Sunday, April 15, 2007

Paedogeddon! or The Accidental Paedophile

Well it’s been a bad week, first Kurt Vonnegut dies, then The Sam Seder Show comes to an end and now I've become a paedophile.

Planning to follow up on Korova’s post about the Sun’s opportunistic appropriation of anti-paedophile sentiment I went about diligently doing some research, NSPCC, Childline, the MAPPAS- Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements approach, statistics, etc. and to top it off I thought I would lift some quotes form the Brass Eye Paedoggedon show. So I Googled Paedogeddon and the fifth search result was a Brass Eye transcript, ah excellent I thought. So I clicked on that and found a rather nasty looking home made webpage with a non-script formatted but nevertheless usable transcript. I mooched around the page, clicked the link to part 2, thought about using some of the screen grabs of the show. Then I thought maybe there is more Chris Morris stuff on this site so I looked for a home button, none I could see, so I did what I usually do, went up to the address field which read
I deleted the latter part of the address to give me
And I got this which I quickly skimmed through:-

Why are we here?
This site is the realisation of an idea that several posters at GC were in support of. In view of the fact that it may take a lot of time to accumulate profiles here, the site will likely look a little sparse for a while. Hopefully, it will be well received and will one day contain profiles for all the registered users of GirlChat.
What is it for?
The GC community can be a little daunting for new users with a mass of people who already seem to know each other and get on well. This page will give a little information about any poster who wishes to disclose it. Obviously, personal details should not be given for everyones personal security. This way, posters both new and old can use the resource as an alternative to repetitive asking of similar questions which new posters regularly ask when trying to find a place to fit in.
How do I get my profile on here?
Simple. All you need to do is send me an email here. Include all the subject fields and your answers and attatch your favourite sigpic if you have one. Put "profile registration" in the subject and it should be up in a day or so. If you would like to make any amendments to your profile, email me at the above address.-

Not really much the wiser from this boilerplate guff and wondering where was the Morris stuff I clicked the link under that text –Take me to the profiles- which got me here
Oh dear, this seemed to be grown men who liked to pretend to be little girls, that’s what my brief scan of the top of the page hinted to me, I was beginning to be alarmed so I hit the homepage

-Mission Statement :
Our Mission Statement provides a powerful message of our dedication to our resource's goal of becoming a hub of the Girl Love movement. From this center on the Internet we will work vigorously for the emancipation, empowerment, and positive education of youths everywhere; and, we will strive to establish full democratic rights for all persons, who are different age attracted, so as to secure for these individuals the same full legal protection from harrassment due to sexual orientation that is enjoyed by other minorities and to openly work for the establishment of our rights by educational and political means without fear of reprisal.-

Oh shit, this a paedophile community website, they posted the Brass Eye transcript because, well art is that difficult thing, once your work is out there it can be misused and misinterpreted by any group. They obviously deliberately mistook a satire of media hysteria for a tacit approval of their stance. Initially I was thinking ‘aha fans of good comedy’ and by the time this had worn off and I realised this was a site for the ‘girl love movement’ it was too late. I had become an accidental paedophile!

Now let me stress there were no pornographic pictures on the few pages I saw but nonetheless I now feel the hysteria and panic of Paedoggedon. I was absolutely innocently looking at a website, it turned out to be a meeting place for paedophiles, now I wonder am I guilty of something? If an opportunistic campaign wished to they could say ‘he visited a paedophile website!’ suddenly I become a pariah to the roused rabble of Sun readers. I am a filthy animal and pervert who must be run out of town, there’s no smoke without fire you know! Such is the problem with The Sun’s activities, it is a populist comic masquerading as a newspaper, it is using a widespread emotional hook (parents fear of anything happening to their children) to sell papers.

However it is a campaign that many professionals involved in actually dealing with child protection are not happy with, they have to protect children and manage paedophiles not simply sell newscomics. What the sensational Sun approach fails to do is realise most sexual abuse happens not through ‘stranger danger’ (which sells papers in the same way horror movies are popular) but over two thirds of abuse happens where the child knows the attacker, it requires soul searching and a realisation the bad people might be right beside you and they are loved ones (maybe even currently reading the Sun).

We certainly need to stop treating it purely as a criminal matter, you can’t stop aberrant sexuality with threats of prison, and the MAPPAS- Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements are beginning to work toward this more comprehensive approach. Nor does it tackle the almost never talked about aspect of class. I knew a woman who worked for Childline and she told me about some very highly sophisticated surveillance on them and attacks on their comms, not something lone working class paedophiles could stage. There are paedophiles in all levels of society, very rich and powerful people are also involved. Even if the Sun’s campaign is followed through to its logical conclusion of convicted paedophiles all being publicly known, it will lead to them grouping together for protection or going underground, which will lead to a ghetto of the poor paedophiles and a network of the most dangerous living off the civil radar and all the well connected paedophiles will remain insulated. Not to mention the aspect of child abuse that goes on through the immigration system, sex slave trafficking and the attempts to escape it are not helped by the Sun's demagoguery of the immigration debate.

As for I have emailed the NSPCC about it although I suspect it may be well known as it is not exactly well hidden (there are torrent websites that are harder to find). As for me I do have a stake in this, family that would be targets of paedophiles and family that in the past was, I was also involved in securing the conviction of a man for raping a 13-year-old girl. The essential lesson is this- when you reduce the offenders to simplistic evil monsters you also simplify how you think about them and thus deal with them, this enables the paedophile who is not a simple meme of ‘animalistic perversion’ but a fully human thinking, feeling and cunning person to circumvent your badly thought out primitive measures. The man who raped the girl, when the sentence was passed down collapsed like a deflated balloon, he was pathetic, a liar, a rapist and utterly pitiful. ‘They‘ are not monsters so don’t panic, but do ensure we have the proper ways of protecting children and not become monsters ourselves through lynch mob hysteria. The Sun newscomic has no place in this, it is as ever a jabbering fool manipulated by some of the most cynical extremists you will ever meet (they are using a popular cause to attack human rights legislation) and our children deserve better than that.