The Sunday Times, 29th November 1987
by Maurice Chittenden and Rosie Waterhouse
A PAEDOPHILE movement has been thwarted in its bid to forge links with an international charity devoted to the protection and welfare of children.
The paedophile group, centred around a London and Edinburgh-based magazine called Minor Problems, attempted to set up an exchange of information and publications with the charity.
Welfare workers at the Defence for Children International’s New York office grew suspicious when they read some of the group’s publicity literature.
Minor Problems describes itself as a ‘review for free intergenerational and childhood relations’. But detectives and child-care worker believe it has now replaced the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange (Pie) as the leading contact group for those campaigning for sex with under-aged youngsters.
Although police in Cheshire have denied that the arrests made in Congleton last week had anything to do with such contact groups, they have increased speculation that organised child pornography is thriving nationally.
Diane Core, founder of Childwatch, has given detailed information to police on nine organised groups she says her organisation has uncovered but says that the problem is considerably more widespread. ‘There is now one in every major town. It is like a cancer.’
The Sunday Times has discovered that Minor Problems has already established transatlantic links. Copies of the magazine were found when police raided the home in San Diego, California, of a woman running a group called The Childhood Sensuality Circle.
But Minor Problems seized on a possible link with Defence for Children International after an article appeared in a scholarly review about the charity’s defending black children imprisoned in South Africa.
The charity was founded nine years ago in Geneva. Unicef, the United Nations children’s foundation, regularly referred cases to it.
Mike Jupp, the British-born executive director of the charity’s American branch, said: ‘Minor Problems contacted us after picking our name for this article. It pretends to have the interests of children at heart, but it is trying to win legitimacy through association with an established body. We want nothing to do with it.’
Minor Problems was launched in April, 1983. Many will find its drawings of children offensive because of the context in which they are used, and its editorials defend the ‘right’ of children to have sex with adults.
The magazine claims that it exists to put such viewpoints on the discussion agenda of the radical and alternative left. A ‘marxist analysis’ spread over several issues expounded the theory that paedophile ralations ‘would be OK under socialism’.
The magazine’s columns report on the activities of such organisations as the north American man/boy love association and publicise books with such titles as How to Have Sex With Kids. It has carried recruitment advertisements from Pie, which paid more than £1,000 to bulk-subscribe the first three issues. Pie’s magazine Magpie had folded after Pie’s leader, Tom O’Carroll, was jailed for two years in 1981 for corrupting public morals.
Minor Problems is run by a nine-strong collective. Its members are known only by their first names.
Some editions of the magazine have carried an address in Broughton Street, Edinburgh, the home of Ian Dunn, who admits to co-founding Pie with Michael Hanson in 1974.
Dunn, a 40-year-old planning officer with Edinburgh city council, had to stand down as a ward Labour candidate three years ago when his past connection with Pie became known. He said his flat was used as an accommodation address for the first three issues for Minor Problems after which he severed all connections.
He claimed that he had been supplied with envelopes bearing a forwarding address in London.
Childwatch believes that at least eight other paedophile groups now have members in Britain. They include the Lewis Carroll Collectors’ Guild, based in Chicago and publishing a quarterly called Wonderland; Paedo Alert, from Amsterdam, source of most child pornography smuggled into Britain; the Rene Guyon Society, whose 10,000 members, mostly in California, share the motto, ‘Sex before eight before it is too late’.
‘These groups have learned from Pie and have now gone into terrorist-like cells,’ said Ray Wyre, a former probation officer who established the first treatment programmed for sexual offenders at Parkhurst prison and now runs a counselling clinic.