Michael Seto, a psychologist and sexologist at the University of Toronto, told The Atlantic that there are two different types of paedophile.
“For some, access to artificial child pornography or to child sex dolls could be a safer outlet for their sexual urges, reducing the likelihood that they would seek out child pornography or sex with real children.
“For others, having these substitutes might only aggravate their sense of frustration.” (www.mirror.co.uk)
Pedophilia or paedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children. Although girls typically begin the process of puberty at age 10 or 11, and boys at age 11 or 12,criteria for pedophilia extend the cut-off point for prepubescence to age 13. A person who is diagnosed with pedophilia must be at least 16 years old, but adolescents must be at least five years older than the prepubescent child for the attraction to be diagnosed as pedophilia.
Pedophilia is termed pedophilic disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and the manual defines it as a paraphilia involving intense and recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about prepubescent children that have either been acted upon or which cause the person with the attraction distress or interpersonal difficulty.The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) defines it as a sexual preference for children of prepubertal or early pubertal age.
In popular usage, the word pedophilia is often applied to any sexual interest in children or the act of child sexual abuse This use conflates the sexual attraction to prepubescent children with the act of child sexual abuse, and fails to distinguish between attraction to prepubescent and pubescent or post-pubescent minors. Researchers recommend that these imprecise uses be avoided because although people who commit child sexual abuse sometimes exhibit the disorder, child sexual abuse offenders are not pedophiles unless they have a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children, and the literature indicates the existence of pedophiles who do not molest children.
Pedophilia was first formally recognized and named in the late 19th century. A significant amount of research in the area has taken place since the 1980s. Although mostly documented in men, there are also women who exhibit the disorder, and researchers assume available estimates underrepresent the true number of female pedophiles. No cure for pedophilia has been developed, but there are therapies that can reduce the incidence of a person committing child sexual abuse. In the United States, following Kansas v. Hendricks, sex offenders who are diagnosed with certain mental disorders, particularly pedophilia, can be subject to indefinite civil commitment. The exact causes of pedophilia have not been conclusively established.Some studies of pedophilia in child sex offenders have correlated it with various neurological abnormalities and psychological pathologies. (en.wikipedia.org)
‘I’m an artist': Pedophile defends ‘child-like’ sex dolls following customs crackdown
A self-confessed pedophile has called his child-like sex dolls a work of art, after a customs crackdown on the dolls being imported into Australia.
Fairfax reports border force officials had seized 18 consignments of the sex dolls, sent from overseas since 2013.
The life-like dolls, which resemble children and are sold wearing lingerie, are sold by Japanese company Trottla.
The Australian Federal Police has confirmed the dolls had been destroyed or used for further investigation.
Earlier this year more than 60,000 people signed a petition calling to ban the dolls.
“This petition hopes to ban the sale and import of Child Sex Dolls in Australia. Ideally, the manufacture and sale of these sickening ‘aids for paedophiles’ will be ceased globally,” the petition reads.
The manufacturer claimed the dolls could be used to help pedophiles control their urges, despite experts suggesting there is no evidence to support such claims.
Trottla founder Shin Takagi described himself as a pedophile, although he claimed he had never acted on his urges. He said the dolls were a “substitute” for a human girl.
Earlier this year Mr Takagi told The Atlantic he was “helping people express their desires, legally and ethically”.
“We should accept that there is no way to change someone’s fetishes,” he said.
“It’s not worth living if you have to live with repressed desire.”
Mr Takagi told Fairfax he was “an artist” and was unhappy the petition against the dolls had used a photo from his website without permission.
Trottla claims to supply dolls to clients globally and promotes more than 100 dolls on its website.
A Department of Immigration and Border Protection spokeswoman told Fairfax the possession of “anatomically correct child dolls” was an offence as they were considered child exploitation material.
Penalties for importing the dolls carry fines of up to $450,000 and 10 years imprisonment.
In 2014, a 31-year-old Sydney man was charged with owning child abuse material.
It was reported that when federal police raided his home, they allegedly found a life-like child doll in his bed.
Trottla Doll – creepy, and unbelievable how real they look. (https://au.pinterest.com)
Does Trottla doll help pedophile from child sexual abuse or it only aggravate their sense of frustration?
Lifelike child sex dolls created to ‘stop paedophiles committing crimes’
Shin Takagi has founded Trottla, a Japanese company manufactures lifelike Trottla child sex dolls which anatomically-correct imitations of girls, with ages as young as five intended for paedophile business plan. The sex dolls were designed by a man who admitted he is sexually attracted to children – and wanted to help others control their sexual impulses for it will be a valuable weapon in the fight against the sexual abuse of real children.
And the reaction from the general public has been one of outrage.
Commenter Macdaddypastyman said: “Surely this can’t be healthy and it’s not a massive step for some sicko who has been practising on a doll to snatch a kid and try it for real.”
On Twitter, Omnipotent I Am said: “This is basically saying its ok if it’s a doll, problem is, what happens when they want a real child?”
@DailyMirror That kind of behavior should not be encouraged or assisted. People who are sexually attracted to children are SICK.
— koko (@chIoemac) January 14, 2016
But Takagi said they are a tool for those who, like him, struggle with an ongoing sexual attraction towards children.
He said: “We should accept that there is no way to change someone’s fetishes.
“I am helping people express their desires, legally and ethically. It’s not worth living if you have to live with repressed desire.”
There are currently treatments which are used for paedophiles, including cognitive-behavioural therapy and chemical castration, along with other interventions intended to suppress urges.
But although they are used widely, a meta-analysis by the Mayo Clinic concluded such treatments “do not change the pedophile’s basic sexual orientation toward children”.
According to Takagi, his dolls save children from sexual abuse, and his clients – mostly men living alone – write and thank him for that service.
“I often receive letters from buyers. The letters say, ‘Thanks to your dolls, I can keep from committing a crime.’”
He told The Atlantic that these correspondents include doctors, prep school teachers and even celebrities
Michael Seto, a psychologist and sexologist at the University of Toronto, told The Atlantic that there are two different types of paedophile.
“For some, access to artificial child pornography or to child sex dolls could be a safer outlet for their sexual urges, reducing the likelihood that they would seek out child pornography or sex with real children.
“For others, having these substitutes might only aggravate their sense of frustration.”
‘Evil 8′ paedophile living near child care centre and primary school while on bail
Parents and the opposition are demanding action after it was revealed ‘Evil 8′ member Ryan Trevor Clegg is living close to a daycare centre and primary school while on bail awaiting sentence.
Clegg, 42, pleaded guilty earlier this month, August, 2016, to 61 charges relating to the horrific abuse of a 12-year-old girl who was ‘pimped out’ by her own father to a series of men who abused and filmed her over two years.
Parents in North Fremantle became aware late last week that Clegg was living with a family member minutes away from the child care centre, and a short drive away from the local primary school.
It is also understood that Clegg has been regularly visiting a local coffee shop, which also close to the childcare centre.
After parents informed the school and the centre, concerns escalated over the weekend and John Quigley, the opposition attorney general met with them and raised his own concerns.
Ryan Trevor Clegg, a member of the ‘Evil Eight’ pedophile ring, was charged with four counts of sexual penetration of a child who was pimped out by her father on the internet when she was aged between 11 and 13, indecent dealings and possessing child pornography.
A man who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a girl who was raped and pimped out by her father has been released on bail and lives just 60 metres away from a school.
The Director of Public Prosecution and Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett have been slammed by the state opposition after Ryan Trevor Clegg, 42, was released, ABC News reported.
By PETER DEVLIN FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA, 11:11 +10:00, 15 August 2016: Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3740622/Evil-Eight-pedophile-released-bail-living-metres-school-North-Fremantle-Perth.html#ixzz4HRnAzzOv
The “Evil 8″ Pedophile Ring of Perth, Western Australia
Charged last year, 2015 after an investigation into the heinous crimes,Clegg was one of seven men, including:
Girl’s father, single, from Perth’s northern suburbs, charged last year,2015 with committing hundreds of sex crimes against her when she was aged between 11 and 13. Earlier this year,2016, the girl’s father, who cannot be named, was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in jail after admitting to raping his daughter and arranging for her to have sexual activities with six men.The Perth father who allegedly organised a pedophile ring to sexually abuse his 13-year-old daughter appeared briefly in Perth Magistrates and remains behind bars in Hakea Prison. He met other men through online sites, including Craigslist, and then offered his daughter to the strangers to sexually violate.
The man, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his daughter, appeared via video link from Hakea Prison.
The father was not required to enter pleas to any of his 230 charges and did not speak during his appearance.
The charges include 170 counts of indecent recording of a child, 21 counts of sexual penetration of a child, six counts of sexual servitude of a child, 24 counts of indecently dealing with a child, three counts of stupefying in order to commit an indictable offence, two counts of distributing child exploitation material and one count each of showing indecent material to a child and procuring, encouraging or inciting a child to do an indecent act.
Christian pastor David Volmer, 41
AN evangelical preacher who once headed the Prison Fellowship Program in WA has pleaded guilty to child rape, molestation and drugging offences.
Dawid Volmer, better known as David Volmer, was charged last month with three counts each of indecently dealing with a child under 13, indecently dealing with a child over 13 and under 16, sexually penetrating a child over 13 and under 16 and stupefying in order to commit an indictable offence.
The Sunday Times understands the charges relate to the one victim, who is not related to the married father-of-two.
It is also part of an ongoing police investigation.
Volmer, 41, pleaded guilty to the 12 charges in Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
According to a biography in a Fellowship newsletter, Volmer moved to WA when “God spoke clearly” to him.
A Facebook page of Volmer’s, which has since been taken down, was littered with quotes and references on morality, women’s modesty and sexual freedom.
“Morality may keep you out of jail, but only the blood of Jesus will keep you out of hell,” he posted on May 21,2016.
A week earlier he shared a post on how women’s bodies were like diamonds and pearls, ending it with: “Let us all encourage our wives, friends and daughters to dress well and decently!”
Volmer is on bail and will face the District Court in August. He faces a lengthy prison stint, with the maximum penalties for each of his crimes ranging from seven to 20 years.
Mark Wesley Liggins, 47,
Mark Wesley Liggins, 47, of Coodanup, one of eight men charged with child sex offences in relation to the abuse of a 13-year-old girl.
These charges include two counts of intending to expose a child under 13 to indecent matter, two counts of procuring a child under 13 for sexual activity, one count of possessing child exploitation material, two counts of using electronic communication to expose a child under 16 to indecent matter and three counts of using electronic communication with intent to procure a person under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity.
Mr Liggins is not accused of sexually abusing the girl.
Mr Liggins, 47, has also been charged with possessing cannabis and drug paraphernalia.
He used an online chat forum to talk with children in a sexual manner and exchange nude photographs, but the offences never actually involved the man’s daughter.
Alfred John Impicciatore, 46
Alfred John Impicciatore, 46, from Wembley, faces four charges of sexually penetrating a child aged between 13 and 16, breach of bail and possessing child exploitation material.
Appearing with his third lawyer in Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday, Impicciatore, a master builder whose business employed seven people at the time of his arrest, was seeking another substantial adjournment.
But Magistrate Stephen Heath told Impicciatore he would only get a short one as he’d “delayed the matter successfully for 12 months”.
Nicholas Adam Beer, 35
Nicholas Adam Beer, 35, of Wanneroo is facing 163 charges, including 152 counts of indecent recording of a child and four counts of sexual penetration of a child.
Troy Phillip Milbourne, 41
A man accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl at the centre of a pedophile ring set up by her father told a Bunbury court he thought the girl was 17.
Troy Phillip Milbourne, 41, appeared via video link from Hakea Prison in the Bunbury District Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual penetration of a child under 13 and four counts of indecent dealings with a child under 13.
Milbourne was one of eight men charged in July, 2015 over the pedophile ring dubbed the ‘Evil 8’.
The ABC reports, Milbourne responded to an advertisement on Craig’s List which was posted by the girl’s father.
He then met the pair at a Perth home, where the alleged offences took place.
Defence lawyer Simon Freitag said the girl’s father assured him his daughter was “about 17”.
Mr Freitag said his client did have “some doubts” about the girl’s age.
According to the ABC, State prosecutor Justin Whalley said it was reckless and delusional to think the girl was over 16.
Milbourne is yet to be sentenced and will front court again in September.
Photographer Benjamin Simon Clarke, 47
Benjamin Simon Clarke, 47 from Bedfordable, was previously sentenced to three years in jail for his involvement, which included photographing the girl in lingerie and nude.
One in 50 priests is a paedophile: Pope Francis says child abuse is ‘leprosy’ infecting the Catholic Church
- Pope Francis quoted as saying figure included bishops and cardinals
- He condemned child sex abuse as ‘leprosy in the church’, in interview
- Vatican has said quotations ‘didn’t correspond to what pope actually said’
Damning reports by the UN this year have accused the Vatican of ‘systematically’ adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest thousands of children over decades, failing to report allegations to the authorities and transferring offenders to new dioceses where they could abuse again.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica yesterday, July13, Francis denounced the corruption of children as ‘the most terrible and unclean thing imaginable’ and vowed to ‘confront it with the seriousness it demands’.
The Pope’s comments come as Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby warned that fresh child abuse would be uncovered in the Church of England.
Asked on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday whether more cases would emerge, he said: ‘I would love to say there weren’t but I expect there are.
‘There are in almost every institution in this land.’
He added that the Church needed to apologise and explain how ‘utterly devastated’ it was about its history child abuse.
He said: ‘It is becoming clearer and clearer that for many, many years things were not dealt with as they should have been dealt with. We must show justice to survivors of abuse.’
While Pope Francis has carried out sweeping reforms to the Vatican, he has been accused of not doing enough to tackle the child abuse crisis.
In his interview, Francis was quoted as saying: ‘The Church is fighting for the eradication of the habit and for education that rehabilitates.
‘But this leprosy is also present in our house. Many of my colleagues who are working against it tell me that paedophilia inside the Church is at the level of 2 per cent.’
He said that the figures supplied by Church officials were supposed to reassure him, but added: ‘But I have to say that they do not reassure me by any means.
‘On the contrary, I find them deeply concerning. Among the 2 per cent who are paedophiles are even bishops and cardinals.’
Last night Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the newspaper’s report had ‘captured the spirit’ of the conversation, but denied that Francis had said there are some cardinals who are paedophiles.
In his interview, the Pope acknowledged that paedophilia was common and widespread in the Catholic Church, and reportedly called the requirement for celibacy among priests ‘a problem’ for which he is ‘finding the solution’ – although the Vatican also denied that he said this.
Last week Pope Francis issued his strongest words on paedophile priests so far as he held a historic three-hour meeting with six abuse victims, including two from Britain and two from Ireland.
In a mass before the meeting, he begged abuse survivors for forgiveness for the ‘sacrilegious’ crimes committed by ‘the sons and daughters of the Church who have betrayed their mission’.
British abuse victim Peter Saunders, 57, who was molested for more than five years by two priests, a teacher and a member of his family from the age of eight, described the experience as ‘life-changing’.
The first cases of abuse at the hands of priests came to light in the US and Canada in the 1980s. In the 1990s, revelations began to emerge of widespread abuse in Ireland, before cases were exposed in more than a dozen countries in the last decade.
In 2009, two damning reports into allegations of paedophilia in Ireland revealed the extent of cover-ups spanned decades and involved thousands of victims.
Last week the Pope said the Catholic Church had been guilty of ‘complicity’ in covering up what he called ‘despicable actions’ and ‘grave sins’.
He said members of the Catholic Church should ‘weep before the execrable acts of abuse which have left life-long scars’.
Abducted, slain Florida girl , Cherish Perrywinkle, 8
Disturbing CCTV footage shows final hours before child was raped, murdered and dumped in front of a church
Chilling security footage has captured the final hours before an eight-year-old girl was brutally raped and murdered, as she walks out of a supermarket with a stranger.
Cherish Perrywinkle left with the man, later identified by her mother as Donald Smith, after he approached her family while they were shopping that evening in 2013.
Smith allegedly approached the family in Walmart and offered to help them with their shopping. Photo: CCTV
CCTV from inside the Walmart shopping centre showed Smith, then 56, lurking nearby while the young family browsed at shoes.
Cherish’s mother, Rayne, said the man had offered to help them shop, after she was struggling to afford to buy clothes for her daughters.
The footage shows a man matching Smith’s appearance – white hair and dark eyebrows – getting acquainted with the family while seemingly unable to take his eyes off Cherish.
Smith allegedly offered to buy dinner for the family from McDonald’s and Cherish went with him.
The pair was captured on camera walking through the Walmart together before walking out the electronic sliding doors.
Outdoor CCTV filmed Smith’s white van leaving the parking lot and arriving at the McDonald’s, where Cherish and the older man were seen outside the restaurant for about 40 seconds.
Soon after they leave in the same white van. It was the last time she was seen alive.
The following day the child’s body was found in front of a church in Jacksonville.
Police alleged Smith raped then murdered Cherish before dumping her body.
Smith was taken into custody and charged with her murder in 2013.
In phone recordings of the call made to police by Rayne, the panicked mother told the operator something about Smith made her uncomfortable.
“I had a strange feeling about him when I first met him,” she said.
Smith has been a registered sex offender since 1993 for attempted kidnapping and selling obscene materials, the Daily Mail reported.
Hollywood’s evil secret: pedophilia
Elijah Wood was just eight when he arrived in Hollywood, the blue-eyed son of Iowa delicatessen owners. He had been modelling in Middle Western shopping centres for four years when his mother brought him to California to launch his career in show business. Long before Peter Jackson cast him as Frodo Baggins, the hobbit protagonist of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Wood was a child star. He took the lead in a remake of the dolphin film Flipper and before that shared top billing with Macaulay Culkin in The Good Son.
Now he knows he was lucky to escape childhood unharmed. Allegations that powerful figures in Hollywood have been sheltering child abusers have become impossible to ignore in recent years. During the past decade several convictions have been secured — and far more accusations levelled — against wealthy and important people in the industry. Some of these criminals have left prison, returned to Hollywood and begun working again with children.
Sitting in a Los Angeles restaurant to promote his latest film, The Trust, Wood compares revelations of child abuse in Hollywood with those that surfaced in Britain after the death of entertainer Jimmy Savile. “You all grew up with Savile — Jesus, it must have been devastating,” he said. “Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organised. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind. There is darkness in the underbelly — if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.
“What upsets me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power. That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people: they can be squashed but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”
Wood says his mother, Debra, protected him. “She was far more concerned with raising me to be a good human than facilitating my career. I never went to parties where that kind of thing was going on. This bizarre industry presents so many paths to temptation. If you don’t have some kind of foundation, typically from family, then it will be difficult to deal with.”
Other child actors did not have his luck. Corey Feldman was perhaps the biggest child star of the 1980s, a hero in such hits as Gremlins, The Goonies, Stand by Meand The Lost Boys. In 2011 Feldman decided to speak out about the abuse he suffered as a young actor. “The No 1 problem in Hollywood was and is — and always will be — pedophilia,” he said, adding that by the time he was 14 he was “surrounded” by molesters. Feldman met another child actor, Corey Haim, on a film set in the mid-1980s. They became best friends, starring in numerous movies together and sharing their own television show.
Describing their first meeting in his memoir, Feldman wrote: “An adult male had convinced Corey that it was perfectly normal for older men and younger boys in the business to have sexual relations … So they walked off to a secluded area between two trailers … and Haim allowed himself to be sodomised.”
Haim asked Feldman: “So I guess we should play around like that too?” He replied: “No, that’s not what kids do, man.”
In 2012 Feldman told a British tabloid: “When I was 14 and 15, things were happening to me. These older men were leching around like vultures. It was basically me lying there pretending I was asleep and them going about their business.”
Both actors went on to suffer mental health problems, alcoholism and addiction to crack and heroin. In 2010, aged 38, Haim died of pneumonia, having reportedly entered rehab 15 times. Feldman said a “Hollywood mogul” was to blame for his friend’s death, adding: “The people who did this to me are still out there and still working — some of the richest, most powerful people in this business.”
“People look at Corey Feldman and think he’s a drug addict, so why should they listen to him?” says Anne Henry, co-founder of the BizParentz Foundation, an organisation established to protect child actors. “But that plays into the predators’ hands. They don’t want victims to be believed. We estimate that about 75 per cent of the child actors who ‘went off the rails’ suffered earlier abuse. Drug addiction, alcoholism, suicide attempts, wandering through life without a purpose — they can all be symptoms.”
In the mid-2000s Henry was the proud mother of an 11-year-old child actor when she spotted shirtless photographs of him trading on eBay for up to $US400 each. “My kid wasn’t famous,” she says. “But pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio when he was 11 were only selling for 10 bucks so I was worried.”
Henry says her research led her “to websites where men boasted about following these kids, where they ‘screencapped’ little boys on the TV every night. We found fetish sites: one still exists that is focused on little boys working in the entertainment industry, full of pictures of them in wet swimsuits. We eventually learnt that our kids’ photographs were being used as gateways to child pornography sites.”
Bob Villard, an agent who managed the young DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, was convicted of selling images of children on eBay. As far back as 1987 Villard was in possession of child pornography and in 2005 he was sentenced to eight years in prison for committing a “lewd act” on a 13-year-old boy. There is no suggestion that DiCaprio or Maguire was ever a victim of abuse.
Henry felt ill at what she discovered. She began educating other parents about what was taking place. And then, she says, the stories of sexual assault began to pour in. In the past 10 years Henry claims she has heard hundreds of episodes of alleged abuse of child actors in Hollywood, ranging from inappropriate comments to rape. “We believe Hollywood is currently sheltering about 100 active abusers,” she says at home in Los Angeles. “The tsunami of claims has begun. This problem has been endemic in Hollywood for a long time and it’s finally coming to light.”
What should have brought the issue even greater attention is a documentary calledAn Open Secret by the Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg. The film tells the stories of five former child actors who claim to be victims of serious abuse. Some of their attackers have gone to jail.
Evan Henzi, 22, tells me by email that “sexual abuse is a huge problem in Hollywood and there is absolutely no support system”. He was molested dozens of times over several years from the age of 11 by his agent, a pedophile named Martin Weiss. In home-movie footage recorded at a birthday party in the Henzi family home, one young boy turns to the camera and says: “I’m getting a massage and it feels great, and I don’t care whether or not it looks bad.”
“It’s above the waist,” says Weiss, who is touching the boy. “It’s not bad.”
Henzi eventually helped to secure Weiss’s conviction after, he writes, “a moment of truth for myself. I secretly recorded an hour-long conversation in which my abuser admitted he sexually abused me. I decided to beat fear with truth.”
But Weiss spent just six months in prison. “I was worried that he could try to harm me because he threatened me when I was younger,” Henzi once said.
The most explosive allegations of Hollywood paedophilia surround “pool parties” at a Los Angeles mansion in the late 1990s hosted primarily by Marc Collins-Rector. He had co-founded Digital Entertainment Network, which generated its own online content — some of it with overtly pederastic tones.
DEN attracted almost $US100m of investment from Hollywood giants, including David Geffen and Michael Huffington, as well as Bryan Singer, now one of the most feted directors in Hollywood, and the film maker behind The Usual Suspects and the billion-dollar-grossing X-Men franchise. Geffen, Huffington and Singer are all alleged to have been at the parties but none is accused of any wrongdoing.
At these parties, Collins-Rector and other men are said to have sexually assaulted at least six teenage boys, according to lawsuits filed in 2000 and 2014. Michael Egan, who was a teenager at the time of the alleged abuse in 1999, sued Singer and two other men, alleging serious sexual abuse. He had to drop this suit after he was found to have contradicted himself. A federal judge accused him of lying in court.
Singer has denied all claims of child abuse and said the accusations against him were a “sick, twisted shakedown”.
Another convicted pedophile, Brian Peck, was also a guest at the parties. Singer had given him cameo roles in two of the X-Men films. In 2004 Peck was found guilty of abusing a famous young actor on the Nickelodeon network. After prison Peck returned to Hollywood, where he accepted a role as a dialogue coach on the sitcomAnger Management, starring Charlie Sheen. Peck later went on to play, of all things, a sex education teacher in a film.
Henry is outraged that Peck still works in Hollywood: “I’m disgusted with the people who continue to hire him. I hope audiences will vote with their wallets. Don’t watch these films: make it clear to the studios that you won’t have anything to do with organisations that re-employ convicted predators.”
And if you were considering seeing An Open Secret, that may not be easy. Matthew Valentinas, its executive producer, has said: “There was major interest at Cannes [in 2014]. They’d say, ‘We love it, don’t show it to anyone else.’ But then someone on the business side would step in and all of a sudden there was no longer interest.”
The film failed to find a distributor and apparently never will. It can be found on YouTube.
Hollywood’s reluctance to promote An Open Secret can be contrasted with its enthusiasm for films dealing with child abuse that took place elsewhere.
Spotlight, the account of an American newspaper’s dogged investigation into child rapists in the Catholic Church, won the best picture at the Oscars in March. Berg herself was previously nominated for an Academy Award for her 2006 documentary into a similar scandal, Deliver Us From Evil. Consequently, questions of a cover-up have surfaced.
“I don’t believe that the most powerful people in Hollywood are sitting in a darkened room plotting to spread pedophilia,” says Henry. “But very bad people are still working here, protected by their friends.”
Wood says that having seen An Open Secret, he believes the film “only scratches the surface. I feel there was much more to this story than it articulates.”
Roman Polanski was charged in 1977 with five offences against a 13-year-old girl, including raping, drugging and sodomising. He struck a plea bargain and was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Fearing a jail sentence, Polanski fled the US and has never returned. He continues to make films in Europe and has received an Oscar while being the subject of an Interpol “red notice” for absconding. “Everyone wants to f. .k young girls,” he once said in an interview.
The tragedy of that gruesome Hollywood trope, the “casting couch”, is its victims: young actors of both sexes forced to grant sexual favours to directors and producers, and damaged as a result.
Henry says she and her family have received numerous death threats from “emissaries of people accused of abuse … People have parked outside our house and watched us. We’re tired and weary — but with the evidence we have, we could have made 10 films like An Open Secret.”
Henzi writes in an email: “The thing about Hollywood is that there is not some secret ‘illuminati’ or top agenda. Just because someone is a famous director or actor does not give them immunity from the law. My dream is to see an established presence in Hollywood advocating against child sexual abuse, rape, sexual harassment and all sex crimes.”
He may have some time to wait. I ask Wood whether he believes this is still a problem for Hollywood. “From my reading and research,” he says, “I’ve been led down dark paths to realise that these things probably still are happening. If you’re innocent, you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed, people with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.”
The Sunday Times
TUESDAY, SEP 22, 2015 01:35 AM +0800
I’m a pedophile, but not a monster
I’m attracted to children but unwilling to act on it. Before judging me harshly, would you be willing to listen?
I was born without my right hand. As a child, this deformity quickly set me apart from my peers. In public I wore a prosthesis, an intimidating object to other youngsters because of its resemblance to a pirate’s hook. Even so, I wore it every day; I felt inadequate without it. I was shy, uncoordinated and terrible at sports, all of which put me on the outs with other boys my age. But I was good at drawing and making up stories for my own entertainment, and I spent more and more time in my own head, being a space adventurer or monster wrangler or whatever character I could think up. These would ultimately prove to be useful skills, but for now they only served to further alienate me from other kids. On top of it all, I still struggled with bladder control—likely due to my heaping pile of insecurities, to which this problem only added more—well into my elementary school years.
But none of this would compare to the final insult the universe would deal me. I’ve been stuck with the most unfortunate of sexual orientations, a preference for a group of people who are legally, morally and psychologically unable to reciprocate my feelings and desires. It’s a curse of the first order, a completely unworkable sexuality, and it’s mine. Who am I? Nice to meet you. My name is Todd Nickerson, and I’m a pedophile. Does that surprise you? Yeah, not many of us are willing to share our story, for good reason. To confess a sexual attraction to children is to lay claim to the most reviled status on the planet, one that effectively ends any chance you have of living a normal life. Yet, I’m not the monster you think me to be. I’ve never touched a child sexually in my life and never will, nor do I use child pornography.
But isn’t that the definition of a pedophile, you may ask, someone who molests kids? Not really. Although “pedophile” and “child molester” have often been used interchangeably in the media, and there is some overlap, at base, a pedophile is someone who’s sexually attracted to children. That’s it. There’s no inherent reason he must act on those desires with real children. Some pedophiles certainly do, but many of us don’t. Because the powerful taboo keeps us in hiding, it’s impossible to know how many non-offending pedophiles are out there, but signs indicate there are a lot of us, and too often we suffer in silence. That’s why I decided to speak up.
The Discovery of an Alternate Sexuality:
Many gays begin to recognize their sexual preferences sometime around puberty, if not before. For me it was the same. I was about 12 when the first inklings of a sexual preference bubbled up in me, though at the time I thought little of it. As I turned 13 it occurred to me that what I initially took as a phase had begun to solidify into something more troubling. Even so, at this point I could still convince myself that I was within the realm of normalcy. Then something happened that all but removed my ability to continue this self-denial: my Eureka Moment.
One day, as I was sketching in my grandparents’ living room, a neighbor of theirs came to visit with his seven-year-old daughter in tow. At first I hadn’t noticed her because she was quiet. I only heard my grandpa and his neighbor chatting in the kitchen while I sketched. Soon the little girl walked into the dining room and stood at the archway entrance to the living room, watching me draw. I can still see her today in my mind’s eye: dressed in blue jeans and a nearly matching denim jacket, with pristine blue eyes and a halo of wispy blond curls framing her face. She seemed somehow larger than life and almost ancient in the way she stood so perfectly still. Then, just like that, she was gone; she and her father left. That singular moment, though it could scarcely have lasted more than a few minutes, has become seared into my memory.
He Touched Me:
So how had this happened? Well, I have a pretty good idea. When I was seven years old, I was fondled in the front yard of my grandparents’ home by a man I barely knew. It was a one-time event in my life and not a particularly traumatic one. A man I’ll call Hans, a German who was acquainted with my uncle and aunt from when they lived in Nuremberg, had come to visit America. He spent a day and a night at their place, and they lived next door to my family along with my grandparents, who shared their two-story brick house. That day, the man lingered in the house with my grandma, who was stuck with him while everyone else had gone to work, and as neither could speak the other’s language, it quickly became uncomfortable for both.
Grammy’s solution was to send Hans outside with one of the grandkids. As I happened to be in the room at the time, I was assigned the task. “Take him out and show him Papa’s garden,” she told me. “Tell him the names of the vegetables. He’d probably enjoy that.” I agreed. Besides, even though I knew not a whit of German, I was very much at ease in Hans’s presence. He was painfully thin, with a messy mop of hair and large glasses. I should point out that the men in my life, including my father, were gruff blue-collar types who could intimidate me. Hans was different: gentle, soft-spoken and appealingly awkward—a lot like me!
I took the man’s right hand with my left (my good hand) and led him out into the garden, which took up most of the front lawn at my grandparents’ place. I escorted my new friend down the rows of veggies, calling out each one as we passed it, and Hans would gleefully parrot the names. This went on until we made our way through the entire garden. I was proud to find myself educating an adult rather than the other way around. When the English lesson was over, Hans plopped himself down on a patch of earth near the garden and patted the spot next to him, indicating he wanted me to sit there. I did. I couldn’t believe this peculiar man I barely knew was so eager to connect with me, the weird little kid nobody liked. It felt good.
For long minutes we simply enjoyed each other’s company. Then, out of the blue, Hans slipped a hand into my shorts, even though we were only about 30 feet from the poorly paved country road that meandered through this stretch of country. This went on for several minutes. I was confused but not frightened or troubled. The only thing I could think to say while this was happening was “Peepee,” continuing the English lesson with my pet name for my genitalia even in the midst of my own abuse. Hans chortled and repeated the word: “Peepee.” Eventually this came to an end, and Hans, having gotten what he wanted, shooed me away. I can’t imagine why it didn’t occur to him that I would immediately rat him out; maybe he knew and just didn’t care. Anyway, he could hardly ask me not to, could he? I raced back to Grammy and promptly informed her of what had happened. She deliberated over what to do, in the end asking me to keep it a secret from everyone, including my parents, and ordering me to stay away from Hans. No authorities were called, and life went on as usual. Hans stayed that evening with my uncle and aunt and left the next day. I never saw him again.
It’s easy to assume that pedophilia is always the result of some early sexualization or abuse, and certainly there seems to be a connection in some cases. However, evidence suggests there’s no magic bullet that pedophilia can be traced back to. For every pedophile who was sexually abused as a child there’s another who wasn’t. Likewise, most abuse victims never manifest pedophilic desires. Some researchers surmise that pedophilia can be traced back to genetics. Others believe the cause is congenital, and still others that it’s environmental. Personally, I think the ultimate cause is likely some combination of those, and that it varies from person to person.
Another issue is the role feelings of inadequacy play in forming our sexuality. Pedophilia may not arise from such fears (otherwise there’d be a lot more pedophiles), but those fears can certainly reinforce it. I think it’s safe to say that many pedophiles have deep-seated feelings of inferiority in one way or another, or at least we did when our sexuality was forming, and this becomes a downward spiral during puberty and beyond. Anything can be the trigger of this: disabilities, weight issues, or just general feelings of unattractiveness to peers. These feelings can be influential on one’s developing sexuality, such that even the severe cultural taboo is not enough to override it. Indeed, the taboo itself can negatively influence these vulnerable children.
I recall an event from when I was 11, sitting in the family jeep with my dad and his friend Andy when a news piece on the radio reported the sexual abuse of a girl, to which my dad said to his friend something like, “They should take people like that and place weights on top of their genitals until they smash.” Pretty horrific imagery for an 11-year-old to process, and I couldn’t help but sympathize with the abuser. After all, I could recall my own molestation perfectly, and I hardly felt it warranted that kind of response.
The bile has only multiplied since then, and I believe all that hatred just serves to reinforce pedophilia in youngsters predisposed to it. It’s a form of cognitive bias called the Backfire Effect or polarization. Everyone does this to some extent. When challenged on deeply held beliefs, no matter how uncertain or incorrect they may be, we tend to dig in our heels. With sexuality, that effect is likely magnified because there’s a physiological component, a drive every bit as powerful as belief. In essence, your brain knows what it likes and isn’t going to take no for an answer. For that reason, the nature or nurture question with respect to sexual preference is ultimately irrelevant—it becomes all but hardwired soon enough, until it’s all you know. And it’s self-reinforcing, no matter how much you wish to dig it out. Eventually it all tangles together with the rest of who you are.
Things went along OK until I was two years away from graduating college. I began to smoke pot, a drug I’d experimented with after high school but didn’t much care for then. I didn’t like it the second time around either; it made me anxious more often than not. But I did it anyway, largely because many people I respected smoked it, and I wanted to be more like them. I was trying desperately to reshape my identity before I was thrown out into the real world. I’d even begun working out, lifting weights and exercising to get in better shape. On the outside I might’ve seemed pretty normal, but on the inside I was screaming in terror at the prospect of having to “grow up” and be “normal”—which to me meant getting a real job, finding a girlfriend, eventually getting married and raising a family. Oh, I wanted to be normal, believe me, yet I knew myself well enough to know I wouldn’t be able to carry that charade off for long, and every fiber of my being resisted the forced transformation.
After graduation I fell into the deepest pit of despair imaginable, one that lasted several years, and I’ve only just begun to pull myself out of it. You can’t experience that much blind terror and pain for that long without being seriously impacted by it. I still worked out every other day, so I was hurting constantly, since depression saps your brain of the feel-good chemicals that helps to counteract pain; but I feltsomething, and that was better than the emotional numbness that had overtaken me. Thus, my project to remake myself into a regular person a complete failure, I retreated inward like a kicked dog, often spending days on end in my bedroom. At the nadir of my depression I was contemplating suicide daily; some days I could think of little else. I found some relief in opiates, which I had to obtain illegally because doctors won’t prescribe them for depression and anxiety. The occasional hydrocodone gave me a moment of respite from the agony I was going through. I’d tried antidepressants, but they were a joke.
In the midst of that dark era in my life, I discovered an unhealthy pedophile forum. Nothing illegal was happening there, but many of its most influential members were pro-contacters, meaning they believed that sex with children was theoretically OK and supported the elimination of age of consent laws. That forum still exists and I won’t name it here, but suffice it to say, I found myself taking up the same pro-contacter chants, if only to feel like I belonged somewhere. At the time it was all that was available in terms of an actual pedophile community, and I had nothing left to lose by joining the cause, misguided though it was, and even decided to out myself on that forum. Over the ensuing years, though, I was often at odds with the pro-contacters and flitted in and out of their clique; I wanted desperately to be friends with people who shared my sexual orientation, even if they held crazy beliefs, but I could never quite reconcile with their viewpoint.
Not long after I self-outed, a group of web vigilantes called Perverted Justice showed up. You’ve probably heard of them; they’re the people behind the now-defunct TV show “To Catch a Predator.” I was no predator, but that mattered not one iota to these guys; they lumped me together with the child rapists and internet creeps just the same. As I was already out of the closet as a pedo, I was an easy target, becoming one of the first people they profiled on their Wikisposure page, a site devoted to outing online pedos whether they’d broken any laws or not. It has since changed hands but still exists online, buried in a dark corner of the internet, and yep, I’m still on it. Not that I much care anymore. Perverted Justice had their day, but they eventually burned their own house down. Back when they were in full effect, however, they managed to make my already miserable existence that much more miserable. After their expose came out, I was fired from my job at Lowe’s.
But things are getting better. Slowly. These days I struggle with bitterness and apathy; it’s a constant uphill battle, and there are days I just don’t feel like making that climb. I eke out a living (barely) on a freelance graphic design business, in a small town where too many people know who and what I am. Now I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism that I’ve never used and I’m living well below the poverty line, existing on food stamps and the couple hundred dollars I manage to scrape together every month, sometimes augmented with financial help from my parents if the bills get too high. I tried filing for disability over my arm and my emotional issues, but that was a no-go in my conservative Southern state. This is what a law-abiding pedophile has been reduced to in this society. At times I’ve wondered why I’ve even bothered to stay legal. Maybe prison would be better, even at the risk of getting shanked as a Short Eyes. At least then it would all be over with. But alas, I could never hurt a child. No matter what, some small part of me still holds out hope that things will go back to normal, or as close to normal as a celibate pedophile with little prospect of a future can get. Besides, like I said earlier, I just couldn’t allow myself to foist this abomination onto another human being. So I simply endured. Until …
I was still caught up in the same nonsense at the pro-contacter forum last year when Ethan Edwards started posting at the forum. Actually he’d been there for a while. I didn’t take much notice of him at first, but when I realized he was the constant target of the pro-contacters’ attacks, I sympathized with him and began to pay closer attention to his posts, realizing that he was an anti-contacter like me. He was there to win over people who were either on the fence about the contact issue or didn’t agree with the pro-contacters’ position but had nowhere else to go to talk about their sexuality. Until now. Ethan and his friend Nick Devin founded Virtuous Pedophileson the notion that pedos needed an alternative to those other forums, a place where they can feel comfortable and get the support they need without the pressure to support sketchy views about adult-child sex.
I really can’t praise this organization enough. It’s been a lifesaver for me. I still get depressed and anxious sometimes, but I’m improving. I feel better about myself and a little more hopeful about my future these days. I have other pedophiles in my life that I’m actually proud to call friends, people I would trust my children with if I had any, knowing they’d be safe there. Many, like Ethan, have raised families of their own, or are still doing so. A large number of them are quite young. Despite the prevailing stereotype of the dirty old man, the average age of posters at VP hovers around mid-twenties. I’m so glad that younger folks are flocking to Virtuous Pedophiles, where they can get the coaching and support that was not available to us older pedos at their age. It’ll make all the difference as they settle into themselves and learn to accept who they are.
VirPed itself has become the go-to place for support for non-offending pedophiles and has been mentioned and endorsed everywhere from NPR, Salon and the Atlantic to the New York Times and Toronto Star. As its popularity increases, so too does its effectiveness. There are still holdouts, people who believe that pedophilic feelings should be crammed down into the most subterranean recesses of ourselves, never to be discussed in the open, but these folks are going the way of the dodo bird. Anyway, we’ve tried that. Take it from someone who has firsthand experience: it not only doesn’t work, it tends to make things far worse. Please repeat this mantra to yourself: a repressed, unhappy pedophile is a pedophile at risk.
Those individuals who have the courage to come forward and lay claim to this affliction with the understanding that they only want to use their pedo powers for good should be commended, not hated and feared. You can’t imagine how difficult it is to tell people you’re a pedophile, even a non-offending one, and even if those people are other pedos. Truly, the very concept of a pedophile who neither molests nor wants to molest children is often anathema to people’s way of thinking. The long-held belief that pedophiles are destined to abuse kids is a tough one to overcome, yet many of us get just as upset as—if not more upset than—non-pedophiles when we read accounts of sexual abuse, not only because we hate when one of the little people we love most suffers, but also because, whenever yet another pedophile is arrested, it reinforces the reigning paradigm of the pedo as ticking time bomb.
For better or worse—mostly worse—we have this sexuality, and unlike with most sexualities, there is no ethical way we can fully actualize our sexual longings. Our desires and feelings, if we are to remain upright, are doomed from the outset. Indeed, whereas the majority of crimes can be bounced back from, society doesn’t extend a mulligan to molesters. I understand why, but that doesn’t make the burden any lighter to bear, particularly for those of us who have minimal or no attraction to adults. And for the pedos who are lucky enough to be able to form working relationships with adults, there are a new set of concerns: What if we have children? Will I be a threat to them? Can I ever share this fact with my spouse? Can I ever love and want her as much as I do a child?
So, please, be understanding and supportive. It’s really all we ask of you. Treat us like people with a massive handicap we must overcome, not as a monster. If we are going to make it in the world without offending, we need your help. Listening to me was a start.