Sex, Lies and Society I

  By M.K. Styllinski

“NAMBLA is an extremely tame organization compared to others. NAMBLA would say, for example,  that they are opposed to forcible sexual contact with children. Other organizations are not.”

Andrew Vachss, author, child advocate


Although abuse has always existed recognition of the crime and its causes and effects have obviously changed. With any complex and taboo subject, statistics will always remain controversial due to their ability to shape our perceptions so effectively, for good or for ill.

The statistics on sex crime and sexual abuse are some of the most hotly contested of all media reports. Child abuse has been placed in the spotlight yet without the requisite caution and objectivity. None of the statistics quoted in the following posts have a unanimous consensus. All are disputed and fought over according to which particular camp the group or individual belongs. Different definitions and purposes will dictate the outcome of even the most objective data. Sexual abuse is, by its very nature, a highly charged issue thus a clear statistical appraisal of this phenomenon will likely be flawed, to some degree. The only way forward is to gain the best possible data and advance step by step.

Another set of questions might be posed. For instance, how can we know to what extent a general heightened awareness has caused the  rise in child abuse? Can we differentiate between a rise in the number of cases and an increase in the actual incidences of abuse? How is it possible to formulate definitions of abuse when controversy over these definitions has not been resolved?

Author and lawyer for victims of abuse Andrew Vachss believes that child abuse hasn’t changed but the reporting of it has. He states:

When people pick up a newspaper today, they are likely to read about some case of child abuse. I don’t think fifty years ago that was true. In fact, I know it was not. So, if you look at child abuse statistics, which didn’t exist, say, in 1955, and then you looked at them today, you’d say, ‘Oh my God, child abuse has increased into this huge epidemic.’ My suggestion is that there’s no proof that child abuse, in and of itself, has increased. There is proof that case-finding techniques have increased, and reporting has increased. [1]

The very nature of quantitative and qualitative statistical analysis and data gathering is open to political manipulations. As we will discover, abuse serves an important purpose in this regard. In such a highly contentious field of enquiry the “butterfly effect” applied to data changes that are erroneous and sourced from ideology, beliefs and supposition can result in big differences in the final studies. When the media is told to get behind whatever propagated statistic is deemed useful to those in power then it is almost assured that this empirical “truth” will become a household “fact.”

For example, which would you trust: studies that collect official government statistics or studies that offer the opportunity for anonymous, independent collection and retrospective data gathering from professionals on the ground? The latter would be my preference. However, if the media has some shocking statistics but cannot or is unwilling to provide a means to evaluate their authenticity then it is very easy to support one’s headline, whatever that may be.

Statistics are uniformly used to substantiate loud proclamations when an argument may be weak. As statistics have the stamp of officialdom and authority, people automatically take numbers as facts. In the world of abuse this can and does lead to severe problems for all, but an easy and useful tool for the Establishment. When well-meaning social activism gets the wind in its sails, they can often be a pawn in the chess game of covert forces at work. A lack of critical thinking ensures the game is played out resulting in a “social comedy” that can nevertheless have dire consequences as author Joe Best describes:

“Activists want to draw attention to a problem … The press asks for statistics … Knowing that big numbers indicate a big problems and knowing that it will be hard to get action unless people can be convinced a big problem exists (and sincerely believing that there is a big problem), the activists produce a big estimate, and the press, having no good way to check the number, simply publicizes it. The general public – most of us suffering from at least a mild case of innumeracy – tends to accept the figure without question.” [2]

Best goes on to mention three basic questions to keep in mind when presented with statistics: Who created the statistic? Why was the statistic created and how? It becomes apparent the identities, history and data gathering of the experts are key components for the support or dismissal of statistics.

Let’s also be aware that most reports will not come to the attention of the authorities (assuming these authorities are not implicated in abuse themselves) and we can thus say that sexual abuse may be more common than we think. The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) remains one of the best and by all accounts the most accurate resources available. “Substantiated cases” in the US and “registered children” in the UK are an example of how many cases never reach social services, let alone the courts. Children and young adults cannot and will not report their abuser to authorities due to the nature of the crime that is deeply entrenched in social taboos. This is particularly the case with incest (otherwise known as intra-familial abuse). It is a highly sensitive field of enquiry for obvious reasons. This is changing but there is ample room for improvement.

Statistics are extremely easy to manipulate. For example, violent crime took a large jump in early 2006 which is hardly surprising coming as it does on the back of a number of laws related to “protecting freedoms” though implementing the reverse.  In the true style we have come to expect from American institutions: “The FBI report did not give any explanation why the violent crime numbers and murders went up last year, but Justice Department officials said during a news briefing that the government’s policies were not to blame.” [3] (Of course!)  They further added on the causes for the increases: “We have no idea but it isn’t our policies that are reshaping US society.”

Such absolutism is not a little unnerving when set against the evidence that FBI and Department of Justice can be rather selective with their statistics if they can get away with it. Some of the ways in which data is distorted include:

  • Reducing child sex abuse rates by deleting official data on sex abuse of children under 12;
  • Eliminating sodomy of boys by reclassifying boys in an ageless —male rape category;
  • Lowering child abuse predator recidivism by aggregating child molesters into a generalized category of —violent assault;
  • Decreasing abuse data for unmarried fathers, step fathers and —live-in boyfriends by aggregating these men with biological, married fathers into —parents and other caretakers” for incest offenders;
  • Excising data on prostituted and other child sex abuse crimes from DOJ‘s —”Severity of Crime” scales that measure public views of crime severity – implying that child sexual abuse is benign.
  • Wholesale failure to tabulate data on child sex abuse within the child protective services system.[4]

The FBI and intelligence agencies generally have long history of lying because that is their area of expertise. When a nation becomes ponerised these agencies and their methods of CoIntelpro * are used against the public who is classed as the new internal enemy. This is a matter of historical record rather than conspiratorial conjecture. If it is deemed necessary for the “greater good,” manipulating social reactions in relation, for instance, to organised abuse  it will be mandated from the highest levels. The crimes of the Klu Klux Klan, and the existence of organised crime were all initially denied until such denials became embarrassing when compared with objective reality. Similarly, the existence of satanic cults at the Establishment level is also officially denied representing another complex arena of truth and fabrication – as we shall see.

Statistics and can be useful aids and they can serve to distort. Hopefully, as we continue, the reader will be able to consider the sources in relation to the themes outlined and make their own judgment as to their relevance.

child_abuse

The US State Department’s definitions for sexual abuse include:

1) The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct; or 2) The rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children. [5]

As we start to look at the first spoke in the wheel of abuse we will also look at what constitutes paedophilia and child molestation from an American and British perspective and its unfortunate place in those societies. It might be as well to summarize very briefly the changing attitudes towards child sexual abuse and how we arrived at the complex situation of truths and half-truths that characterise present day reactions to the issue. Once we have a better idea as to the issues involved, we will then be on a firmer footing to see how top-level psychopaths (or Pathocrats) use this issue to protect themselves and their power structures.

***

Though child neglect was brought to the attention of child protection agencies in the US during the 1950s, it was not until the 1960s that child abuse began to receive significant attention. Physical abuse was detected by paediatric radiologists who began to document children’s injuries, ultimately leading to increasing exposure and resulting in the diagnosis commonly known as “battered child syndrome.” By the early 70s various child protection laws had been passed in the America, one of the most important being the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) in 1974 which ignored social and economic factors related to abuse but nevertheless served to place abuse firmly on the map. States were required to adopt a uniform definition of abuse in order to qualify for federal expenditure. “Sexual abuse” became a separate category in itself. As a result of these laws and a greater awareness of abuse generally, the number of cases have dramatically increased right up to the present day. The Federal government’s main impetus for these laws appears to have come from two main streams that were dominant at the time, namely the new feminist impetus and their critique of patriarchal values and psychologists and mental health workers that saw abnormal sexual behaviour as a symptom of broken families, who then sought to implement the appropriate safeguards.

The early 1980s saw the media tackling abuse ostensibly to raise awareness of the issues but in reality it was as much to do with distribution sales then any new social conscience. The inference was that this was a deep problem which had remained hidden for decades or longer. Ideas of an epidemic in child abuse that was not being admitted, let alone tackled as a serious social problem began to appear in many peer review journals as well as the mainstream press. These years also saw the subsequent reaction of a “collective denial” that surfaced in much of the Establishment and traditional institutions.

Alternative views regarding paedophiles and child molesters which were being discussed in Europe, America, and Canada and particularly in the Netherlands as a way to understand and offer rehabilitation, were largely ignored. Sex researchers were seen as fringe and not a little loopy in the very ideas of paedophile advocacy. To even suggest that anything other than the castration of child molesters as a solution to the problem was considered evidence of “political correctness” gone mad, thus the problem remained an open wound that was never be allowed to close.

Much of the allegations of abuse focused on day-care centres and employees. Baby-sitters, social workers and health authority staff were increasingly coming under a private and public scrutiny. Yet many of these reports were sensationalist with allegations that they were politically motivated. Incest was still relatively low down in research priorities and public awareness.

By the mid and late eighties false accusations had begun to appear as well as the idea of “witch hunts” and the theme of ritual abuse. Commensurate with these new perceptions were the evaluations of methods by which these testimonies were extracted. The volume of litigation increased significantly, as did the enthusiasm of those intent on bringing child molesters to book. Though sentences were passed down there seemed to be many miscarriages of justice.

During the 1990s the confidence in children’s testimony was turning sour and the interpretation of children’s allegations of abuse became a battlefield where the victims were sandwiched, once again between two camps. In some cases children were found to by lying or they become very confused. The children were also highly sensitive to leading questions by clever attorneys/lawyers and which should not have negated the initial suspicion, or the evidence of abuse, yet this was often the result. On occasions where the case hinged only on the word of the child in question, it became apparent that sexual abuse claims were open to financial compensation claims and family vendettas of an infinite variety. From one article: “the increased determination by authorities to uncover child sexual abuse has had less than wholesome consequences: a raft of false charges that devastate the lives of those accused.” [6]

By the mid-nineties stories of incest were increasing dramatically. Cases involved fathers and step-fathers singled out for sexual abuse within the family which gradually led to a reaction from a coalition of fathers who claimed to have been wrongly accused. Adult incest survivors became big news after around 1992 with various celebrities recounting their suffering in popular books and day-time chat shows.  Roseanne Barr, LaToya Jackson and Oprah Winfrey were just a few of those who highlighted the abuse within families, giving further credibility to the understanding that abuse had been around for some considerable time. It was in this field of entertainment that the tales began to take on voyeuristic tones with a multitude of “true-life” stories reaching the bookstands, many of which became instant bestsellers.

“Survivor speak,” as it came to be known, dominated magazines and chat shows as the link between ratings and sexual abuse began to be established. Cathartic exposures to all kinds of repressed memories – genuine and false – were encouraged to be spilled out into the open for all to swim in. It was a lucrative time for the media and entertainment industries. Although there were certainly positive elements to this new spirit of openness the downside meant that it reached saturation point, where everyone but the family cat came forward with a story of abuse, the definition of which appeared to be expanding. Hidden memories needed to be acknowledged and healed no doubt bolstering the cultish fervour of the self-help movement in the US.

However, by 1994 a reaction to the false accusations eclipsed these reports to form “False Memory Syndrome” where victims’ recollections of abuse were said to be unconsciously fabricated. [7] This led to vehement denials from adult abusers that claimed the syndrome was nothing more than manipulation to prevent justice for victims and to protect the guilty. While the battle lines were being drawn between those convinced that much of the abuse was either made up or based on political bias and/or custodial grudges, there was a sharp rise in the number of cases being reported from within the Church with priests coming under particular focus for perpetrating serious abuses against young boys.

One year stood out as being a time where all forms of sexual abuse and sexual crime seemed to explode into the global consciousness: 1996. Whether this was a natural “critical mass” or part of the media’s insatiable appetite for titillation and sensationalism where “sex” in the title  (however dark) would ensure an easy sell, is certainly part of the picture. It is also true that the number of reported cases was rising exponentially. The Marc Dutroux case could be said to personify the rising interest in and occult ritual abuse during this period, not least the Establishment’s links to such crimes.

***

The paedophile and child molester are the new bogey-men of our age. It is the definitive vessel to which we easily funnel all of collective shadows; the lone predator waiting to pounce on our children, to let loose unspeakable acts of evil against the unsullied innocence of the child; where all of our fears, repressions and wounds are exorcized to the point that innocent men have died and the laws that are meant to protect children have become null and void.

The power of the word “paedophile” can shut off our reasoning all too easily due to our familiarity with cases of child rapists whom have taken lives of children in despicable ways. It is these cases that are burned into our consciousness and resurrected time after time so that all forms of deviancy become fused together into a mass of moral panic and reflexive fear. If you happen to be entirely innocent of the charge of paedophilia which has often proven to be the case, you can expect your life to be ruined under the vigilantism of the press and public alike who delight in a catharsis of moral indignation where facts seldom feature. The problem as to why such tragedies happen, are irrelevant. Tragically, organised networks of abuse continue to exist and are ironically buffered by the cyclic ebb and flow of public outrage. True, perhaps there is part of us all that would like to see the psychopathic child killer strung up and given a taste of his own medicine, but what do we actually know about the paedophile and his creation? What does society have to answer for the existence of this deviancy from the “norm” and other forms of aberrant sexuality?

How can we learn to distinguish between collective ills and the habitual denial of deeper shadows that we must all bear the responsibility for; and when and how these shadows are being used to create specific political tools of control?

 


* “COINTELPRO is an acronym for a series of FBI counterintelligence programs designed to neutralize political dissidents. Although covert operations have been employed throughout FBI history, the formal COINTELPRO’s of 1956-1971 were broadly targeted against radical political organizations. In the early 1950s, the Communist Party was illegal in the United States. The Senate and House of Representatives each set up investigating committees to prosecute communists and publicly expose them. (The House Committee on Un-American Activities and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy). When a series of Supreme Court rulings in 1956 and 1957 challenged these committees and questioned the constitutionality of Smith Act prosecutions and Subversive Activities Control Board hearings, the FBI’s response was COINTELPRO, a program designed to “neutralize” those who could no longer be prosecuted. Over the years, similar programs were created to neutralize civil rights, anti-war, and many other groups, many of which were said to be “communist front organizations.” As J. Edgar Hoover, longtime Director of the FBI put it.”  http://www.cointelpro.org. [What the public may not be aware of is these operations did not simply cease, but were utilised for all social domains. Of particular note is the New Age or Human Potential Movement, the foundations of which may have been purely a creation of intelligence agencies.]

 


Notes

[1] ‘A Conversation With Andrew Vachss’ Conducted by Gary Lovisi, Originally published in Mean Streets, February 1991.
[2] pp. 19-21; Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists. By Joel Best, University of California Press, 2001 | ISBN: 0520219783.[3]  ‘FBI reports biggest violent crime jump in 15 years’ By James Vicini, Reuters, June 12, 2006.
[4] ‘How the FBI and DOJ Minimize Child Sexual Abuse Reporting’ by Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D. The Institute for Media Education  July 2002  An Examination of Relevant Child Abuse Data Suggesting That Reported Decreased Violence to Adults May be a Function of Unreported Increased Violence to Children The Institute for Media Education Interim Report.
[5] Each State provides its own definitions of child abuse based on minimum standards set by Federal law. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) serves as a basic template for future refinements according to each State.
[6] ‘Sexual Abuse or Abuse of Justice?’ By Richard Lacayo, Time Magazine, May 11, 1987,
[7] ‘Lies of the Mind’ – Repressed-memory therapy is harming patients, devastating families and intensifying a backlash against mental-health practitioners By Leon Jaroff, Time Magazine, November 29 1993.
Advertisements

2 comments

  1. How about how the system inflates child abuse rates in order to proclaim an “epidemic” of abuse to justify laws that increase government encroachment on the Constitutional rights of citizens?

    Judith Reisman isn’t exactly the greatest reference because she has an agenda, much like the victim industry advocates that post outrageous claims of widespread abuse.

    Like

    1. I agree – that is also part of the overall picture. I cover this aspect in other posts. There is mileage on both sides of the debate. i.e. there is certainly the kind of psychological leverage you suggest (entrapment, political-gender biased statistics) My view is that child abuse is in endemic within certain societies, but by no means all.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s