Sex, Lies and Society II: Paedophilia

“Ex LostProphets singer, Ian Watkins: “Described in court as a “determined and committed paedophile”, Watkins, 36, admitted the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13; conspiring to rape a child; three counts of sexual assault involving children; seven counts of making or possessing indecent images of children; and one of possessing an extreme image involving a sex act on an animal.”

– the Gig Cartel


Paedophilia – another form of psychopathy?

Paedophilia, from the Greek pais meaning ‘child’ is defined as an adult who is sexually attracted primarily to prepubescent children, or more literally, “one who loves children.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 111-R), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association, defines paedophilia as: “recurrent, intense, sexual urges and sexual arousing fantasies of at least six months duration involving sexual activity with a pre-pubescent  child.” [1] Another definition that may give us an unambiguous starting point is from authors John Silverman and David Wilson who describe the paedophile as someone who perpetrates “sexual abuse outside of the family, of pre-pubertal children by a physically mature adult, which in extreme cases is a deeply ingrained, life-long, erotic preference.” [2]

Paedophiles, have a sexual orientation which finds children sexually attractive. This doesn’t automatically mean they act out their fantasies. Those that do may or may not have a history of sexual crime. We can also say that extreme acts of violence and sexual aggression committed against juveniles are likely carried out by child rapists i.e. psychopaths. An adult who actually engages in sexual activity with a child with the intent to aggressively rape and abuse the child is a child rapist. This is the kind of abuse that sees the child as an object to rape whereas paedophilia has some concept of “love” or gentleness involved, albeit highly distorted and delusional.

This is, however one defines it, still a form of serious child molestation, though perhaps with a more narcissistic flavour than purely psychopathic. Most paedophiles say they could never “harm” a child in the way a child rapist does.

Nevertheless, there are many different ways to harm a child.

We have also seen the label of paedophilia used as a slur against those who have an erotic fantasy towards, or sexual relations with an adolescent i.e. during puberty or post puberty. This is apparently another form of abuse which is named pederasty derived from the combination of pais (Greek for “boy”) with erastis (Greek for “lover”; cf. eros). This is usually a man who has sex with a boy or girl as the passive partner. Some professionals have attempted to explain pederasty as a sub-category of Ephebophilia which is used to describe those for whom sexual attraction and activity exists regardless of the sex.

Pederasty was famously idealized by the ancient Greeks and Rome as part of what could be considered a moral and educational framework, at least at that time. It could be said that the relationship was not only an excuse for adults to satisfy their needs according to this sexual preference  but was conducted within a wider philosophical belief of erotic love where the relationship commonly represented an overall teaching or “mentoring” which took place outside the family unit. It seems bisexuality was encouraged rather than an exclusive preoccupation with same sex relations.

One can’t help thinking it was merely a way of intellectually justifying a consensus for the practice of abuse by the elect… Yet, it was not only ancient Greece and Rome that favoured a varied fruit basket. According to Aristotle, the Celts had been quite keen on pederasty for some time as were the aristocracy and dynasty families of Northern Italy during the Renaissance, most notably artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Beauty, in all expressions was to be worshipped – and sampled so it seems – regardless of its nature. [3] (Again, one wonders if the child had any say in that “adoration” however rationalised)

Pederasty was also practiced in ancient Japanese culture as well as in Mughal India until British colonization; amongst the Aztecs and Maya prior to the Spanish conquest of Mexico and in China and Central Asia until the early 20th century. The tradition  persists to the present day in certain areas of Afghanistan, the Middle East, North Africa, and Melanesia. So, can there be a cultural pederasty that is benign? It seems to depend on history and culture, but more importantly, whether or not the individual is merely a psychopath indulging his whims. In a modern, Western culture which I believe is already straining under social pathologies inherent at its very inception, pederasty will – 9 times out of 10 – manifest as symptoms of the sociopath or psychopath since they are already “inside the box” of psychologically compromised societies.

ancientgreek1Ancient Greek pottery depicting an older mentor (erastes) with his student eromenos who was to learn about wisdom and philosophy … and a bit more besides by the looks of it.

Paedophilia encompasses high degrees of naricssism and possible genetically inherited psychopathy or psychopathic tendencies. Whilst the paedophile can and does commit abuse under all kinds of self-serving justifications there are also many examples of what we can define as affection or a form of “love.” Psychologist A. Nicolas Groth explains:

[The paedophile] appears to have a high emotional investment in the victim. He seems to regard the victim less as an object and more with a person with whom he identifies. He is interested in maintaining an on-going relationship with the child so that there is repeated sexual access to the same victim over time, and his investment seems to extend beyond the sexual activity. There much more lovemaking and foreplay, kissing and caressing etc., in such encounters. Paedophilia appears to be equally distributed across all socioeconomic, educational, and professional levels. It does not appear to diminish with time. [4]

As mentioned, the child rapist is in a different category which has nothing to do with distorted erotic “love” which for the paedophile, may often be as a result of suffering abuse themselves. Rather, the victim is threatening to the offender; an object to release hostility and rage, or sadistic pleasure.  For example, in October 1, 1993, Polly Klass, a 12-year old girl from a middle class family in Petaluma, California became the victim of what could be called a situational child molester, Richard Allen Davis. This psychopath abducted the girl from her slumber party by climbing in through the open window, brutally raping and strangling her to death. There are obviously different degrees for such crimes where violence may be absent but the victim is seen as an object to manipulate sexually all the same.

Paedophilic child molestation could be said to fall into three groups: heterosexual, homosexual and indiscriminate. There are also the respective age groups such as adolescent, the middle-aged (and/or married) and the elderly. The former definition becomes less reliable when we pose some of these questions: How young is “young” before deviancy comes into play? What about adolescents “abusing” other adolescents deemed consensual by both parties? What part does the sexual precociousness of the emerging heterosexual/homosexuality of boys and girls play in the solicitation towards the adult harbouring latent responses of erotic desire? What are the distinctions between violent and aggressive abuse, as well as the blurring of the age of consent, experimentation and clear transgressions via the older participant and enforcer? How do we distinguish between significant and consistent interference and a one off aberration due to a myriad of external factors?

This is not to infer that even minor forms of abuse cannot be damaging, but to wrench back some clarity on the issue that may protect the child and innocent parties. One is dependent on the other. We need education that is clear and unequivocal and untainted by politics and sensationalism, though admittedly, that might be a long time in coming. If we are to get a handle on people like Ian Watkins and Jimmy Savile who were both in the public eye and masters of emotional disguise, what does this say about those outside celebrity and ensconced in care homes, prisons, day care centres the military and hospitals?

What of the female paedophile?

Statistically, they appear to exist in far less numbers than men. However, due to the taboo nature of the female paedophile massive underreporting takes place, likely covering up a high incidence of abuse. By 2009 this possibility had been confirmed with an estimated  64,000 women in the UK listed as child sex offenders with 20 percent of a conservative estimate of 320,000 suspected UK paedophiles listed as women.[5]

One documentary to broach the subject of female abuse aired in the UK almost 17 years ago.“The Sexual Abuse by Women of Children and Teenagers” by the BBC’s social and current affairs series Panorama explored a very taboo issue indeed. [6] The programme suggested that though female abuse may still be lower than male abuse, it was vastly underestimated in scope and frequency with up to as many as 250,000 having been abused as children by women in the UK alone. As we will see when we explore the nature of the lesser known female psychopath, it is because we have been used to seeing paedophilia as male dominated that we experience a cognitive dissonance when we are forced to contemplate the idea of female predators preying on children. We must also bear in mind that Watkins’ victims were in some cases provided by their mothers…And yet, this incredulity remains as strong as ever.

Together with a pragmatic evaluation of male and female paedophilia and psychopathy, we must  truly differentiate between the paedophile and/or pederast who “loves” his victim and the child rapist /molester who seeks to destroy the soul and body of his prey.  They are both serious abuse. The difference is, one may offer the potential for assistance in order to address and ameliorate his or her condition so that s/he can take their place in society. The other would laugh at such an idea and go on doing what is in his nature to do: prey on the vulnerable.

In my view, we have no choice but to understand the nature of these sexual deviances in the hope of providing cognitive and drug-based cures for the paedophile or pederast who places his or her own desires at the expense of the child’s. Condemnation for those paedophiles who want to be cured can only restrict the possibility of reducing such crimes. Cutting edge forms of rehabilitation and therapy must be paid for by society and afforded to those who want it. Most importantly, we need a new awareness of the crimes of the psychopath so that  preventative measures and societal protection can be organised.

Abusers like Watkins  showed “no remorse” for his crimes, using his public persona to get away with serial rape against the most vulnerable. This suggests sexual psychopathy and society needs protection against such people rather than wasting money on pointless therapy. (This realisation will become more pertinent as we explore the Establishment networks later on). Conversely, there are paedophiles who have committed crimes, served time and who are diagnosed as having the potential for combating their desires. Yet, thanks to austerity cuts and an historical underfunding they will not have the support available to assist them in battling these demons. In some cases individuals have taken their own lives rather than live with the truth that they are paedophiles.

Some would understandably say, good riddance.

Yet, if we are to tackle this pathology then practices which were having some success need to be researched and extended, not as some politically correct sop but for the sake of future generations and the promise of community stability.

The Offending Cycle

From a British perspective, authors John Silverman and David Wilson provide some important research regarding reasons why we must tackle the issue of paedophilia and the issue of “labelling.” It also places the focus on the equally irresponsible action of the tabloids in the UK and media abroad, where people are labelled as paedophiles through rumour rather than fact – often when they have been innocent of wrongdoing. This has ruined lives. The authors suggest that if we are to tackle this problem then sex offenders have to be given treatment rather than demonisation and condemnation no matter how justified we may feel it isn’t going to manage the the problem.

Discovering whether a paedophile is a damaged being  with hope for treatment or whether s/he is simply a psychopath exhibiting paedophilic preferences is the overarching challenge.

In their research, “Wolf’s Offending Cycle” is mentioned which they describe as “a measure used by forensic psychologists to plot the route which can lead to paedophile behaviour.” A poor self-image and low self-esteem leads to repeated feelings of rejection and failure. This energizes an already potent world of fantasy to which the individual escapes into whenever he can. If not sexual to begin with, then they may quickly progress towards fantasies and masturbation. For some paedophiles, child pornography acts as a short-term drug and in combination with other facets of an offender’s profile can be viewed as a rehearsal to actualize their fantasies. For paedophiles rather than sexual psychopaths, minor offences ensue, from loitering to the “grooming” of children. Guilt and shame may make an appearance but are usually overwhelmed by rationalisations, the severity of which may indicate how much narcissism is present. In some cases a spiral of self-destruction eventuates where they feel the only way out is suicide. This cycle is unstoppable by the time it enters the criminal justice system. Of those beyond the law this cycle must be fed without compromising their notoriety which is why we may find more psychopaths in power in this context than anywhere else.

It may be so that paedophilia cannot be definitely cured but the evidence suggests it can be preemptively managed in many cases.  There are individuals who struggle desperately to prevent these desires from being expressed, often at great cost. While methods of incarceration, medications and even chemical castration have proved largely unsuccessful there are progressive and beneficial programs such as cognitive behavioural therapy combined with psychopharmacological treatments. But the medical and political establishment is resistant to the idea of altering present programs on a larger scale. [7]

The lack of multi-disciplinary approaches to problem solving stems from the ponerisation of our institutions that continually prevent large scale adoption of creative initiatives. With such an understandable stigma attached to paedophilia, sufferers who do want to be treated are hardly encouraged to come forward in a climate of hatred. (Psychopaths of course would never give “therapy” a second thought of course as they are doing what comes naturally). Despite the low level of recidivism in sex offenders compared to others who commit serious crimes, the effects are far greater and enmeshed in the wider symptoms of pathology currently manifesting.

The following passage describes Julia Long’s evaluations on this matter. A psychologist and experienced therapist in charge of running HMP Grendon’s Sex Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP) in England she believes that: “… If you repeatedly ask people to identify themselves as paedophiles, then that becomes their identity. I have seen that within treatment settings.”

She continues:

When I was on the wing at Grendon there was pressure from all the other sex offenders to get everyone who had offended against a child to accept that they were paedophiles, whether that offender had offended against an eighteen-month old baby or a fifteen yearold girl. The more I thought about it over the years, the more I felt that insisting somebody accepts that as their identity, time and time again acts as a sort of risk factor. There must be lots of people outside that have fantasies about children, but who don’t offend against them. Perhaps that’s because their identity is so much more than simply being an offender. ‘I feel like offending against this girl, but I’m not going to because I’m a social worker, because I’m a father, because I’m so many other things that protect me from having to act out that fantasy.’ If all your identity is that you are a paedophile, that’s your label – that’s who you are first and foremost – then it’s almost as if you have nothing to lose. You are going to be a paedophile whether you offend or don’t offend. [8] [Emphasis mine]

The above refers to those who are usually former victims of abuse. Referencing those who are exhibiting an essential psychopathy this would not apply and would amount to a false appeasement with no remedy in sight. This also conforms to the notion of narcissism that is presently reigning as the primary effect of large scale ponerogenesis. If society is in the process of blurring or eroding traditional roles in favour of a vacuum of narcissistic and gender confused influences this may feed into stimulating latent pathologies.  Similarly, if you tell the child that he is worthless often enough through both conscious oppression and the “invincible force” of subconscious projection, he will become precisely that which the parent is ostensibly trying to “avoid.”

In truth, the parents are merely projecting all of their own accumulated abuse and /or narcissistic tendencies onto the child thereby perpetuating the cycle of emotionally “distant” or damaged persons. Children cannot be anything other than the negative embodiment of self-loathing and insecurity implanted into their own minds before any identity can be formed. This can be likened to the public’s role in projecting their fears onto groups and individuals manifesting the aberrant deviancy such as paedophilia. As the condition is pathologically narcissistic at root, this has symbolic and literal implications for society as a whole.

 Capture

The Hollywood offering on the subject of paedophilia is The Woodsman (2004) starring Kevin Bacon as a convicted child molester who must adjust to life after prison. It was lauded by critics and public alike and provides an unsentimental and thoughtful overview of the paedophile and his demons, the relationship to family, community, police and care services as well as insights into conflicting thoughts in Bacon’s character. These are the paedophiles in desperate need of help and who are left to perpetrate their crimes again due to revulsion and the consequent ostracisation. We can also see how this particular category of paedophile is used as the perfect patsy for the serial child rapists who inhabit the establishment and use such people as a cover for their activities. The latter paedophile has a condition akin to the drug addict or alcoholic all of whom need support to conquer or manage these demons, often neurologically hard-wired. To do so benefits our communities and societies, an understanding that is inimical to Official Culture.


Another former psychologist who also worked at the prison confirmed the data that in her experience much of what passed for paedophilia did not involve physical harm to children. She recalled that: “… some types of sexual offenders would be repulsed by the idea of physically harming a child. What’s driving them is the sense of wanting to be close to a child inappropriately and wrongly, and in the process of achieving this harm might be caused to the child which is terrible, but not necessarily posing a threat to the life of that child.” [9]

This is a key difference that is often lost in the hysteria of baying for blood while the true psychopathic child rapists within Establishment circles continue their abuse undeterred and with absolute impunity. The authors reiterate the substantial and consistent research that proves that paedophilia expressing itself through violence, coercion and the extreme end of offences such as torture, rape and murder is rare. As mentioned, this is the province of the psychopath and child rapist.

A report from the US Department of justice showed that only 3.3 percent of all registered sex offenders re-offend confirming that it is the smallest re-offence rate of all crimes. [10] At the same time, paedophiles can reoffend up to twenty years later. The difference between the paedophile that strives to control his need to express his exclusively sexual attraction to children, (which he defines as “love,” however narcissistic) as oppose to those with psychopathic tendencies of the child rapist, must be given the drug treatments needed to control these impulses, although the definitive curing of this condition may prove impossible without large-scale adoption of cognitive therapy and drugs.

While most predatory paedophiles’ behaviour follows an increasing trend that develops over time as a chronology of extremes, there are cases that present instructive insights into the complexity of the condition, not least the workings of the human brain. One example included a man with a brain tumour who became a paedophile overnight and obsessed with sex to such an extent that resulted in the molestation of a child. [11]  Other research indicates that endocrine system disorders may have a connection to the manifestation of paedophilia.[12]

This underscores the uncharted nature of neurology, sexuality and their connections to societal programming. Which means we have to be doubly careful with our conclusions, most especially when Establishment manipulations are involved. As opposed to wilful psychopathic child rapists who have no interest in curbing their compulsions (many of whom are to be found in government it seems) it is in all of our best interests that paedophiles, as defined above, are given all the psychological care that they need so that their crimes can be understood and prevented as any other addiction.

Paedophiles used as a collective projection for all our frustrations and dark denials can only lead to pushing these pathologies underground. That way undoubtedly lies further madness.

 


Notes

[1] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 111-R), published by the American Psychiatric Association, Vol. 3 1987.
[2] Innocence Betrayed – Paedophilia, Media and Society By Jon Silverman and David Wilson. Published by Polity Press, 2002 | ISBN 0-7456-2889-3.
[3] Politics, Aristotle II 6.6. Athen. XIII 603a., Strabo (iv. 199).
[4] op. cit. Groth (pp.153-154)
[5] ‘Up to 64,000 women in UK ‘are child-sex offenders’’ By Mark Townsend and Rajeev Syal, The Observer, October 4, 2009.
[6] The Sexual Abuse by Women of Children and Teenagers UK TV Programme, Panorama, BBC1, 10 pm Monday 6th October 1997.
[7] TV review: ‘Breaking a Female Paedophile Ring; The World’s Tallest Man: Looking for Love’ The Guardian, by John Grace, May 26, 2011.
[8] ‘The Treatment of Sexual Deviation Using a Pharmacological Approach’ Journal of Sex Research, by John McDonald, Wilson Bradford, August, 2000.
[9]    op. cit. Wilson; Bradford (p.33)
[10]  op. cit. Wilson; Bradford (p.34)
[11] ‘Brain tumour causes uncontrollable paedophilia’ By Charles Choi, 21 October 2002, newscientist.com news service:  “A brain tumour caused a 40-year-old man to become obsessed with sex and to molest children, doctors have reported. The married schoolteacher from the United States, who had no previous history of sex offences, had an egg-sized tumour in the right lobe of the orbifrontal cortex, according to a report from newscientist.com. This is the part of the brain responsible for judgement, impulse control and social behaviour.”
[12] ‘Paedophilia and hyperprolactinaemia’ P Harrison, P Strangeway, J McCann and J Catalan Department of Anatomy, St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London. The case of a man presenting with paedophilia who has found to be hyperprolactinaemic is described. There is possibly a link between paedophilia and endocrine disorders. The British Journal of Psychiatry 155: 847-848 (1989) © 1989 The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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