Paedophile Politics

Below is a letter from self-styled ‘paedophile activist’ Roger Moody, which was published in Gay Left magazine. (Issue 2, Spring 1976). I’ve highlighted two passages in bold. The first talks of ‘wagon-hitching’ to the mainstream gay rights movement. NCCL, Campaign for Homosexual Equality, etc. must have known this tactic was being used by paedophile groups like PIE but still allowed them in. The second highlighted passage shows that it was an open secret in the mid-70s that a large number of paedophiles were working in residential children’s homes across the UK, yet the authorities allowed the abuse of vulnerable children to continue for many years.

Paedophiles, as you briefly mentioned (in No 1), have begun to organise. Inevitably the organisation at present has no clear picture of itself or its objectives, and is not even sufficiently together for the establishment to seek to divide et imperat. Paedophile politics, such as they are, consist of wagon-hitching to the mainstream gay movement — a strategy which may embarrass paedophiles as much as it has already inconvenienced Peter Hain and some members of C.H.E.
It may well be that what inspires widespread feeling against child and adolescent lovers is not so much sexism as ageism. (Boy lovers are often guilty of sexism in my experience.) Certainly we cannot hope for our liberation, without actively supporting children’s rights, both sexual and political. But is this fated to be vicarious struggle? Can an adult objectify sexual relationships with children if the child cannot objectify his/her own? And how does the male boy lover really make common cause with the male girl lover? (How in fact, can a fundamentally gay minority share the same assumptions as a fundamentally heterosexual one?) These are difficult questions to answer. Internal suppression and external oppression are more closely meshed for the boy lover, than for most other sexual minorities. Neither ‘coming out’ in the conventional sense, nor middle-of-the-road campaigning for acceptance, will liberate the paedophile. Indeed, I think current strategies for converting the compact majority are more dangerous than helpful. What is required is:
1) a very careful analysis of the role we paedophiles play in bulwarking repression (if all boy lovers in approved schools and private boarding schools were to strike, how many would be forced to close?)
2) a building of solidarity in struggle — which is woefully lacking at present (has any paedophile in this country really fought on behalf of an imprisoned fellow paedophile?) and
3) a revolutionary, perspective on social change and minority sexual rights. (Specifically, this would mean refusing to work for a mere lowering of the age of consent, or a mere handing-over of control of the young, from the courts to parents.)
May I invite anyone who is concerned in tackling these issues to contact me as soon as possible.

Roger Moody, 123 Dartmouth Park Hill, London N19.

  1. Reblogged this on Thinking Out Loud and commented:
    A muddled and to children very dangerous thinking. Almost sounding as though he thought a child was the equal to an adult which is impossible in every aspect of child adult relationships. The one area of equality is a child’s human rights are equal to or take precedence over those of adults, and it is those human rights that the paedophile abuses most.

  2. Troyhand said:
    By Stephen Green – 20th February 2010

    Click to access The%20Betrayal%20of%20Youth.pdf

    Click here to view pages from The Betrayal of Youth

    It was the start of a liberated sexual new dawn. The era of ‘Why not?’ Archaic laws restricting sexual practices and relationships were going to be swept away. No-one was to say who should do sexual things with whoever, or how. Sexual liberation had become – for some reason – a vital part of true Socialism. If adults consented, then, hey, why should the Church, or the Government, or assorted boring old fuddy-duddies say no to them? And for that matter, if children wanted sex lives, or if adult homosexual men wanted sex lives with children, then that was all part and parcel of the glorious sexual revolution.

    Or so it seemed in 1986, when the most extraordinary book of the decade, The Betrayal of Youth, (Click here for the Table of Contents) was published by CL publications in London with the sub-title “Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People.”

    The Betrayal of Youth (the initials spell ‘BOY’ of course) was edited by none less than Warren Middleton (alias John Parrott – NOT the snooker player) the then “vice-chairperson” of the Paedophile Information Exchange, Britain’s foremost paedophile advocacy and aficionado support group. They did indeed have a lot of vice to be chairperson of.


    In a preface, Middleton acknowledged the help or support of Dr Ken Plummer of Essex University, Dr Brian Taylor of Sussex, Mr John Hart of Sheffield Poly, Chris and Jayne Hobbs, his mother and father, homosexual activist Jeffrey Weeks, Nettie Pollard of the National Campaign for Civil Liberty (now called just ‘Liberty’), assorted activists and feminists, and a large number of P.I.E. executive committee members.

    The book was part of a campaign to abolish all ages of consent, destroy the responsibilities of parents for their children, deny any ill-effects on children of interference by paedophiles, and withal to make it easier for paedophiles to gain sexual access to children.

    A host of weird sex-obsessed nutcases contributed, at Middleton’s invitation. Among them was militant feminist Beatrice Faust, another was the editor of the Sex Maniac’s Diary, Tuppy Owens. In fact she wrote a chapter with Tom O’Carroll, convicted of corrupting public morals earlier by sending out a list of paedophile contacts.

    Labour activist Eric Presland, playwright and leading light in the Organisation for Lesbian and Gay Action (OLGA), contributed to The Betrayal of Youth. His article was a routine denunciation of the “power” that adult society has over children, prefaced by a first-person account of sexual activity with children. Mr Presland related his first paedophile experience with a Asian boy of thirteen, and boasted of interfering with a little boy of six.


    ‘Parents,’ he wrote, ‘because of their autocratic power, their exclusive rights, and dubious motives of self-aggrandisement which lie behind the decision to have and rear children, are in many ways the group least fitted to be entrusted with the task of child-rearing.’ So who are? Reading his chapter one is left with a strong impression that he thinks paedophiles make the best child-rearers. Presland wrote of one pre-pubescent sexual partner, ‘I fought for him to free himself from the confines of the family.’

    Two of the editorial collective of the far-left Peace News, Miss Kathy Challis and Miss Elizabeth Holtom, the latter a Quaker, contributed a chapter for The Betrayal of Youth. In it they ventured an opinion that would have been viewed with astonishment by Josephine Butler in her fight against child prostitution 100 years earlier: ‘Ages of consent are useless. They are completely unrealistic, and they don’t give children protection from exploitation in any case.’

    The former chairman of the Paedophile Information Exchange, Steve Smith, contributed a chapter to The Betrayal of Youth. The biographical notes said coyly he “now resides in Holland ” – he fled there to avoid conviction for sending obscene articles through the post – and he “now hopes to become active in the Dutch crusade for children’s rights.” Presumably he did just that, until even the Dutch lost patience, deporting Smith back to the UK and 18 months at Her Majesty’s pleasure in 1991.


    A member of the PIE executive revealed the group’s early thinking on consent law in the Scottish Minorities Group homosexual paper:

    ‘Adults should be prohibited under CIVIL law from having relationships with children under 4, and in the case of children over 3 and under 10 a similar civil injunction could also be made by those close to the child …. For children between 10 and 18 there should be no legal restriction in cases which did not involve proven physical/psychological harm. Ten is the legal age of responsibility and if a child is deemed responsible for its criminal acts then it should be responsible for its own sex life.’

    But Roger Moody, an ‘out’ paedophile intellectual, set out a political stratagem, the key to which was “a revolutionary perspective on social change.” Roger Moody explains:

    ‘Specifically, this means we don’t work to lower the age of consent, but to abolish it, and we don’t argue that rights over kids be transferred from courts to parents, but that the only people who have the right to kid’s rights – are the kids themselves.’

    This was the philosophy behind The Betrayal of Youth for which Peter Tatchell wrote his chapter ‘Questioning Ages of Majority and Ages of Consent.’ His chapter preceded Moody’s offering: ‘Ends ‘and Means; How to Make Paedophilia Acceptable.’


    At the height of the Cleveland child sex abuse scandal, Peter Tatchell was allowed to comment on it on the Jimmy Young TV programme and promptly advocated ‘rights’ for children, In The Betrayal of Youth Mr Tatchell, homosexual activist, self-proclaimed ‘children’s rights campaigner’ and described as an ‘avid supporter of socialism,’ according to the biographical details, tried to make the legal molestation of children an ingredient of democracy:

    ‘In a fully democratic and egalitarian society, there can be no question of adults usurping the rights of young people by keeping them in a state of ignorance, fear and guilt, or by resort to arbitrary and autocratic laws which deny them responsibility for decisions affecting their lives.’

    When I pressed him on this point in a debate at the Oxford Union it turned out that the abolition of the ‘arbitrary and autocratic’ age of consent law applied to children of twelve. My suggestion that it might involve children even as young as ten did not even cause Tatchell to blink. After all, the whole point of his article and the theme of The Betrayal of Youth was that there should be no age of consent at all.

    Indeed, Tatchell wrote in The Betrayal of Youth that the age of majority (sexual consent) is ‘Re-inforcing a set of increasingly quaint, minority moral values left over from the Victorian era.’ The idea that they might just protect children from predatory men, men like his co-contributors, is not one that found any sympathy with Peter Tatchell.


    When I was on BBC’s The Big Questions on 8th January this year, Peter Tatchell was one of the podium guests. I was asked by the production crew not to comment about paedophilia in connection with Tatchell. The request had come from Tatchell himself. That incident prompted this article. And why should Tatchell make such a request? Not the Oxford Union debate, but another event almost sixteen years ago is still in his mind.
    On the Judy Finnegan television show on Sunday 8th May 1994, just eight years after its publication, I accused Peter Tatchell of contributing a chapter to The Betrayal of Youth, which I described as a paedophile book.

    Tatchell is of course the leader of the homosexual media stunt group Outrage. When the homosexual ‘age of consent’ was last lowered – to 16 – an Outrage banner was photographed saying ’16 is just a start’.

    Anyway, Tatchell called me a liar, and threatened me with a suit for libel. In the “hospitality suite” afterwards he became abusive and violent. Obviously, Tatchell’s contribution to the book on its own, let alone the company in which he placed himself, is now a source of great embarrassment to him, as indeed it should be. No writ was ever received, of course.


    For the high-minded socialists and homosexuals of the 1970s and 1980s, sexuality was seen as just one aspect of the way in which children were exploited by patriarchal capitalism. Campaign for Homosexual Equality chairman Michael Jarrett was identifying paedophiles as an oppressed group, and the CHE list of “demands” included the complete abolition of minimum ages for sexual activity. The Labour Gay Rights Manifesto of 1985 said ‘A socialist society would superseded the family household. … Gay people and children should have the right to live together. … It follows from what we have already said that we favour the abolition of the age of consent.’

    So was Peter Tatchell out on a limb writing in a book advocating paedophilia, edited by a known paedophile? It is true that a lot of the loony homosexual left thought the same as he did and some of them were active paedophiles as well. But most of them stayed clear of contributing to this vile book. We should be clear that there is no evidence that Peter Tatchell was or ever has been a paedophile – but he certainly gave them support and was in company with them in The Betrayal of Youth.


    But twenty-four years later, and with Peter Tatchell elevating himself to the status of ‘human rights activist,’ helping a bunch of child-abusers achieve what they thought were their ‘human rights’ to interfere with small children doesn’t seem quite such a clever thing to have done. Are Tatchell’s views at an intellectual level still the same? Does he realise the implications of them? Does he understand that he provided support to a bunch of men who wanted nothing less than to interfere with little tots? Who approached whom to secure his contribution to this shameful book? Was he aware that Warren Middleton (alias John Parrott), the editor of The Betrayal of Youth, was an avowed child molester? Was he aware that at least two other active paedophiles were contributors? Is he still in contact with Middleton and his cronies? Has he ever renounced them? Answers to these questions will reveal much about Peter Tatchell’s mind, agenda and judgment.

  3. Roger Moody in his rallying letter to the gay community points to an interesting crack in solidarity of child abuse enthusiasts between homosexual and heterosexual factions within the PIE when asking how do homosexual child abuse enthusiasts ‘make common cause’ with those who prefer to abuse girls.

    ‘Boy lovers as being guilty of sexism’ is a very strange comment perhaps suggesting that Moody, as a heterosexual child abuse enthusiasts was feeling sidelined, which also fits with the request in Magpie to include more photos of girls.

    ‘sexism’ is a most twisted way of viewing it but there does seem to be an internal struggle within PIE.

    Reminds to look back at the figures contained in the survey of PIE members 96 of whom responded. One wonders if there was a movement to split off totally and focus on boys, just as with the North American Boy Lovers’ Association. Manning’s article in Social Work Today provided some interesting figures in the response to the PIE survey of members.

  4. googlefoo said:

    Eric Presland changed his name to Peter Scott Presland, this is a review of a play from his blog

    14-05-23 Sandel
    May 27, 2014
    I was fully intending to review this for Broadway Baby, but Glenn Chandler refused to allow me in on a Press Ticket, and Broadway Baby respected this ban. I know that this is not a unique situation – I believe Michael Coveney has been banned by several managements but nonetheless I think this is a deeply flawed situation, which leads logically to producers only allowing in reviewers on condition that they give the show a rave. I was therefore going to put this up as an audience review on Remote Goat, only Above the Stag, where the show plays, isn’t listed there. Hence this very rare blog instead:

    Above the Stag, Arch 17, Miles St, SW8 1RZ. Box office:

    Tues – Sat, 7.30pm, Sun 6pm. Till 14th June. Tickets £18.00

    A Loving Reclamation


    “Sandel” was the first positive gay novel I ever read, around 1970. It made my head spin, because, unlike Michael Campbell’s almost exactly contemporaneous ‘Lord Dismiss Us’, it held out to Us the possibility of happy endings. A few months later, in Oxford’s gay pub ‘The Gloucester Arms’, someone pointed out to me a rather puffy guy of about 35 in a tweed jacket sitting alone by the corner of the bar. He had floppy hair and deep dark rings round the eyes. “That’s Angus Stewart, he wrote ‘Sandel’,” nudged my companion. Being a bit brash, I wanted to go and talk to him, but when it came to the moment, he turned on me one of those shrinking, ‘Don’t talk to me’, frightened rabbit looks. His eyes had a look of perpetual disappointment. I never got beyond ‘Thank You’ before I fled.

    ‘Sandel’ is deeply autobiographical. Stewart was a quintessential product of Oxford; the child of an English don who taught at Christ Church and published urbane, rather fantastical detective fiction under the name of Michael Innes. Stewart himself went to public school, Bryanston, a liberal establishment referenced in ‘Sandel’, followed by three years at Dad’s college. Before fictionalising his experience, he wrote a memoir of his relationship with a much younger boy in an anthology called ‘Underdogs’, published when he was in his early 20s.

    He is represented by the character of David Rogers, a 19-year-old undergraduate, who falls for Tony Sandel, a precocious choirboy of 13 (14 in the play – I think a significant alteration). The novel and the play chart the growing attraction between the two, the development of a real passionate and emotional attachment which Rogers is slow to acknowledge despite the well-intentioned warnings of his best friend Bruce, himself a repressed homosexual with an unspoken love for his friend. A car crash separates the lovers, who are only reunited through the agency of a Guardian Angel Aunt who gets Rogers a teaching job at the school Sandel is attending. Eventually they escape the prying eyes and censure, again courtesy of Auntie, to go on a long honeymoon in Italy.

    A kind of cross between ‘Brideshead Revisited’ and ‘Lolita’, ‘Sandel’ remains extraordinarily powerful. It resonates, unlike ‘Lord Dismiss Us’, because the extremely skilful way it blends fantasy and reality. On one level it is preposterous. Tony is preposterously talented, preposterously beautiful. It is fantastic that the indulgent aunt smiles so benignly on this relationship; fantastic that she can conjure a teaching job for a 19-year-old who has dropped out of University. Lines like “Next year I’m going to train to be a concert pianist” cry out to be mocked. The unreality is heightened by the haze of the Oxford summer, with cream teas in country towns and dawdling punts up the Cherwell.

    However, you don’t mock them, thanks both to the skill of the original and Glenn Chandler’s loving adaptation and direction. Hand in hand with the romantic nimbus, and at the heart of the play is a character study of emerging adolescent sexuality which is accurate, affectionate, witty and challenging. One moment a child, all unselfconscious greed, the next profoundly serious and questing, the next highly flirtatious and sexual, the portrait of Sandel is both remarkably complex and a complete denial of the ‘child as victim’ stereotypes which current obsessions depend on. It’s depiction of the way adolescent boys come on to adult men is spot on – it’s one of the reasons I gave up teaching, because I couldn’t cope with 14-year-olds trying to seduce me.

    Given those current obsessions, it is an act of remarkable bravery to reclaim this novel; and in order to do so, it is necessary for both author and audience to think themselves back into a different mind-set. ‘Sandel’ is set in 1966, a year before gay sex was partly decriminalised; even after decriminalisation, both parties would have been ‘illegal’ in this relationship. One of the effects of being totally illegal and therefore having no Age of Consent is that all relationships seem equal. There is no great divide. Court cases of the 1950s and 60s are full of 13-, 14- and 15 year-olds cheerfully having sex with men in their 40s and 50s.

    And yet, this is a play about love, not sex. In the early 1970s there was a strong move among gay activists to try and get the word ‘homophile’ into the vocabulary instead of ‘homosexual’, as a way of insisting that gay rights were as much about the right to love as to have sex. Similarly ‘paedophile’ was the term of choice for boy-loving men, as opposed to ‘pederast’, because it emphasised the affection. This precision has been lost in a hysteria which labels sex with anyone under the age of consent as ‘paedophilic’. In ‘Sandel’ the sex is one kiss centre stage, and another, at the end, viewed behind frosted glass.

    Glenn Chandler’s adaptation works a treat, making the audience tread a tightrope between involvement in the relationship and conventional knee-jerk reactions. He doesn’t quite manage to banish dirty sniggers from the audience, but he does ride those reactions. He is also careful to keep the ambiguities – the relationship between Rogers on one level is, as they maintain, older brother/younger brother, with the older man annealing a profound loneliness in the orphaned younger boy. It is also, because of Tony’s intelligence and fearlessness, sometimes a relationship of equals. And at the same time it is a paedophile relationship and an assertion of the right to a childhood sexuality:

    “Tony: What’s the specific term for a boy who loves a man?

    David: I don’t know that there is one. Perhaps people don’t take you seriously enough to invent a special word.”

    Again, at the end, are the lovers going off into a sunset of perpetual bliss? Or is the Aunt wisely giving them a chance to get the whole thing out of their system, because the relationship will cease to have its attractions as each gets older.

    Chandler’s adaptation improves on the original in one respect. He cuts down on the long dialogues between David and his best friend Bruce about the folly/immorality of what David is doing. Bruce is the kind of high camp religious queen who is, or at least used to be, all too common in Oxford, where the cruisiest place was the Sunday service at St Mary Magdalene. Oscar Wilde has a lot to answer for, when every other student imagines himself to be taking part in a Wilde play. The problem is that the quasi-religious questions David and Bruce are worrying at are not the ones which we would ask today, which revolve around the nature of power in relationships, and of consent.

    Chandler is served brilliantly by Ashley Cousins as the enchanting Tony Sandel. An impeccable piece of casting augmented by a loving attention to the detail of the script, this is a mercurial, glittering performance which is in all respects enchanting. He is complemented by Joseph Lindoe as the undergraduate Rogers, a solid foil who provides the necessary contrast with self-effacement, while maintaining interest in his obsession and his dilemma. Only Calum Fleming as the friend, Bruce, lacks the kind of self-conscious stately projection to bring off his carefully honed witticism. The action plays on an inventive set by David Shields, heavy gothic skewed and distorted to reflect the values of the society it depicts.

    This however is a minor blemish. It says much for the skill and passionate conviction of all involved, but especially of Chandler, that when our Heroes run away at end, the audience is inwardly cheering their action. Jeremy Forrest got five and a half years in prison for much the same thing.

    Peter Scott-Presland

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