed the Course in Educational Studies at the National Institute for Social Work’, so may have been one of Righton’s students), Righton argued ‘‘Provided there is no question of exploitation, sexual relationships freely entered into by residents – including adolescents – should not be a matter for automatic inquiry’. Amazingly, several responses to this were essentially sympathetic to Righton’s position (see letters from March 15th and 22nd, 1977; another by an A. Whitaker, published on April 12th, 1977, was sharply critical, but the editor added a note at the end disputing whether this letter accurately represented Righton’s views). 

In the mid-1970s, fellow social worker Ann Goldie was present at a dinner party with Righton, who confided to her that he had engaged in sexual relations with eight or nine boys in residential care homes. Knowing that Goldie was a lesbian, Righton (rightly) trusted a group loyalty when giving this information. Daphne Statham had first encountered Righton in 1966 and frequently thereafter, and admitted that she had had suspicions (especially when Righton mentioned about a ‘motorbike club’), but didn’t enquire further, something she later came to bitterly regret (Pilkington, ‘Shadow of the Attic‘). A similar story was related by Stewart Payne and Eileen Fairweather, of Righton’s being able to be quite blatant about his activities in the knowledge that some other fellow lesbians or gays, or feminists, would not break ranks (Payne and Fairweather, ‘Silence that cloaked child sex conspiracy’, Evening Standard, May 27th, 1994).

As well as the Social Work Today pieces, Righton would in 1976 co-edit a volume with Sonia Morgan, Child Care; Concerns and Conflicts (London: Hodder Education, 1976), and publish an article ‘Sexual minorities and social work’, Health and Social Services Journal, February 28th, 1976, pp. 392-393. At some point prior to 1977, Righton also sat on the Central Council for Education in Training and Social Work (Peter Righton, ‘Positive and Negative Aspects in Residential Care’, Social Work Today Vol. 8, No. 37 (June 28th, 1977), cited in Lucy Robinson, Gay Men and the Left in Post-War Britain: How the Personal got Political (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011)); he also spoke at a conference in Doncaster in June 1977 jointly organised by Doncaster metropolitan borough and Yorkshire region of the Residential Care Association, called ‘Residential care – resource or last resort?’, where anotehr speaker was Janie Thomas (‘Residental care – resource or last resort?’, Social Work Today, Vol. 8, No. 37 (June 28th, 1977), p. 8). On October 16th, 1978, Righton gave a talk to the Camden and Islington branch of the British Association of Social Workers on ‘Links, conflict and relationships between residential and fieldwork’, in the Royal Free Hospital in London (Social Work Today, October 10th, 1978); on 20th March, 1979, he spoke to the Croydon and East Surrey branch of BASW on whether ‘The farmer and the cowboy can be friends?’ at Rees House, Croydon (Social Work Today, March 20th, 1979)

In 1979, he would further co-edit a volume with Margaret Richards entitled Social Work Education in Conflict (London: National Institute for Social Work, 1979), in which he published articles ‘Knowledge About Teaching and Learning in Social Work Education’, pp. 1-18 (Peter Righton – Knowledge about Teaching and Learning in Social Work Education), and ‘Four Approaches to Curriculum Design’, pp. 62-80 (Peter Righton – Four Approaches to Curriculum Design), and edited a further book on Studies in Environment Therapy (London: Planned Environment Therapy Trust, 1979). 

In 1977, Righton also participated in the London Medical Group’s annual conference, on this occasion the subject being ‘Human Sexuality’, speaking alongside agony aunt Claire Rayner amongst others (M. Papouchado, ‘Annual Conference of the LMG: Human Sexuality’, Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 3 (1977), pp. 153-154).

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In 1979, Righton sat on a steering committee to establish a course for training staff to work with disturbed young people, together with John Rea Price, director of Islington Social Services, 1972-92, subsequently the Director of the National Children’s Bureau. Other’s on the committee included G Godfrey Isaacs, chairman of Peper Harow, Mary Joynsons, director of child care for Barnardos, Janet Mattinson, Tavistock Centre, and Nick Stacey (see Social Work Today, April 3rd, 1979 (see links above), and the advert below, from The Guardian, March 28th, 1979).

Guardian 280379

 

The ‘Barclay Report’ of 1980, Social Workers : Their Role & Tasks : the report of a working party set up in October 1980 at the request of the Secretary of State for Social Services by the National Institute for Social Work ; under the chairmanship of Peter M. Barclay (London : National Institute by Bedford Square Press, 1981/1982 [printing]), included the following text: ‘We pay tribute to the work of our Secretary, Mr Bob King, of Mr Peter Righton, formerly Director of Education at the National Institute, who has shouldered a considerable drafting burden and of Miss Carol Whitwill, their personal secretary and helper’.

 

Peter Righton Social Work 2 Peter Righton Social Work

 

And then in 1981, Righton published his most blatant article to date, ‘The adult’, in Brian Taylor (ed), Perspectives on Paedophilia (London: Batsford, 1981), pp. 24-40. Drawing upon an unholy canon of paedophile writers, Righton made the case for sex with children being unharmful, in his characteristically elegant manner. No-one who read this could have been in any doubt about Righton’s inclinations (or the nature of the volume in general). 

One might have thought that one so flagrantly brandishing their sexual interest in children, speaking about it shamelessly to various others, publishing two articles making this clear, and also having been publicly identified as on the Executive Committee of the Paedophile Information Exchange, would have had difficulty being accepted as an expert on child care and child sexuality. But not at all; in 1984, he was one of the major speakers at a conference on Child Sexual Abuse (alongside fellow PIE member and academic Ken Plummer). Righton’s career continued to flourish through the 1980s, and in 1991 he was invited to give evidence to the Pindown inquiry into sexual and physical abuse in Staffordshire (‘Britain’s top kiddies home expert is evil child-sex perv’, The Sun, September 17th, 1992). He helped with translation and editing of some writings on music produced by Donald Mitchell, a major figure involved with the estate of Benjamin Britten and the Britten-Pears Foundation (having been Britten’s publisher); later he would be a co-translator of the volume Truus de Leur and Henriette Straub (ed) Keep these Letters, Please! A Written portrait of the Concertgebouw Orchestra 1904-1921, translated Ian Borthwick, Nicholas Pretzel and Peter Righton (Amsterdam: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, c. 1998).

At the time of his arrest  for importation of child abuse images in 1992, Righton was also a senior tutor with the Open University (previously the employer of PIE chair Tom O’Carroll, and who had published Righton’s volume Working with Children and Young People in 1990), working on a project to do with residential children (Peter Burden and Peter Rose, .’Porn Squad quiz Child Care Expert’, Daily Mail, May 28th, 1992); James Golden, ‘Hoard of filth in childcare expert’s home’, Daily Mail, September 17th, 1992). Chris Andrews, of BASW, described Righton at the time of his arrest as follows: He [Righton] 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’ (cited in Burden and Rose, ‘Porn Squad quiz Child Care Expert’).

The Department of Health and then-Health-Secretary Virginia Bottomley were told in 1993 about an influential network involving Righton. but appear to have done nothing. Nor does there appear to have been much action following the disturbing Inside Story documentary on Righton broadcast the following year, with various testimonies of Righton’s victims . After Righton was convicted, receiving a £900 fine, in September 1992, he was able to relocate on the estate of Lord Henniker in 1993, and continue to have contact with children in care, many of who (not least from Islington) were regularly brought to the estate (Stewart Payne and Eileen Fairweather, ‘Country house hideaway of disgraced care chief’, Evening Standard, May 6th, 1993).

From 1996 to 2002, he had an address of 1 Wheatfields, Rickinghall, Diss IP22 1EN, but also in 1998, he appears to have lived at an 8 Badsey Road, together with another person called Wendy C. Hall-Barnes (source Martin Walkerdine). He would move to Hamworthy, Poole, Dorset, in 2003, where he would die on October 12th, 2007.

Politicians, social workers, civil servants and many others have huge questions to answer about how a figure like Righton could manage to operate with apparent impunity for such a long period of time when his real nature was far from hidden, preying upon the most disturbed and vulnerable boys, and manipulating child care policy towards his own exploitative ends. Righton has been linked to major scandals in Islington, Calderdale, Suffolk, Rochdale (also said by one survivor to have been friendly with Cyril Smith – Keir Mudie, ‘New victim links notorious paedophile Peter Righton to VIP child abuse network’, Sunday People, April 6th, 2013), North Wales (where MP Peter Morrison, Margaret Thatcher’s PPS, has alleged to have abused boys), Haute de la Garenne (Jersey), a series of public schools, networks in Sweden, Malta, Denmark and Holland, and more, and may be one of the worst offenders ever known in the UK, certainly one of the most influential in facilitating others. The existence of diaries kept by Righton on his ‘conquests’, as seen by Peter McKelvie at the time of his earlier investigation, was the impetus for Tom Watson’s October 2012 intervention in Parliament, which more than anything else set in motion the process which has led to the inquiry which has now been announced.

Police collected a whole seven boxes of evidence during the raid on Righton’s home. It is imperative that the full extent of his activities (and also those of the equally sinister and highly-connected Morris Fraser), and the many lessons to be learned, are central to the inquiry.

 


Peter Righton – Further Material

With profound thanks to Tom Bateman, producer at the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, for providing me with a copy of this, I am reproducing a passage from the so-called ‘Barclay Report’: Social Workers : Their Role & Tasks : the report of a working party set up in October 1980 at the request of the Secretary of State for Social Services by the National Institute for Social Work ; under the chairmanship of Peter M. Barclay (London : Published for the National Institute by Bedford Square Press, 1981/1982 [printing]), to draw attention to the following passage from page ix:

‘We pay tribute to the work of our Secretary, Mr Bob King, of Mr Peter Righton, formerly Director of Education at the National Institute, who has shouldered a considerable drafting burden and of Miss Carol Whitwill, their personal secretary and helper.’

Peter Righton Social Work 2

Peter Righton Social Work

Here is PDF of an earlier article by Righton from 1972, entitled ‘Parental and Other Roles in Residential Care’, from The parental role : conference papers (London : National Children’s Bureau, 1972).

Peter Righton – Parental and Other Roles in Residential Care

And this article by Righton from two years later, ‘Child Care in Algeria’, International Social Work, Vol. 17, No. 4 (October 1974), pp. 51-53.

Peter Righton – Child Care in Algeria

Furthermore, I would like to draw people’s attention to this important article from 2013 by Keir Mudie for The People on Righton:

‘We Can Look after You. I Have a Friend Who Works in the GOVERNMENT; VIP PAEDOPHILE SCANDAL’

The People April 7th, 2013

By Keir Mudie

NOTORIOUS paedophile Peter Righton boasted of links to powerful figures in government, according to new testimony from one of his victims.

Speaking out for the first time, the man claims Righton’s evil network stretched to the top of the UK establishment.

As well as naming a senior UK politician, the victim also told us Righton – once the most respected childcare expert in Britain – brought him into contact with paedophile MP Cyril Smith.

He said: “People have talked about a paedophile ring working in the UK.

“This was not just a ring – it’s more like the Olympic rings, interlocking on a large scale. It went everywhere. I believe it went to the heart of the Establishment.

“It needs to be investigated properly.”

The new revelations back up MP Tom Watson’s claims in Parliament that Righton was linked to a VIP child abuse network that reached as far as 10 Downing Street.

The victim, now in his 40s, told how Righton and members of his infamous Paedophile Information Exchange groomed him and sexually abused him in London from the age of 11 in 1977 until he was 16.

He said Righton told him: “We can look after you and protect you. I have a friend who works in the government. He will be able to help.”

Righton named the man, whom we cannot identify for legal reasons, as a former senior government minister.

The victim, who fell into Righton’s clutches while at a school for troubled youngsters, also claims disgraced Liberal MP Cyril Smith had links to the network.

He told us: “There was one time I was out with Righton in one of the parks.

“He stopped the car and got out and went to speak to a guy, a big fat bloke.

“Righton kept pointing at me in the car and this fat man was looking over and smiling. It wasn’t until many years later I realised it was Cyril Smith.”

The victim has agreed for the Sunday People to pass his details to Scotland Yard’s Operation Fairbank, which is investigating allegations involving Righton, now dead.

In a linked probe, Operation Fernbridge is investigating the notorious Elm guest house, south-west London, where VIPs including Cyril Smith – who died in 2010 – allegedly abused boys from a care home. The property is now private flats.

keir.mudie@people.co.uk

There are extremely serious questions to be asked about how Peter Righton, who was openly listed in the pages of PIE publication Understanding Paedophilia as one of the ‘magnificent six’ people (together with Keith Hose, Warren Middleton, Tom O’Carroll, David C. Grove and Charles Napier) who made up the executive committee (see Vol. 1, No. 2, June-July 1976, here) – his position was listed as ‘Organiser of prison-hospital visits/general correspondence/PIE befriending’ – was able to obtain such a degree of influence within the social work profession and, if the article above is correct, how he might have been protected at the highest level. Many other articles on Righton (various of them linking to the Spotlight blog) can be found here.


PIE – Documentary Evidence 7 – Steven Adrian Smith’s History of the Movement

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’

Appendices
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.

Appendix 1
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 [1] 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. [3] 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, [4] which PIE subsidised to its members; the early US boylove magazine BETTER LIFE; and the celebrated BODY POLITIC article ‘Men Loving Boys Loving Men’ [5] (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”. [6]

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, [7] 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. [8] 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 [9] and our ‘Evidence to the Home Office Criminal Law Revision Committee’. [10] 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?” [11]

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. [12] 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. [13] 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. [14]

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.

Final Words

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 – documentary evidence 2 – from Magpie 1-8 (trigger warning – contains disturbing material)

[NOTE OF WARNING: In absolutely no sense whatsoever does the printing of the below material constitute any type of endorsement; in fact the very reverse]

Many people have sought to suggest that PIE was a minor organisation of no particular significance. As promised in my previous post, I will write a proper extended post on the organisation and its history (and ideology) later; but as time is limited at the moment, I propose simply to copy without comment (comment will come in that later post) a series of writings from and some information about Magpie: The Journal of the Paedophile Information Exchange, of which seventeen issues were produced from March 1977 to Summer 1982. These should give an idea of what the organisation was saying quite openly, and should leave no doubt that it was far from harmless.

Issue No. 1, March 1977

‘‘Magpie aims to provide paedophiles with their own journal, and to further the understanding and acceptance of true love for children in today’s society.

Magpie does not promote or otherwise encourage unlawful acts, sexual or otherwise.

All opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor, or of PIE.

Magpie welcomes critisism [sic], contributions, advice and comments from its readers.

Reprints from Magpie are welcomed, please credit your source.

Magpie is published each month by the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), the national paedophile organisation and research group. Correspondence for the magazine should be addressed to the Editor, whilst all other communications should be addressed to the Secretary.

Our address is:-

PIE,
c/o Release,
1, Elgin Avenue, London, W9.’

‘Magpie is intended to provide members of PIE and their friends, with a regular up to date service of news about PIE and information about other matters of interest to paedophiles. Magpie will report the activities and decisions of the PIE Executive Committee, news of PIE local groups plus any other articles of letters of interest which may come to its notice.

‘Whilst I applaud the efforts of Warren Middleton in producing ‘Understanding Paedophilia’ and I congratulate the Editor of ‘Palaver’ on his latest production, with respect to both these people, I feel that news should be forthcoming on a regular basis. To this end, Magpie will be produced each month – provided that nothing untoward happens to the Editor to prevent this! To achieve regularity, Magpie will, I fear, have to be of somewhat simple appearance; I cannot hope to emulate the sophisticated layout and quality of the other two publications. However, I trust it will not be of too dull a content. ‘ (La Gazza Ladra, ‘What’s This’, p. 1)

‘On the 3rd of March, Tom O’Carroll gave a talk about paedophilia and PIE to the Winchester branch of CHE [Campaign for Homosexual Equality]. This was his third public speaking engagement; if he did as well on the first two occasions as he did this time, then he has impressed and enlightened many people. Certainly his audience were impressed and eve the most hostile questioner was won over by his performance . . Congratulations!’ (‘Secretary speaks to CHE’, p. 2)

‘Ideas, please’

You may remember that at the last AGM it was decided that we should invite one or more prominent people to become ‘Honorary Vice-President’ of PIE. A number of names have been put forward and some of these have been written to, although as yet no one has taken us up on our offer!

One of the people written to was Bryan Gould MP – chosen largely because of the speech he gave to the CHE [Campaign for Homosexual Equality] Conference in Southampton last year. Although he declined to accept, his reply is worth reporting. It reads:-

“Thank you for your letter and for your invitation to become an honorary Vice-President. I am afraid that I have so much on my plate at the moment that it would be unwise of me to take on any further responsibilities for the time being. I should be less than honest with you however if I were to give you the impression that lack of time is my only difficulty. As you say, yours is an unpopular cause, and whilst I have a good deal of sympathy for your objectives, I do not think it would be fair to my wife and family for me to take a public stand on it. They suffered somewhat as a result of my speech to CHE and while I am robust enough to take the comments, correspondence etc., my wife in particular reacts badly to it. I am sorry to have to send you such a disappointing reply.”

Now, if an MP, who depends upon votes and public good-will, can give us such a considerate reception, there must be someone, somewhere who would be prepared to help us in this way. Any ideas please? (p. 4)

Issue No. 2, March 1977

An article detailed a trip by outgoing chair Keith Hose to Holland:

‘At the end of last year I decided to take a holiday in Holland with a friend. This was not the first time I had been there, but unlike previous visits, I arranged to call on our friends in the Dutch paedophile movement. As a direct consequence I was left with a feeling of elation at the progress made in social and legal attitudes to paedophilia in Holland, and a desire to be part of what is going on there.

Unlike PIE, the Dutch paedophile organisation is not autonomous, and it is only part of a bigger organisation, the NVSH. The NVSH, so I was informed by Dr Bernard (an important member of the paedophile sub-group), was started some years ago to encourage contraception. Over the years the group took under its wing other sexual liberation causes, including the campaign for childrens’ sexual rights, and in 1971, paedophilia. Although the NVSH is an independent organisation with its own membership and democratic process, it has for the past few years been largely government financed. A popular organisation, it had over a quarter of a million members only a few years ago, it has a strong influence on public attitudes to sex.
[…]
‘More or less, there is a paedophile group in every major Dutch town, and in addition but separate, there are many more groups of the NVSH fighting for this liberation of childrens’ sexuality. Reading the leaflet I had picked up in the Den Haag paedophile group, I telephoned the contact number given – which I found to be the home telephone number of the Convener. Rudely, but without choice, I assumed he spoke English, and I asked if we could come to see him. Warmly he invited us into his home.

When we arrived there, we could hardly believe our eyes. For there above his door, in full view of the street, was a most outrageous paedophile poster. We had seen both this poster, and a poster of the childrens’ sexual rights sub-group before, but we did not expect to see either on display above the entrance to a paedophile’s home. Naturally, once inside, we asked our host if he had ever had any trouble with his neighbours concerning the poster, especially in view of the fact that his home was right next to a school. But no – he insisted that all his neighbours were very friendly.’ (‘pedofeely’, pp. 5-7 (all material here from p. 5))

There was a plug for an international conference on ‘Love and Attraction’ to be held at University College, Swansea, September 5th to 9th 1977, adverts for ‘Boy Love news’ from Germany (p. 7) a feature on what to do with arrested or having photographic material confiscated (‘Survival’, p. 8), reports on arrests (pp. 9-10) and a guide to world paedophile groups with contact addresses: Studiegroep Pedofilie, Belgium; Landelijke Werkgroep Pedofilie, Netherlands; Paedofil Gruppe, Denmark; NAPF (Pedofil Arbeidsgruppe), Norway; Paedophile group, Sweden; Schweizer Arbeitsgruppe Paedophilie (SAP), Switzerland; DSAP and DAP, West Germany; Rene Guyon Society, Childhood Sensuality Circle, (CSC), Hermes and Gay Pederast Liberation Front, all USA; and mentions of provincial groups in some of these countries as well.

Issue No. 3, May 1977

This contained the item about NCCL taking up the case of PIE, as mentioned in my other blog post, then had an article by Tom O’Carroll, ‘Of Chickens and Chicken Hawks’, looking at an article by an NBC journalist on boy prostitution, more ads and features as in issue 2, and then a reprint from Forum entiled ‘Child Foot Fetishist.

On the back page (p. 8) was a feature called ‘One Man’s Booklist’, the comments accompanying which I summarise as follows:

Chuck Selwyn, Andrea, sibling and father-daughter incest
Sherman Sands, Funky Faculty, female teacher seduces schoolchildren and teenage girls seduce principal. ‘ridiculously unreal’
Paul Roan, When Miss Warren Comes. Mostly lesbian, some hetero stuff between female teacher and pupils.
Paula Welch, Darling Daughter, ‘mother lets her lover have her minor daughter, much voyeurism, coprolalia as stimulant, etc.’
Paula Welch, Daddy’s Girls, incest, mother daughters father
Paula Welch, I Can’t Stop – similar to Funky Faculty
Denise Bryant, as told to Roger Blake, Mother and Daughter. Autobiographical documentary by divorced school teacher with 13 year old daughter.
Rina Marshal, as told to Dalton Edwards, Don’t Ever Stop. Autobiography of a nymphomaniac, including childhood experiences.
Four Way Incest, with intro and comments by Roger Blake. Documentary told by aunt, uncle, niece and nephew all involved with bisexual incest.
Wayne Gibson, as told to Dalton Edwards, The Oversexed American. Autobiography of male world traveller with many experiences with both young boys and girls.
Frank Sheffield, The Meat Rack. Male homosexual autobiography, exploits including many affairs with minor boys.
Incest Experiences, with intro and comments by John F Trimble. 9 case histories of adult-child incest.
Freaked Out, with intro and comments by Dalton Edwards. Like above, also paedophilia and child-child relationships.

Issue No. 4, June 1977

This issue contained procedural information about the organisation, and stories from Keith Hose, who had to go to New Scotland Yard, was asked about ‘a certain famous member of PAL’ and whether certain other people were PIE members (Hose apparently refused to divulge names), also about an Andre Thoren trying to blackmail a potential member of PIE, and the organisation being attacked by a Bournemouth woman, Christine Jolliffe, and how Tom O’Carroll had sought and gained much publicity for PIE (pp. 3-4)

There is an ad called ‘Girls for Boys’ School’, about a school for boys, Sexey’s School (sic), Lusty Hill, Burton, Somerset, taking 22 girl pupils in September, apparently quoted from The Times (p. 4).

Tom O’Carroll wrote a long item about the NCCL Gay Rights Conference and the issue of Chemical Castration, apparently ‘consented’ to by prisoners, but this was under duress (Tom O’Carroll, ‘NCCL Gay Rights Conference. Chemical Castration’, pp. 5, 7).

One letter asked where pictures could be processed safely, ‘Not pornography, just good natural pictures’ (p. 6). Fears were given how the murder of a 4-year old girl could be linked to paedophiles, and there was a report about a case in the Appeal Court involving three men who had had sexual intercourse with a 14-year old girl (pp. 6-7).

A ‘Non-Fiction Book List’ mentioned various PIE publications, and also Kinsey, aDutch book Sex mit Kinderen, Parker Rossman, Sexual Experience between Men & Boys, Timothy d’Arch Smith, Love in Earnest; Brian Reade, Sexual Heretics; J.Z. Eglinton, Greek Love; Thorkil Vanggaard, Phallos; and Paul Gebhard et al, Sex Offenders.

Issue 5, July 1977

The cover of this issue had a picture of a young boy (maybe around 8) in shorts on the cover.

There were reviews of films Walkabout, Fireworks/The Queen/Children, Satyricon, Fear Personified, Run Rabbit Run, and Child Art on p. 2, all dissected for paedophile elements. Then the first article in this journal appeared by Father Michael Ingram (who was later convicted of multiple counts of sexual abuse during the time when these articles were written). I will copy a large section of this:

‘‘There seem to be few things that arouse the horror, anger and sometimes hysteria of society than the thoughts of children having sexual activity, especially with adults. Society’s attitudes are mirrored in prisons where those found guilty of offences against children need to be protected from other prisoners. But a cold examination of the facts indicates that much of this anger seems to be irrational and groundless, and that the reaction to discovery of the act can do more damage than the act itself.

Take the case of an eleven year boy whose parents overheard him tell his brother about a man who was ‘having sex’ with him. There was a family scene, mother crying, father packing up and down and vowing he could ‘kill the bastard’. The police were called in. the boy was interrogated over and over again by both parents and police. The boy was taken to the police station where he was told to lower this trousers. A doctor examined his penis, retracting the foreskin. The boy was made to bend down while a doctor put a lubricated rubber sheath on his finger which he inserted into the boy’s rectum. The man was charged, denied it and the boy was examined by the magistrates. The man was remanded on bail, so in order to prevent the boy meeting him again, he was sent to stay with relatives in Ireland until the trial three months later.

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. As a psychiatrist involved in the case put it, “If he hadn’t been buggered by the man, he certainly had been by the doctor”.

The offender in this case was sent to prison, where he pretended to be there for larceny. He was put in the ordinary wing. His secret was discovered and he was beaten up, suffering severe injuries. He lost his job, was cut off from his family and his voluntary social work. He had done a great deal for his local community, especially for the children, and all this was forgotten. At the age of twenty-six he was a ruined man because he showed too much love for a little boy.

Nine years later the boy is now twenty, cold, repressed, afraid of sex, isolated and friendless, depending on anti-depressants to make his moods tolerable.

In the last nine years there have been considerable changes in police and legal practice, and nowadays the needs of the child are more taken into consideration. My experience is that parents also are less inclined now to ‘bring in the law’, but even so, much is left to be desired. Even recently, a little girl who was making allegations against a man was visited at her home by two uniformed police officers, when it had been explicitly promised that only plainclothes officers would be sent. But meaningful changes in the law will only be accomplished once public opinion has been changed and public fears allayed. Our society still thinks that children have no sexual feelings unless unnaturally aroused by depraved persons. We still think of adults whose love for children sometimes has sexual expression as being unspeakably degenerate and corrupting. We still reflect the legal idea that a young person under sixteen can not meaningfully consent to a sexual act, and we still think that children can be persuaded by adults to commit sexual acts against their will.

The most important thing it seems to me, and with this all readers would agree, is that our first duty is to protect a child from harm. What is controversial is the method by which we achieve this.

In the first place we need to recognise that children do have sexual feelings, and these feeling like all other childrens’ feelings are expressed in play. A lot of children will play at ‘peeping’ games, stripping games, competitions to see who can pee the highest and furthest, ‘knackering’ (boys grabbing or punching each others genitals), and even exploratory sexual acts. They are often interested in adults’ bodies and, from the age of about nine or ten, in adult’s sex lives. They are quite capable of indulging in sex games with willing adults, and even of provoking or initiating them.

In a study I have made of 57 boys who were ‘indecently assaulted’, 8 of them resisted the assault, which was discontinued for that reason. The rest appear to have been willing for it to take place. Thirty-eight of the boys returned to the same man for more, and three were promiscuous and made money by it. Eleven of the seventeen men involved in the study claimed that most of the children, if not actually initiating the activity, were at least seductive. In most of the cases, the sexual act was part of a more extensive demonstration of affection. The child appeared to need a lot of love.

In twenty out of the 50 families from which the boys came, the boys admitted to being frightened by their fathers, who were violent and/or given to drink. In 17 cases the father was absent due to death, divorce, or unmarried mother. In nine families the father was clearly dominated by his wife, was of weak character, and took no notice of his growing boys.

Nine of the boys felt rejected by their mothers, two mothers had deserted the family, 29 were suffering from depression and anxiety severe enough to need medical treatment. Only six boys had satisfactory relations with their fathers, and only eight with their mothers, (and this 8 included the six who had good relations with their fathers). All eight of these children rejected the act, told their parents about it, and, characteristically, the parents did not get upset, did not call in the police, and the only thing they did was to ask the present author to discuss the matter with their children.

All the acts in the above study are homosexual acts. Being a man, girls are not usually referred to me in cases like this. Statistically, heterosexual acts are much commoner (about three to one) and my findings may not be typical. But they do closely resemble results produced by other studies. They do not go to show that all children who get involved in sexual activity are disturbed and come from bad family backgrounds, but that such children do tend to be the ones who get involved because their need for affection is matched by the willingness of the man to give it.

But this has very unfortunate repercussions. There are many children in need of affection, for example, in children’s homes, and it is no longer possible for caring adults to show this affection in any meaningful way except for feeding and providing material goods. A man I once interviewed had been an assistant in a childrens’ home for seventeen years. He was adored by the children, they sat on his knee for stories, he kissed them goodnight, cuddled them whenever they seemed to need it. It was often suspected that he ‘went too far’ but there was no evidence, and one or two people in fact deliberately closed their eyes to the possibility. But he did not get promoted, and when he applied for other posts he never got them, in spite of the fact that he was such a wonderful assistant. Finally, his staff was joined by a middle-aged single woman who went on a witch-hunt once her nose started twitching, and evidence was unearthed that sent the man to prison for three years. The children in the home were left desolate and now, four years later in that same home, staff do not touch the children.

There is no evidence that sexual contacts with adults do any damage, psychological or moral, to the children any more than the ‘rude games’ that many of them play. There is considerable evidence that parental distress and police intervention do cause a great deal of harm, and there is overwhelming evidence that deprivation, especially deprivation of physical love, damages personalities and is a significant factor in the development of sexual disorders in later life.

I do not think that children should be encouraged to have sexual relations with adults, and I do think that problems could arise from them, given the unequal needs of the partners, but all the evidence I can muster indicates that children will take from a relationship what they need, and will grow out of it when they are ready. Of the 57 cases I studied, thirteen rejected the man and the act shortly afterwards, fifteen rejected it after some lapse of time, and of the rest I have no information. Only the 3 promiscuous ones stated that they did not regret the act, and they would do it again given the chance. All three have now grown up and are practising homosexuals.

What seems to be necessary, therefore, is an effort to inform the general public about the groundlessness of their fears, of the need for calm when an act is discovered, and a sense of balance about a child’s needs and vulnerability. Children need to be brought up in an atmosphere in which these topics can be discussed as calmly as school or play. In one family a boy announced that someone had ‘played with his willy’. His mother said “Did he, dear? Are you going to see him again?” “No. I don’t think so.” “I suppose you are right, it is better not to play at sexy things until you understand them when you get older.” Another mother said, “Oh, did he? Well I don’t think it is wise for you to go on seeing him at his house. If you want to see him again, invite him round for tea.” This was done. The matter was discussed with the man and the boy, and the mother and father said they felt their son was too young for such things. The mother of an older boy (aged 13) said, “Well I think you ought to ask advice about this. You like Father Ingram a lot, why don’t you go and ask him what he thinks? He understands these things better than your father and I.”

These reactions all seem to be healthy, but are only three compared with a whole lot of hysteria and rage that I have been called in to calm, usually too late to prevent the damage.

It is probably necessary to have a minimum age of consent, but I suggest it would be better to be flexible and prohibit sexual acts whenever there is an age difference of say, two or three years, when one partner is below the given age. This would be enough to protect children from emotional exploitation. Prosecutions should only be initiated if there has been violence or undue pressure, or indications of other forms of moral corruption, and so on. Medical examinations should be prohibited except when the child complains of pain, or when damage is suspected. Interviews should always be done by plainclothes officers in the presence of the parents when the children are very young, but with older children, the choice of speaking in the presence or absence of the parents should be left to the child. I have often found that older children prefer not to discuss things with their parents. But above all, society should not cut off from children the contribution that can be made to their welfare by those whose only fault is that their love leads to acts that society fears without reasonable cause, and whose importance diminishes in comparison with what their love can do.’ (The Rev Fr Michael Ingram, O.P. ‘”Filthy”’, pp. 5-6, reprinted from Libertarian Education)

Tom O’ Carroll would write underneath:

‘To the weary traveller, the Priory of the Holy Cross, Leicester is a haven of warmth and welcome; in the best traditions of the mediaeval Church, the wayfarer is plied with good, wholesome victuals and no shortage of drink either – and one’s host, the good Father Michael, is the very embodiment of that spirit of hospitality: convivial, affable, a man of charm and engaging conversation. All in all, a stout fellow!

I happen to believe that Michael Ingram, of the Dominican Order of preachers, represents the best of the 20th century Church too, though there are doubtless those in the Vatican who do not agree, for he has ‘advanced’ views on such subjects as birth control and abortion, and to my ignorant mind at any rate (untutored in theology, and therefore a suspect guide), his views on the Meaning of Sin and the Authority of the Church come exciting near to – dare I say it – heresy!

Established as a heavyweight intellectual – he was recently invited to deliver a series of lectures on sexual ethics to Harvard University no less – he nonetheless has work as a child counsellor in Leicester which keeps his feet firmly on the ground.

This work with children began when he studied child counselling as an associate student with the Tavistock Clinic, followed by work among deprived children in Camden, and later Leicester.

It has to be in this context that he has made an extensive, and largely positive, study of paedophile relationships between men and boys. The outcome of this study is to be a paper presented at the forthcoming Swansea Conference of the British Psychological Society on “Love and Attraction.”’ (p. 6)

A columnist by the name of Ray Halliwell wrote the following:

‘When I joined PIE some ten months ago, I wasn’t sure I had done the right thing. It wouldn’t have surprised me in the least to find half of Fleet Street on my doorstep one morning. If it had happened, I would have had a heart attack. However, since attending a PIE meeting last September, I made a decision – to ‘come out’.

At home I worked out a plan of action. Leave a copy of “Understanding Paedophilia” on the sideboard. A subtle hint here and there. Of course everyone thought I was going a bit crazy or something. Then it happened – one of my friends got the message – I had something to tell him. “I’m sexually attracted to boys,” I said. “Oh,” he replied. That was just about the last thing I had expected. The truth was that my real friends had long suspected that I was homosexual, and they were more interested in the price of a pint than the fact that I was paedophile. So far so good. Next thing I knew was when a spanner got thrown in the works when I was offered a job in a new town and accepted.

Now came the big problem. How to tell the new people? You can’t very well walk into the local and say, “hello, I’ve just moved here – nice weather – I’m paedophile, you know.” So I thought I’d wait until someone asked before I told thema bout myself. Of course no one did and I’ve now got myself into a situation where people assume that I am heterosexual. So I am starting all over again. Maybe I could try wearing a PIE tee-shirt or next time I get the urge to rush up Nelson’s Column and shout “I like boys, so what!” I should do it. Who knows, maybe I can make a success of this coming out thing yet.

Finally, on the off-chance that “horrified of Halifax” or “Disgusted of Dewsbury” or some neurotic gossip columnist is reading this piece, I have a word of advice for them.

I’ve no desire to change my sexual orientation and I am happy the way I am, thank you very much. There will always be people like me in the world to brighten up your day – that’s nature. If this fact disturbs you, I can recommend a very good psychiatrist.’ (Halliwell, ‘Coming Out’, p. 7).

There was a further Non-Fiction book list, and also a poem entitled ‘Children. North-South-East-West’ (p. 8)

Issues No. 6, August 1977

This had on the cover a picture of a young boy with their hands over their face. Importantly, this issue also featured an advert for a ‘Seminar on Paedophilia’ by the Dutch Dr Edward Brongersma, who would become closely involved with the paedophile movement. This was to take place on Thursday, 1/9/77 at Shaftesbury Hotel (p. 2).

In a long review of the film ‘Les Amitiés Particulières’ by Keith Hose (pp. 4-5), he wrote

‘The film portrays the younger boy as partly unrealistic, idealised character; a paederastic fantasy. He is beautiful, camply seductive, confident, cultured and mature. The book however, is not immune from this either, but whether one would call this a criticism, I am not sure. I still disagree with those who would say that a twelve year old boy can never have this degree of sophistication.’

Then the following was written by a Cyril Halley, entitled ‘Lament’, writing about the loss of a loved one who he will never see again:

‘The scene I shall ever remember was her languid expression, her listless gaze, as she went away, out of the room and out of my life.’
[….]
‘I shall never know either, how deeply Julie loved me, or indeed if she even loved me at all. We never discussed the question of love although I had said quite a few times when she needed consoling, “I love you, Julie, you know that.” She allowed me to kiss her on occasions and seemed to like a fuss made of her. She let me cuddle her and she was mildly jealous if I showed affection to another; but for all that I shall go through life continually thinking that my undying love was unrequited.
It was on Saturdays that Julie used to come and see me. She arrived at about 8pm and left at eleven. These three hours per week are imprinted on my memory. The lateness of the hour often made her sleepy towards the end of her stay, and then she slept in my arms, showing a loving trust that makes all else in life superfluous. The tender memories flooding back as I write this narrative are filling me with a sense of hopeless frustration.’
[….]
Her vision is before me now, holding the palm of her hand to her mouth to suppress excitement or uttering, as only she had not quite heard what was said to her.’
[…]
You see dear reader, my beloved Julie is only eight years old.’

An piece of fiction by Charles Napier, entitled ‘Spy-dophilia’, was a thriller involving a gay Los Angeles private eye, David Brandstetter (pp. 6-7).

On the back cover was a map of local groups, claiming 65 members in the London area, and many others all over the country (p. 8).

Issue 7, September 1977

This was the first properly typeset issue. There was a message on p. 2 from the convenor of the French group of PIE:

‘La première reunion du groupe francais a eu lieu recemment. Les autres reunions auront lieu chaque premier samedi du mois chez le member No. 234. Les personnes interessees de se joinder a nous sont pirees de prendre contact avec le member No. 234 en ecrivant a l’adresse de P.I.E. a Londres.’

In ‘Notes & News’ (p. 2) there was reference to a long article by Tom Crabtree in The Guardian. Then there were reports of how the ‘Love and Attraction’ conference at Swansea was moved, and how NUPE forced the conference organisers to eject Tom O’Carroll, who was also physically attacked. Also about how there was apparently much press hysteria, death threats, sackings, and a near riot in central London. After a meeting was planned at Conway Hall on Sep 19th, about 120 people, PIE members and press, went, ‘braving a barrage of abuse, blows and missiles rained on them by a crowd outside, at least partly organised by the National Front’ (p. 2).

On p. 3, there were letters from a John Page (who talked about living in ‘an age of utter barbarism which has been created largely by Christianity and Judaism combined’), an A. Paedophile (which included ‘Let us not equate “paedophile” with “child molester”. True paedophiles love all people, and especially the youngsters.’; and ‘I contribute to the NSPCC’) and a Nicholas J. Ferguson, London (who wrote ’One of the self-made ‘rules’ of responsible paedophiles is not to ‘share their young friends around’’. So no pooling of photographs, collections of diaries or letters) (p. 3).

Charles Napier wrote a poem about the now almost-mythological figure of Tom O’Connor (p. 4). And an article by Dr. Frits Bernard, who would become a regular contributor, referred to as ‘Psychiatrist, Sociologist, Writer’, said the following about the age of consent, mentioning that in some countries it is at age 12:

‘Some take as the criterion for drawing the boundary line the onset of puberty, the first menstruation or the first ejaculation. In my opinion this is a biologically acceptable criterion (it is a fact that can be observed) but represents no psychologically valid attitude. The affection of a girl or of a boy for a man or woman before reaching puberty and after passing this boundary, should be no different in terms of experience. Orgasms without ejaculation can give the same gratification as with ejaculation.’ (Dr. Frits Bernard, Psychiatrist, Sociologist, Writer, ‘Paedophilia. What are we talking about?’, p. 5).

The following letter appeared on the same page:

‘Dear Sir,

I was interested to read in MAGPIE No. 5 that you had received a copy of the Spartacus Holiday Help portfolio on paedophiles and their vacations. I wrote to the address you gave for further information, enclosing an international reply coupon, but have received no reply – – this was more than five weeks ago. I suppose it wouldn’t be possible to let me know what information was given on the two countries coming out top of the list, i.e., Sri Lanka and the Philippines? I am sure that this would be of interest to other members as well.

Your sincerely,
157

Brighton,
24 Aug. 77’

An article by a Robert Mitchell, on the search for the murderer of a young boy in West Yorkshire, argued against the Chief Constable’s position that all paedophile relationships should be eliminated because of this case. ‘Lots of friendly and loving people will be humiliated and tortured – kicked and punched in police cells; imprisoned for many years in order to “mark society’s strong disapproval”; in prison bashed and gang-raped, and driven to attempt suicide; and upon release have to live dogged by a criminal record’). Another by Ray Halliwell was about taking out a subscription to ‘Boys International’ and not feeling he had to hide it (p. 7).


Issue No. 8. No date given.

The cover featured a picture of a boy with something like a coke bottle, in swimming trunks.

‘Spartacus Guide’
In the last issue of MAGPIE one of our readers asked us to reprint the information given in the Spartacus Holiday Guide for Paedophiles, and this we agreed to do.
However, in the light of what we now know about Spartacus, we have reluctantly decided that it would not be helpful to our members and readers for us to do such a reprint, the information given being at best superficial and at worst inaccurate.’ (p. 2)

Tom O’Carroll, Review of film The Bad News Bears, dir. Michael Ritchie (1976) (p. 2)

[…]
‘There I was, at prime time, a mid-evening performance in the opening west end week, and the place was deserted except for a few scattered Paedophiles (don’t ask me how I know!) who wanted to see how much Tatum had grown up since !”Paper Moon” and to have a good ogle (and what’s wrong with that?) at the baby Bears of the little league baseball team.’
[…]
‘For me, the star performer wasn’t Matthau or O’Neal, although Tatum still looks pre-bra enough to be physically interesting. No, the palm must go to a little guy whose name I can’t remember – He is supposed to be a symbolic non-entity in the film, so I guess that fits – who was not only a lousy player at the start of the story, but he stayed that way. He was always the one left on the bench, the substitute, the nothing guy. When the other kids picked on him he hadn’t the guts to fight back, and the most ambition his feeble spirit could muster was the thought of being associated with the winning team’
[….]

A letter from a Charles Gerrivoenski (of whom more in a later issue) praised Frits Bernard’s article, and talked about warning a 12-year old boy not to tell his parents about their sexual relationship, mentioning a ‘clash of loyalty’.

‘Read All About It’, p. 3.
Mentioning articles in Guardian, 12/9/77 (half page article based on interview with Keith Hose), Community Care, 28/9/77 (“PIE is not getting a fair hearing”), 12/10/77 (reader’s letter), 19/10/77 (four pages on PIE and its aim, based on interview with Tom), new Society 8/9/77 (Marginal Note on PIE’s attempts to hold an open meeting), 6/10/77, “TV parents” – about children’s TV preferences; Peace news 23/9/77 (PIE in the sky – a report of NUSS support of PIE); Time Out 9/9/77 (“Untouchable subject” – on PIE and its aims); The Sun 10/9/77 (“Priest in Sex Row Hits Back”); Spectator 1/10/77 (“Suffer the little children”), Medical News 21/9/77 (Article by Eric Trimmer based on findings and fumings at Swansea Conference)
Quote from the end of the last:
‘Up in the Press room at the university on the day I met a very charming and lively little boy who was passing his time making paper aeroplanes out of abstracts of delegates papers. I asked his father, one of the Department of Psychology, if he was hiding him up there in case Tom O’Carroll was about. “Good God no Man” he replied in an accent straight out of Milk Wood, “he’s such a little horror at home I’m hoping they do meet up. Might cure both of them”. (p. 3)

Article by Member 136, ‘As I see it…’, p. 4:

Talks about members being adherents of the Kid’s Lib.
‘I believe P.I.E. would be better employed in devoting its major efforts to radically reducing the penalties imposed on Paedophiles and also to reducing to a minimum the distress inflicted on the child in the case by seeking to change the investigative and court procedures. [….]
Recent articles in Magpie have suggested that contributors are vaguely but grudgingly aware of the existence of parents but would prefer to dismiss their right to any claim upon their children. I think this is a stupid view to take and one that does our case no good. Perhaps this article will re-dress the balance a little and perhaps give rise to some constructive controversy.’ (p. 4)

Michael Ingram, ‘Laws of Consent’, pp. 5-6
This proposed equalising homo- and hetero-sexual ages of consent. ‘In the discussion which follows you might like to express your opinions as to whether 16 is the best age.’ (p. 5)
The duty of the law to protect the simple from exploitation, so Ingram suggested that the age of consent might be flexible, ‘and that parents who feel that their daughter under the age of, say, 18 is being exploited should be able to invoke the law by some means to prevent it.’
Laws should apply equally to men and women.
Either laws should apply to children, and contraceptive information only be given to parents, and doctors forbidden to prescribe pill to under-age girls, or laws should not apply at all to under-age children.
‘It might be possible to devise a system whereby the consent laws become more flexible, and prohibit intercourse, or sexual activity between persons who [sic] age difference is greater than two or three years when one of them is below the given age of consent.’ (all p. 5)

An article by Keith Spence, ‘Reflections in a square eye’, p. 8, portrayed paedophiles somehow transgressing social norms, talking about:

‘the fundamental honesty of Paedophile relationships, which can find their natural course without constantly needing to conform to an established stereotype.
So – let conventional people hide behind their rules and standards. Keep your images. I’m happier without a reflection, thanks. Anyone know of a nice, succulent jugular?’

P. 9 feature a picture of a young boy, maybe about 4-5.

On pp. 10-11, there was the first of what would become a regular crossword, with all clues to do with paedophilia. Here are some examples of the clues:

Across clues 20. ‘How your boy must have felt when his dad found out his first letter traded south. (3).
24. The older boy’s penis may be, but still he yearns! (6)
38. Gay little Leslie sings both ways, to a point! (7)
47. Morocco would be no place for a boy-lover who suffers from it! (10)
(p. 10)
Down clues, p. 11
E.g. 4. Balls to the doctor! All boys have them set up twice. (6)
12. Sounds like the boy to sustain morally, but you can’t make love to this one! (4)
37. An Irish kid who is apt to get screwed up. (3)

A map on the back showed 9 branches in Australia and one in New Zealand.

Later issues featured even more disturbing material – I will post this tomorrow.