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.
In 1986, the backbench MP Geoffrey Dickens reported allegations of ‘child brothels’ on a council estate in the London Borough of Islington. He said that he had received a letter and a tape recording from a resident of the Elthorne Estate claiming that adults on the estate were organising ‘wide-scale’ child abuse involving 40 children, some as young as seven.
Dickens was attacked by the MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn, who said he was “getting cheap publicity at the expense of innocent children”. An Islington councillor called Alan Clinton defended the “decency” of Elthorne tenants, and the Islington Gazette ran a story claiming that the residents were furious about the “slur”. (Islington Gazette 21/02/86)
Dickens was unrepentant, and said he had more evidence and was more certain than ever about the truth of his allegations. (Social Work Today 24/02/86)
The folowing week the Islington Gazette published a letter attacking Geoffrey Dickens. It was from Roger Moody, of Liverpool Road, London N1 (Islington).
“In 1977, libertarian journalist and activist Roger Moody was arraigned on four charges of indecent assault and attempted buggery with a 10-year-old boy friend. This book traces the course of this case, from the initial police raid to a dramatic acquittal at the Old Bailey in March 1979.
By using extracts from a diary he kept over this two-year period, Roger Moody strikingly focusses the ambivalence he felt as someone charged with a “crime” he didn’t commit, but nonetheless doesn’t consider criminal.
But this book is only incidentally a defence of paedophilia. Rather it is an examination of the way in which patriarchal institutions – especially the police and courts – deny reciprocal, non-ageist relationships in order to perpetuate their own power”