Daily Star, 2nd September 1983
Earlier this year, I was able to do some research amongst the documents published by the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) as held under restricted access at the British Library. I will publish a blog post later about what they reveal about the PIE itself, but for now, following the media storm which has come about in the wake of the Daily Mail pieces beginning last week, about the connections between Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey and Patricia Hewitt during their time at the National Council for Civil…
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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.
Nettie Pollard was NCCL’s Gay & Lesbian Officer, and chaired the NCCL’s gay rights committee, which included Paedophile Information Exchange leader Tom O’Carroll. She was responsible for inviting PIE to affiliate with NCCL in 1975.
Nettie Pollard was member number 70 of the Paedophile Information Exchange.
Pollard played a leading role in the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, who voted to support PIE at their 1975 conference, and defended PIE’s “right to speak and organise freely” at their 1983 conference.
In 1993 she wrote an essay called ‘The Small Matter of Children’, which begins by talking of “children’s rights” but then gives the game away by quoting speeches given to American paedophile group NAMBLA, and a book called Betrayal of Youth, which was edited by PIE member Warren Middleton aka John Parratt. It also peddles the lie that child rape can be ‘consensual’, talks of ‘mutual sexual pleasure’ and ‘willing partners’, and advises against reporting child sexual abuse to the authorities. The full essay is reproduced below, but this paragraph will give a good idea of Pollard’s mindset:
“Far from being ‘innocent’ and becoming sexual at puberty, as was once the common belief, it is now indisputable that everyone is sexual, even before birth. Erection in males is detected in the womb from 29 weeks; erection in females, of course, is harder to detect. But baby boys are born with erections and girls with genitals swelling and vaginal lubrication. The vagina is responsive sexually from birth in cyclic lubrication. Masters and Johnson found that lubrication resulted from sexual stimulation in baby girls. Clearly, birth contains elements of sexual arousal for babies. Babies often react sexually when being held, or in other moments of physical pleasure. Reaction akin to orgasm has been detected in babies only a few months old, though masturbation and orgasm are rarely detected before the ages of one or two, and not all children masturbate.”
Pollard cites Kinsey’s research on childhood sexuality, which was also cited by PIE when they campaigned for the age of consent to be lowered to 4 years old. It had been discredited long before 1993, and was found to be largely based on the sick diaries of a predatory paedophile named Rex King. (for more on this watch the documentary Kinsey’s Paedophiles)
Earlier this week, a spokesman for Harriet Harman said: “Tom O’Carroll was a paedophile and Nettie Pollard appears to have promoted paedophilia. They exploited the gay rights committee and expressed disgusting, abhorrent views.” Nettie Pollard refused to comment to the Telegraph.
‘The Small Matter of Children’ by Nettie Pollard, from ‘Bad Girls and Dirty Pictures: The Challenge to Reclaim Feminism’ ed. Alison Assiter and Avedon Carol (Pluto Press, 1993)
Childline was founded by Esther Rantzen in 1986, and was intended as a telephone hotline for children to report abuse. It has been heavily criticised for failing to expose widespread organised abuse in schools and children’s homes across the UK.
In 2006 Childline merged with the NSPCC, another children’s charity that has been accused of not doing enough to expose child abuse, not to mention its links with the paedophile Jimmy Savile.
But the idea for Childline was not new. A similar service was first operated by an organisation called Voice of the Child in Care in 1979, but concentrated solely on children in care in the London area. Like Childline, it seems to have had very little impact in exposing the paedophile networks that had infiltrated children’s homes.
We now know that paedophile networks operated in almost every London borough, but the most notorious of these are Islington and Lambeth, where every single home had been infiltrated by child abusers. Voice of the Child in Care (VCC) had connections with both these boroughs. The Director of Islington’s Social Services department, John Rea Price, was a member of VCC, as was a Lambeth social worker called Hugh Geach. Another prominent member of VCC was Len Davis, who held many dubious views and was associated with Peter Righton, a renowned child care expert who was later exposed as being a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, and part of a network of paedophiles who preyed on boys in schools and children’s homes across the UK. Len Davis believed in the abolition of the age of consent, wrote of children “seducing” adult residential workers, and advised against reporting sexual abuse in children’s homes if the abuse was “reciprocally desired and reciprocally enjoyed”. (1)
The VCC hotline was also supported by the National Council of Civil Liberties (NCCL), who only a year before had opposed the Protection of Children Bill and called for the law on images of child abuse to be relaxed. NCCL’s official response, signed by their legal officer Harriet Harman, said “childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult result in no identifiable damage” and called for child abuse images to be decriminalised unless it could be proved that the child had suffered harm. NCCL were also affilated to the Paedophile Information Exchange, who wanted the age of consent lowered to 4 years old. (2)
The VCC hotline didn’t specifically ask for children in care to report abuse, but this isn’t surprising as much of the social work profession didn’t even acknowledge the existence of child sexual abuse until the mid-late 1980s. Instead, the VCC hotline promised that “for the next seven months, children in care will be able to ring in with complaints about their treatment in care, the decisons made concerning them, and their day-to-day life”.
It’s obvious that “treatment in care” would include abuse suffered at the hands of residential care workers, but either no children reported this type of abuse, or the reports of abuse weren’t acted on, as paedophile networks in London children’s homes weren’t exposed until the early 1990s. These “decisions” would have included where they were placed in care. VCC also acted as an advocacy service who could negotiate with the local authority and place children with, for example, a particular foster carer.
VCC are known to have recommended children to be placed with single male residential care workers. In the early 1980s, Islington and Lambeth were among the first local authorities to adopt equal opportunities policies which meant single men were encouraged to foster and adopt. The White report on Islington children’s homes in 1995 stated that these policies had provided a loophole enabling paedophiles to gain access to the child care system by posing as ‘gay’.
More on VCC soon.
Social Work Today, 1st May 1979
Social Work Today, 5th June 1979