child trafficking

Europhilia II: Casa Pia and Catholic Rumours

“Australian investigative TV program 60 minutes recently aired a program that exposes the fact that high level British politicians, government ministers, intelligence, police and military chiefs have all been involved in decades-long, systematic sexual abuse, rape and murder of hundreds or perhaps thousands of children as young as 8 years old.”

Spies, Lords and Predators: Australian 60 minutes program exposes British political child rapists


Over the last decade a rising number of politicians and celebrities have appeared in the press charged with child rape/paedophile ring crimes.  The Portuguese diplomat, former ambassador to South Africa and Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Jorge Ritto was one of many jailed in November 2002 for his part in Portugal’s Casa Pia “paedophilia” scandal. It was to become one of the most notorious cases of serious sexual abuse, where young children were procured from the orphanage for a network of high profile molesters. [1]    As is usual with such cases, the innocent and guilty are likely mixed up together in order to protect the involvement of more important members of the Establishment.

Casa Pia is one of Portugal’s oldest and most respected public institutions and runs 10 homes caring for 4,500 children. Not only were photographs depicting paedophile activities were found at Ritto’s house in the town of Estoril, 20 miles from Lisbon, but four children who had gone missing from the orphanage were also discovered, where they had spent several days allegedly under lock and key. The Portuguese Attorney General’s Office had confirmed it began investigations into the Ritto affair in 1982, but abandoned them in 1987 for lack of evidence. Files relating to the case mysteriously disappeared as is usual in most cases involving alleged systematic abuse. This Casa Pia ring was thought to have been in existence for over twenty years and although government authorities knew about the abuse, they chose to remain silent.

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Carlos Cruz, Jorge Ritto et al

Ritto was also a close friend of UNESCO’s Secretary General, Koichiro Matsura and other high level officials. Other well-known names within politics and entertainment who were also indicted included among others, Herman Jose, a celebrated comic and host of a Sunday night talk show and Carlos Cruz, a former talk show and quiz show host. Even the Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio appeared on television in January 2004 to denounce accusations that he was in any way involved in the abuse.

Police arrested a driver for the network of Casa Pia, Carlos Silvino after allegations from former residents that he abused children and procured boys for powerful clients, photos of which were found in Silvino’s possession. He faced 35 charges of sexually molesting four children over a three-year period. His alleged victims included a boy with mental disabilities, and another who was deaf and mute. He denied the allegations.

62863473-pedro-namora

Pedro Namora, a former Casa Pia resident, says he was among those who suffered sexual abuse

A former politician and secretary of state for families, Teresa Costa Macedo, claimed to have sent a dossier containing photographs and testimonies from children to the police 20 years ago detailing the activities of the paedophile ring but no action was taken. The minister did however receive a considerable amount of threats to keep quiet. She explained that Mr. Silvino: “… was just one element in a huge paedophile network that involved important people in our country, It wasn’t just him. He was a procurer of children for well-known people who range from diplomats and politicians to people linked to the media. “There are photographs, an account of the methods used to spirit children out of the orphanage and testimonies of a number of children,” she explained.  [2] Silvino appears to have played a role very much like that of Dutroux. Such persons are designated “fall-guys” who take the blame on behalf of their handlers.

Of the 600 orphans at Casa Pia that received counselling 128 had been abused. Pedro Strecht, a child psychologist, said “Many wouldn’t speak, for fear or shame. We are trained to recognise if children are exaggerating or inventing stories. The testimonies we have heard demonstrate the magnitude of the tragedy.” Casa Pía’s new director, Catalina Pestana, stated that most of the abuse occurred to children ages 10 to 13 where “Muscles were torn and tissue was ripped, and some have lost control of their sphincters…” With this level of abuse it is no surprise that psychologists there estimated that “…only about two-thirds of those abused will admit the ordeal.” [3]

Like the Dutroux case, the trail faced obstructions and delays, hearing more than 700 witnesses before finally ending at the end of 2005. A spokeswoman from the children’s charity Innocence in Danger mentioned the pattern of politicians and Establishment figures suddenly transforming into “knights in shining armour,” usually after a deafening silence in response to persistent warnings. Commenting on the Casa Pia case she explained:  “They, like the police, must have known about the widespread abuse of children in Portuguese institutions for years. They have been warned often enough by charities such as ours but for reasons best known to them have remained silent. Their recent acts of breast-beating are outright hypocrisy… Time and time again complaint files are lost, witnesses are seldom interviewed and suspects let off the hook.” [4] (This is reminds us of similar “knights” within the BBC and government who had no problem decrying sexual psychopath Jimmy Savile OBE and blaming on a “discourse of disbelief.”

Others who were later accused included the leader of the Portuguese socialist party, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, and his political protégé, 38 year-old former employment minister Paulo Pedroso. The latter continued to protest his innocence insisting that he was the victim of a calumny: ‘I have never participated in any act of paedophilia or any similar act,’ he told a press conference just before his arrest. Ten persons were finally charged in December 2003, Pedroso among them, still claiming he was a victim of a smear campaign. Attorney General Jose Souto Moura said the 10 were indicted on charges of “sexually abusing minors, rape and organising a paedophile ring.” [5]

After a series of delays the trial finally got under way in October 2003. The defence’s request for the removal of the presiding judge due to lack of impartiality raised suspicions that the Judiciary knew something the jury didn’t. Nevertheless, after a short appeal the judge threw out the case against Paulo Pedroso who had already spent four months in custody. His release was granted after lawyers successfully argued that his “preventative detention” was not justified. He was shortly reinstated as a Member of Parliament in the same month.

Two other suspects – TV comedian Herman Jose and archaeologist Francisco Alves also had the charges dropped by an investigating magistrate. Uncertainty as to the witness validity which led to the imprisonment of Carlos Cruz has also been discussed in some sectors of the media. What is without doubt is that such a hot potato will be used as a political weapon to oust opponents adding to an already smoke-filled issue. (Indeed, in 2013, further indictments and referrals were filed at the Lisbon Criminal Court).

Following dawn raids throughout Italy in November 2004 a regional arm of a global file-sharing ring busy swapping pornographic videos and photographs was broken. Much of the material was traced to Russia. The Italian postal police were able to monitor and detect a particular system that allowed reciprocal access to hard disk files “that eventually allowed investigators to amass more than 3,000 items of paedophile pornography.” [6] However, after over 100 searches this only led to four arrests, though from the information gathered many more arrests followed in over 65 countries.

Italian prosecutors underlined the repeating pattern of international paedophile rings that were becoming ever more violent and horrific. The videos in question depicted “sobbing three or four-year-old children with knives being held to their throats,” and photographs of “tortured children, subjected to violence of all kinds.” [7]

magistratura

The trend for an underground market that demanded increasing extremes of abuse and even murder continues to shock seasoned investigators, most of whom admit that this is only the beginning. While taking into account the many entrapment operations and associated corruption mentioned previously, child pornography is a growing market.

In 2000, an Italian prosecutor, Alfredo Ormanni charged 1,491 Italians and foreign nationals with offering or downloading child pornography on the Internet. Though the definitions as to what child porn constituted was still as vague in Italy, as it was in America and the UK, Italy did uncover a particularly dark example of a sophisticated ring of abuse. Yet while Italy has a history of abuse from a melding of the military and the Catholic Church, each time it has been discovered that the arteries to such genuine abuse lead back to Russia.

In Moscow three Russians who were said to have headed the ring were picked up. Dmitri Kuznetsov, aged 31, was arrested in Moscow in February; Andrej Valeri Minaev, formerly of the Soviet military and owner of a company that distributes TV video cassettes and Valeri Ivanov, the abuser who appeared in many recordings tormenting young children on tape was the only one of the three to be sentenced to 11 years in prison. But the two other suspects were charged only with distributing pornography and were later released after the Russian parliament passed an amnesty law to reduce the number of internees.

What distinguished the ring from others run along similar commercial lines was the extreme nature of the material. Police spokesman stated: “The pictures are unbearable for normal people to watch. Here are prolonged rape sequences with children begging to be spared. They are abused until they faint. Then they are murdered before the cameras… Yes, there are even scenes of actual autopsies on young people.” Police in Torre Annunziata, south of Neapel, led the investigation in collaboration with police in Moscow. While most of the arrested were Italians, one was a Russian citizen. Of the Italians, all were from upper middle class status including a civil servants and businessmen. [8]

In Naples, the Russian paedophile ring ran the operation to kidnap children from orphanages, circuses and public parks and film them while they were forced to commit sexual acts. “The material cost between $400 and $6,000 for each video or disc depending on the type of film the customer wanted – the more horrific, the more costly.” A Naples based internet crime operation reported that the Russian paedophile ring ran a well-oiled business: “… to kidnap children from orphanages, circuses and public parks and film them while they were forced to commit sexual acts.” […] …the service was divided into several categories. ‘SNIPE’’ was the term given by the ring for videos of children filmed nude without their knowledge. ‘CP’ was the code word for ordering an item from a paedophile’s ‘private collection.’The most gruesome, was coded ‘NECROS PEDO,’ in which children were raped and tortured to death, Investigators gathered images of more than 2,000 children who were filmed while being abused, raped and in one case killed. [9]  Ormanni told Italian news agency ANSA: “… he believed those accused in Italy would cooperate with the court and may thereby avoid a jail sentence.” He also mentioned one reason why the abuse continued was due to the existence of “a paedophile lobby that acts in broad daylight and probably with the support, which I could consider unwitting, of certain political parties…”  [10]

In May 2005 Italian police were fighting a losing battle, this time investigating 186 people after uncovering an Internet pornography site for paedophiles that once again showed young children being tortured. “Police said the anonymous web site had been protected by a password and was only accessible for nine days last year in an apparent effort to avoid detection.” Three priests were also implicated. [11]  The global internet paedophile ring that was uncovered through the initial investigations of the Morkoven Group came from Gerrie Ulrich, convicted paedophile and a key member of the ring who was murdered in Italy. Another Italian citizen charged in the Wonderland ring had over 180,000 images. So called child torture is big on the list of crimes now surfacing under global anti-paedophile ring operations.

As the media attention died down this did not change Alfredo Ormanni’s view that “a network of politicians and institutional figures had obstructed the investigation and tried to protect the guilty.” He believes there is still “a paedophile lobby that acts in broad daylight and probably with the support, which I could consider unwitting, of certain political parties …”  While Father Fortunato Di Noto, the priest whose whistleblowing of the abuse proved so crucial to police, “claimed ministers were refusing to act on evidence.” [12] Paedophiles in power simply closed ranks when the investigations came too close. Both men maintained such networks extended to the top levels of the Catholic Church.

vatican-city-europe Vatican (wikipedia)

With memories of state-sponsored Gladio units causing horrific terrorists acts in Europe the story in Italy at the time found that fascist branches of the secret police, paramilitary organisations, the CIA and State collusion were by-products of the reaction against perceived communist infiltration. In fact, one of multiple reasons may have included a way to maintain various underworld crime and child rape networks. [13]  This connects with the prevalence of child abuse in the Catholic Church and the Vatican, not least the historical background of Satanism and child abuse already prevalent in wartime Italy.  If we have a serious infection occurring within the traditions of the Italian Church, then one may justifiably conclude that such a ponerisation is advanced in the already weakened domains of society, that have traditionally served as fertile grounds for criminal activities. There are, as usual, some double standards at work that could support sequestered channels leading to high level prosecutions. These actions are unlikely to touch the orchestrators of the networks themselves.

 


Notes

[2] ‘Portugal’s elite linked to paedophile ring’ BBC News, November 2002.
[3] ‘School Paedophilia Scandal Shakes Portuguese Society’ The New York Times, October 9, 2003.
[4] ‘Arrest of Portugal’s elite in paedophile scandal’ World Socialist Website, Paul Mitchell, 18 June 2003.
[5] ‘Portugal child sex charges issued’ BBC News, 29 December, 2003.
[6] ‘Global child sex ring exposed’ The Guardian, November 26, 2004.
[7] Ibid.
[8] ‘Pedofil-företag mördade barn inför kamera’ by Ake Malm and Annika Sohlander, http://www.aftonbladnet.se
[9] ‘1,491 charged in International Internet paedophilia case’ Reuters/Silicon Valley News October 28, 2000.
[10] Ibid.
[11] ‘Italian Police Investigating Website for Pedophiles,’ Reuters, May 25, 2005.
[12] ‘Italian pedophile scandal goes all the way to the top’ by Rory Carroll, The Guardian, 01 Nov 2000.
[13] NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser, Published by Routledge; 1 edition 2005, ISBN-10: 0714685003.
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Europhilia I

By M.K. Styllinski

“Part of the great mystery and scandal that accompanied the [Dutroux] case was the relentless incompetence of the authorities, at that time led by the Justice Minister, Melchior Wathelet. For years, as victims were kidnapped and murdered, police files were full of reports and tip-offs that Dutroux was selling young girls. Yet Dutroux stayed free.

In the end Mr Wathelet was forced to resign in disgrace. And his reward for incompetence in the administration of Justice was – to be appointed a judge at the European Court of Justice. That would be like our chief executive of the Financial Regulator, Patrick Neary, being appointed head of NAMA. Which would be a joke. But having anyone involved in any way with the horrors of the bungled Dutroux investigation appointed to one of Europe’s most senior judicial positions is no joke. It is, however, a good measure of the arrogance of the euro-elite towards what might be called the plain people of Europe.”

– Mary Ellen Synon, Irish Daily Mail


mitsuo susuki plants

The Marc Dutroux child abduction and murder case caused the police and judicial systems to spring into action across Europe, forming closer connections and joint initiatives with law enforcement agencies world-wide. New operational procedures and affiliations came into being and whole new departments were created tasked with the investigation and prosecution of human traffickers and internet-based paedophile rings. There have been successes, of that there is no doubt. While many innocent persons have been convicted, along with opportunistic and small-time paedophiles without convictions or any violent tendencies, one wonders just how many of those with higher profiles were prosecuted. Very few, it seems, if any.

As mentioned, 1996 was a pivotal year for an explosion of child murder and abuse related cases. It was a year that saw hidden networks unravelling, at least in the lower tiers of the social pyramid. It may also have been a year when those in Establishment circles decided to employ specific tactics to further scapegoat society and thereby protect themselves from the inevitable information explosion care of the internet. As we may recall, the corruption of law enforcement authorities and intelligence agencies and their highly suspect methods for dealing with the commercial proliferation in child pornography is open to question. Nevertheless, the trade and exchange of child pornography remains a reality. Investigations over what was known as the Orchid Club hit the headlines.

Live Internet, real-time transmissions of children being sexually abused, ranging in age from five to ten years, formed the basis of membership. At least eight children were known to have been molested in connection with the secret club. A typical example was that of a 5-year old somewhere in the Mid-western United States who was molested while at least 11 men watched and asked for specific types of abuse to be carried out. Digital technology was also utilized allowing many of the images to be displayed in real time and with optimum quality. A password restricted chat room acted as the primary cyber location for members to exchange child pornography and to share their various tales of the sexual abuse of children. The images were sent over the Internet to Orchid Club members in nine states and four countries, where descriptions of their most recent sexual molestation would grant them membership. Sixteen men were subsequently indicted for their involvement to produce pornographic images and videotapes.

Of the known countries, the ring extended into the United States, United Kingdom, Finland, Canada and Australia. Over an eighteen month period some prosecutions were made possible, though many members proved untraceable due to the use of anonymous re-mailers, which means another computer acts as mediator and blocks the identity of the user.

In 1998 investigations of three British members of Orchid led police to the Wonderland Club. This was to be touted as the world’s most sophisticated child pornography ring, which needed the same extensive link-up between European police forces including Interpol, US Customs and UK National Criminal Intelligence Service, all of whom assisted in the organization of simultaneous arrests.

The Wonderland Club had over 180 members in the United States, Belgium, Norway, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Italy, France, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Membership was by invitation only with a mandatory nomination and approval of prospective candidates. A special requirement for membership was to own and display at least 10,000 child pornographic images that had to be original and without duplications of images already present within the Club. This was a ring that was marketing and selling images of some horrific forms of abuse with a very steady market demand. Members had access to some extremely sophisticated computer equipment and security systems including network encrypted files and codes developed by the Soviet KGB. [1] One member from the United States was found with a database of more than 100,000 pornographic images of children.

Coordination of the operation code named “Cathedral” was carried out by the newly formed unit of the National Crime Squad based in London. On the first day over 100 suspected paedophiles/child molesters in 12 countries were arrested. Police in Germany arrested 10 persons in raids across seven states. These raids indicated that 200 people were involved in making child pornographic videos for the Internet. In the initial sweep, there were 11 arrests in UK, 32 in the United States, 8 in Norway, 3 in Italy, and 5 in France. More arrests were made in the days that followed the initial crackdown.

How many were guilty of serious crimes is still a moot point. What is highly probable is that high ranking Wonderland members who inhabited sensitive posts within Whitehall or the Oval Office were quietly side-lined for blackmail purposes and/or immediate protection. Meanwhile, the Joe-six-pack paedophile carried the can for the raids.

The sentencing imposed on those found guilty is also indicative of a certain judicial predisposition. From a report during the trials in the UK: “The maximum sentence they can receive is three years in prison and they are likely to serve much less. The tariff is due to be raised soon to ten years but too late for these men. And it may not be the end of the club. David Hines says, ‘ they’ll hide up and then they’ll go looking for each other and they’ll regroup and the group will eventually be as big as it was, with new members and with all the old pictures still floating around out there.’ ” [2] And further: An enormous amount of pictures were uncovered from the defendants’ homes, as well as computerised videos depicting children suffering degrading sexual abuse. Passing sentence at Kingston Crown Court, Judge Kenneth Macrae told the seven men: ‘You directly or indirectly exploited the most vulnerable in our society. Children represent the future. They should be cared for and protected.’ […] All of the children involved were under the age of 16 and in one case the child was only three months.” [3]

The highest sentence given to the organizers and perpetrators of these crimes was a mere two years. The leniency shown at such sentencing was mystifying to all. They are now, no doubt continuing their trade. The director of child protection charity Kidscape, Dr Michelle Elliott, said: “You would get a longer sentence for accumulating masses of parking tickets or for burglary. It sends a clear message that these crimes are not being taken seriously.” [4]


 “The governments of the European Union avert their gaze when it comes to trafficking children, despite having signed on to the Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Trafficking and Child Pornography. A 2002 report by Europol, the European Law Enforcement Agency, on the trafficking of human beings into the EU, shows that most of the 15 member states keep no relevant statistics at all. Only four provide any concrete information, with the majority reporting that figures are ‘not available’ or ‘not given.’ ”

– ‘Trafficking Human Misery’ By Richard Tyler WSWS, 25 October, 2003


In July 1998, The Morkhoven child protection group, handed over CD-ROM computer disks that Dutch police believed to be “crucial evidence in their investigation of an international paedophile ring, circulating child pornography on the Internet.” [5] More than 9,000 images were found in the Zandvoort, Netherlands in the apartment of paedophile, Gerrie Ulrich who had co-run the child pornography ring. This evolved into the investigation of The Netherlands Club.

The disks contained images of child abuse with names and addresses of a child porn/vice ring which was operating in the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, Israel and Russia. Morkhoven also discovered lists of American, Russian, German and Israeli citizens, who, it says, received the material over the Internet. It was to be the largest cache of paedophiliac material ever seized. [6]  The short films and photographs found by the police were so shocking they caused one psychologist and police consultant to comment: “‘for professional reasons I have seen a lot of such porn,’” he said, ‘but this left me speechless. It looks like the perpetrators are not dealing with human beings but with objects.’” Some of the children being abused are infants and toddlers, he said.” [7] Some of the pornography was made with babies ranging from 12 to 15 months old. One film, titled “Oh Daddy,” shows balding middle-aged men raping 5-and 8-year old girls. It seems from the footage viewed, sedation may have been used on many of the babies and toddlers as their reactions during the torture and abuse were barely noticeable. Although most of the material was found in the Netherlands it was believed that the bulk of the finds was Eastern Europe and posted on the net in the United States.

In March 2001, due to the familiar heel-dragging of authorities on this and the associated elements within the Dutroux case, legal advisor to the Morkhoven Group, Patricia van der Smissen wrote on their behalf to the Minister of Justice and the President of the European Parliament. She requested support in carrying out systematic research to identify the children and adults seen in the material that contained graphic scenes of rape and torture on children. Action on the whereabouts and identity of these children was painfully slow and to this day remains unknown.

Van der Smissen also asked for resources for the Neufchâteau Public Prosecutor’s Department in where many files had been opened as a consequence of the Dutroux case. Smissen hoped for an office to be opened specifically charged with professionally analysing this material. It was not until several years later that the CD ROMS and the files from the Dutroux case would lead back to more high level child rape networks extending from Belgium, The Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, France, Australia, Germany, and the United Nations; finally leading back to the centralized vacuum of the USA from which most of the networks originally began.

Most European countries in any one month will have a case of child pornography in a “professional” or amateur capacity. The repeating link with the Balkans cropped up as a major nexus point for child pornography on top of the already expanding trade in human trafficking. This is understandable being a traditional stronghold of Russian-Jewish and Albanian mafia markets in these regions.

In August of 1999, Latvia police uncovered a child prostitution/porn ring in Riga involving over 2,000 children. Latvian officials were rumoured to be connected with the abuse and a parliamentary commission was set up and a report issued in the following year linking a number of high level officials, military, policemen and politicians – including the Prime Minister and Justice Minister. A smear campaign was swiftly launched against the commission chairman to distract attention away from the evidence. Latvia’s laws make it easy for child molesters to access children. One man ran a photo-video agency which prosecutors say was also “involved in supplying models for child porn and abuse both to prominent members of Latvian society and to visiting foreigners. Many of the children featured were from orphanages.” [8]

Rivalry between Belarus and Latvia is claimed by some to be behind some of the allegations including the recent furore regarding the second secretary of the Latvian Embassy who was accused of starring in “a dirty homosexual orgy” and distributing pornography. [9] This followed on from the jailing of Belarusian based company executives totalling 25 years for running a child porn ring from the US which catered to thousands of subscribers worldwide and depicting “images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.” The Belarus firm and Connections USA in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, collected $3 million in credit-card memberships to various pornographic Web sites during a six-month period ending in August, where fifteen persons were arrested in New Jersey as part of the scheme, including: “a family physician, three previously convicted sex offenders, a campus minister, part-time teacher and church youth coordinator and an 85-year-old retired engineer.” [10]

In the neighbouring country of Estonia child abuse remains an acute problem. This was highlighted by the arrest of an executive director of a crisis hotline service in 2006. According to Estonian media, the charity executive was preying on young boys who had phoned the crisis hotline. He invited them to his home and “made photos with them naked, abused them sexually and filmed porn movies with them. He was also searching for boys through fashion internet portals.” [11]

Slovakian police cooperated with forces in 11 other EU countries and the US to arrest nine men ranging in age from 30 to 52 years, all of them Slovak citizens, on May 10 of 2006. All were charged with the distribution of child pornography.

Belgian and Dutch paedophile groups have long been operating in Portugal. Like Belgium and Holland, the particularly lax laws and indifference of the courts regarding child abuse have resulted in traceable evidence of paedophiles filming young children on the island of Madeira. [12]

But perhaps the most worrying aspect of this techno-pathology and the entrepreneurial nature of this crime was found after a Croatian police sting targeting amateur operations. The trail eventually led back to a Glasgow History and Philosophy student who admitted running a 389 strong international child porn ring from a city centre internet café. [13]

See also: The Netherlands: A Leading Distributor And Producer of Child Pornography


Notes

[1]  Global Crime Report: ‘The Wickedness of Wonderland’ BBC News, 1998.
[2] BBC TV Panorama programme, ‘The Wonderland Club’ reporter: Jane Corbin, aired Sunday  February 11, 2001 and on  February 14, 2001. Child rights groups in the UK criticise the Wonderland Club jail sentences as a “joke” which sends out the wrong message to paedophiles.
[3] ‘Paedophiles jailed for porn ring’ BBC News, 13 February, 2001.
[4] ‘Porn ring ‘was real child abuse’ BBC News, 10 January, 2001.
[5] ‘New evidence in paedophile investigation’ BBC News, July 22, 1998
[6] ‘Dutch Say a Sex Ring Used Infants on Internet’ The New York Times, July 19 1998
[7] Ibid.
[8] ‘Latvian orphans bought for sex’ by Sue Lloyd-Roberts, BBC News, 26 May, 2000.
[9] ‘Belarus Boots Out Latvian “Porn Dealer”’, By Charles Hawley, Speigel Online August 2, 2006.
[10] ‘Belarusian executives get 25 years for child porn’ By Jerry Seper, The Washington Times, August 10, 2006.
[11]  ‘Estonian Crisis Hotline Boss Arrested for Child Porn’ MosNews.com, March 2, 2006.
[12] ‘Dutch Say a Sex Ring Used Infants on Internet’ New York Times, July 19 1998.
[13] ‘Child porn ring run from net café’ BBC News, 14 October 2005.

The Politics of Entrapment V: Terror-Porn Fusion

“… rates of child sexual abuse have declined substantially since the mid-1990s, a time period that corresponds to the spread of CP online. . . . The fact that this trend is revealed in multiple sources tends to undermine arguments that it is because of reduced reporting or changes in investigatory or statistical procedures. . . . [T]o date, there has not been a spike in the rate of child sexual abuse that corresponds with the apparent expansion of online CP.”

Janis Wolak, David Finkelhor and Kimberly Mitchell (2011). “Child Pornography Possessors: Trends in Offender and Case Characteristics”. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment 23 (22). doi:10.1177/1079063210372143.


In the UK, new rules exist that oblige doctors and social workers to give the police any information they have about teenagers’ sex lives. The London Child Protection Committee (LCPC) protocol allows child welfare staff an unjustifiable level of interference in the sex lives of teenagers, which could risk breaching the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the right to privacy enshrined in article eight of the convention. Senior lawyer Stephen Groz commented on the new protocol believing that: “It is particularly hard to see what justification there can be for routine assessment – if that is what is intended – in the case of those in the 16-18 year age group, where the prevention of crime will normally afford no justification at all.” [1] Mandatory sentencing where no clear definition of the crime is known is already steaming ahead. According to one expert, 12 and 13 year-old defendants “are being convicted of relatively minor sexual indiscretions in the crown court, and, if the law operates as it is supposed to, being sentenced to custody when it should be a supervision order.” [2]

With over 2,225 child offenders serving life without parole (LWOP) sentences in U.S prisons for crimes committed before they were age 18, [3] it seems Europe is being set to emulate the this direction. It is no surprise that America’s emerging “soft” fascism cloaked under the pretence of liberty is being welcomed by some governments of Europe.

Labour MP David Blunkett (who resigned in 2006 after yet another financial scandal) would likely have called such concerns “airy-fairy” and those seeking a fair and just system as the “enemy.” Blunkett proceeded to remove the presumption of innocence from the Sexual Offences act of 2003, giving a clear and straight road for court cases to be prosecuted successfully without any evidence. This laid greater emphasis on the prosecution state where, as in the US, you are presumed guilty before being proven innocent. This US version of the law paved the way for their fabrications in Operation Ore where an allegation alone was all it took to convict. That is not to say that all of the reforms have been dangerous. On the contrary, many are to be welcomed, yet those that are suspect are so grave that they tend to create difficulties that eclipse glimmers of progress.

Another stalwart defender of Blair’s Britain was Charles Clarke MP the UK government’s Interior minister who was at pains to tell the European Union that in his view: “The judges both in my country and in the European Court need to understand that the people of Europe … will not for a long time accept that action cannot be taken against people who are offering a real threat to our way of life because of human rights considerations …” [4] This kind of paramoralism is reminiscent of the same use of the Neo-Con theme of “they hate us for our freedoms” so often repeated as a blanket rebuttal for genuine concerns for civil liberties. Nonetheless, the die was cast.

The National Criminal Intelligence Service said in its annual report in 2003 that “more than half of the child porn sites are hosted in the United States” and that “the number of sites coming from Russia has doubled in the past year.” Evangelistic crusades are being encouraged and often waged whipping up a great deal of emotion with little factual data. Child pornography figures in some quarters have been massively overblown or in some cases plucked out of thin air. According to reports from within the US last year a 300 percent rise in internet paedophilia may indicate both a new phenomenon whereby a new technology is utilised but which also reinforces the mythology and lies designed to keep such dynamics firmly in place. If a new crisis is needed then child porn can be used as a “double-bind.” As one journalist recently remarked: “What an irony if the only readily available child porn on the Internet is being maintained by the police and the self-appointed monitors!” [5]

On the evening of January 17 2005, the UK’s Sky News reported on the false evidence used by the UK police in Operation Ore and the overwhelming incidences of corruption.  It remains to be seen if any action will be taken against the police perceived as protector and confidante, is about as far away from reality as it is possible to be. Some men and women in law enforcement know this very well, yet few speak out.

It is likely that much of the child pornography within societies today are produced and distributed underground through an informal but loose-knit networks of paedophiles operating in most European countries with sporadic burgeoning of paedophilia rings arising out of, or adjacent to sexual abuse within neighbourhoods and families. However, with the rise in child trafficking and clear indications of institutionalised child rape networks, child pornography as a multi-billion dollar industry may be, purposely exaggerated. Yet, as a strand in the overall industry of exploitation where billions are indeed accrued, it remains a connected reality, the dividends logically set to increase.

Michael Heimbach, head of the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Unit believes sexual deviants: “… have a real innate need to communicate with others … and sharing experiences. It’s a psychological support base; it makes them say, ‘I’m not so weird’. There are a lot of other people out there that like the same thing I do’’” The current case Heimbach was describing involved “An underground ring of adults who created and trafficked in pornographic videos of naked children being beaten with paddles, hairbrushes and canes.” The “loose-knit” group called the “Spanking Club” were said to have brutally beaten children as young as 4 years old. The club was seen as being influenced and encouraged by the availability of porn and internet chat-rooms where an exchange of fantasies and photos took place.[6]

The more disturbing links to pornography, trafficking and child abuse lead to the front door of the Establishment and naturally remain secured with cast iron protection. We see the guilty and often the innocent placed in prison and taking their own lives while high level paedophiles and child rapists remain above the law. It is also likely that most of the hardcore child porn that does exist is so far underground that it is alongside the impassable domain of the snuff movie where information is almost impossible to come by. For example, the discovery of crimes that may have been continuing undetected for decades are now frequently being seen via the relative “safety” of a closed system known as Internet Relay Chat – IRC – which requires participants to log in using passwords. And many of the paedophiles in question are no amateurs. They can be extremely competent with encryption usage and various other technical ways to avoid entrapment.

The vast majority of stings are carried out by the enormous stores of innocent child nudity and “artistic” erotica that under the laws of the US and increasingly Europe are deemed obscene. As we have seen, this material may also serve as a means to entrap people for private extortion. And what of the recent ruling from the US that effectively all porn is child porn? [7]

We then have the the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act also known as “2257” which now requires adult porn or erotica companies to keep detailed records proving that all the models they use are over the age of 18. These records contain the real names of performers and their addresses which have to be published somewhere online. It does not take a huge leap of logic to realize that this could leave some persons – such as women operating webcam shows from their homes – open to stalking and harassment. Moreover, all sites coming under the new law are required to have their address clearly accessible to all in order to indicate their “place of business.”  To avoid fines and jail terms persons must keep “proper records” and under the new version of 2257, all files that contain every single pornographic or erotic image and film published, must be cross-indexed with age-verification papers for every single performer that features in the stills or movies. This is a huge undertaking meaning massive overhauls for businesses hard drives, the records of which must be kept for seven years. The porn business is up in arms over the law claiming that it curtails significant freedoms. As the same report states: “…they have vast numbers of addresses to punch into their super computer for listing undesirables…. the Patriot Act [8] was used to prosecute people for offences that were not terrorist offences shortly after it became law.” [9]

We can easily forget how insidious these new acts and waiting executive laws really are and how they primed and ready to dispense with all constitutional rights. Clamping down on the business of porn is a red herring. As former director of UK civil rights organization and now a much needed voice as Deputy Chair of the new Independent Police Complaints Commission, John Wadham mentioned recently: “I recall an occasion attempting to argue that even alleged sex offenders have human rights, when confronted by the devastated mother of a child murdered by a sex offender.” [10]  Not an easy prospect, which is why child porn and public pornography in general could be one of the many channels by which we might endure a gradual but comprehensive lock-down on internet freedoms.

The genuine Russian-led examples of burgeoning child trafficking networks are a reality, as are some of the isolated European instances of exploitation. Typical examples include the arrest of five suspects in the Spanish cities of Madrid, Murcia, Lerida and Valencia in 2005. One man was charged with abducting, raping and abusing babies as young as 11 months while the others were charged with filming and distributing images of the abuse on the Internet.[11] Or the British man and father jailed for raping a baby with a sentence that was ridiculously lenient. [12] Both cases were proven instances that child molestation is a growing reality in our societies. This is the nature of the perfect double bind. There are further “politically correct” rulings that funnel more chaos into an already charged domain.

Take the 2004 ruling in the Italian high court that paedophiles can take pornographic photos of children as long as they are not sold for profit. Which means one can share and perpetrate acts of child porn as long as you do not charge for viewing the material, otherwise, it is legal. The report continues: “…that the Court of Cassation in Rome upheld the acquittal by a court in Turin of Antonio B., 45, over photographs that he took when he forced a youth of 13 to carry out sexual acts.”[13]

There are small clues in the above that included “forced” “sexual acts” and “profit.” One wonders what thoughts processes are running through those whose directives one would hope, are first and foremost to protect the interests of children. Similarly, Canada’s BC provincial court also came to the conclusion that possession of child porn represented a clear self-imposed boundary that would not be transgressed by those who chose to view such pornography. A court in Oregon believed a law that prohibited adults from giving minors sexually explicit materials violated the Oregon Constitution’s free speech protections.

There is, as we shall see, a huge difference between an individual who has exploited and even murdered a child for his own gratification and an individual who has been surfing for adult porn. This is the background to much of the prosecutions focused around child pornography. In such an emotive arena all manner of forces are vying for control and have little to do with liberty, least of all for the rights of the child. In effect, child pornography – while certainly encompassing very real predatory beings intent on using the internet to search for prey – is now a term that is used by law enforcement agencies to cover a multitude of sins extending to arts and basic pornography – regardless of its morality.

Let us keep in mind that in 2004 and 2005, three young children were killed by sex offenders. Congress immediately reacted and passed the most unconstitutional child abuse laws in the history of the USA. Yet, while the figures for the prevalence of sexual abuse remains contentious and unresolved, you can bet that the horrendous figures for physical abuse, drug abuse, gang related crime and drunk-driving deaths of children on the roads barely gets a mention. This is not sensational enough; this doesn’t get the voyeuristic and self-righteous juices flowing. Meanwhile, the financial, business and political “Elite” can play the “knight in shining armour” while indulging in the very practices they apparently eschew.

Inflating or even taking advantage of a rise in child pornography online could lead to a comprehensive ban on extreme examples of porn and finally pornography itself. For the masses that is. The tool of child porn will serve as a prelude to more extreme forms of “crimes against the state.” We may look for a gradual fusion between dissidents, Al-Qaeda and the “War on Terror” so that internet surveillance can be comprehensively tightened. The dawn raids of Landslide/Ore and other trawling and entrapment operations that ruined so many lives may well be the first stage in quelling any kind of dissidence of the near future. Criticism of the US government and Homeland Security is perceived as Bush’s line: “if you’re not with us you’re with the terrorists.”  In many American minds the sex offender and terrorist is more or less one and the same as in this Georgian State legislator’s opinion: “Sex offenders are the most reviled people in society… They’re one step above terrorists; there’s no political downside to cracking down on these folks.” It is then that we realise the true extent of ponerisation that is now occurring.

In Britain, the “surveillance society” is well and truly here. One of the ideas floated by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre with children bombarded by images and info-tainment, was to turn them into “spy kids” for the Establishment in Europe and the US. This is the crux of the matter: to make people so dependent and reliant on the State from largely phantom fears that children especially feel compelled to turn their own parent’s in. “There are 9.5 million school-kids in the UK. Imagine if we could get them all to save the CEOP’s website to their favourites box so that whenever they are online they can fill in a form telling us who they are talking to, what (those people) are saying and why they think it is a threat.” [14]

The UK is the most spied-on country in the world according to a recent official report. We are being scrutinized, logged and photographed as never before with a typical Briton caught on camera over 300 times a day. The report highlighted concern over records kept of every internet site we visit and the long-term retention of logs detailing those visits to the growing use of automatic number plate recognition to track people’s journeys.  Integrate this with child porn and paedophile concerns – it’s a pretext for Orwellian controls ready and waiting for the State. But hyping the fear is essential. For instance, one study showed how easily the climate of paedophilia panic was eroding normal life. A schoolgirl’s playground banter: “… resulted in her father being refused work because he had been classed as a suspected paedophile. ‘The little girl was overheard saying, ‘My dad bonked me last night’. A dinner lady heard this and reported it to the school authorities,’… Social services discovered that the girl was referring to her father tapping her playfully on the head with an inflatable hammer. The file was closed, but five years later the father discovered he was still a suspected sex offender.” [15]

We are now faced with the possibility that factions within the US government itself, after seeking to stem a largely imaginary tsunami of child porn became its greatest purveyors and sellers. This was  due to factional objectives, the most important perhaps being the protection of an Elite who do indeed prey on children and young adults as a way of life, systemised and institutionalised by political expediency and blackmail.

Shout loud enough and hard enough with inflated figures and dubious data and the core subject matter, where it counts, becomes discredited.

As we can see from other prominent factors such as the War on Terror, the purpose may be to contribute to the initiation of draconian controls where misguided moralism lumps art into child pornography and along with child rape just as dissidents are cast under the same shadow of the terrorist. It is the ultimate justification for the death of internet free speech. The threat of child pornography and those affiliated with “terrorist groups” become the package by which internet freedom is lost for the “greater good.”

Taking this hypothesis further, we might conjecture that if that factions within governments are in control not only of narcotics, arms, human trafficking, but also the pornography industry we can see blackmail would play an increasingly decisive role in forcing certain people into taking top positions in NBC, NASA, Harvard, the military, the FBI, and FEMA. Perhaps there are many such virtual, commercial porn sites directly serving this purpose as recruiters for a new generation of politically compromised men. The Pathocracy needs key positions to be filled to facilitate a greater ease of psychologically compromised individuals whose influence is spread into the everyday lives of the populace enhancing their suggestibility towards specific pre-designed objectives. Those that “fit” in the core network of psychopathic groupings can then be relied upon to carry out their naturally allotted tasks. Disinformation artists in radio, television and the internet may have been given immunity from prosecution by federal authorities in return for defending the government.

Why not use the presence of child porn as the perfect pretext?

 


Notes
[1] Teen sex monitoring ‘may breach human rights’ David Batty, The Guardian, Wednesday December 14, 2005.
[2] Dr David Thomas Retired Cambridge University don, sentencing expert and author of leading textbook on sentencing. Quoted in ‘Judges speak out against erosion of independence by government’ The Guardian, Tuesday April 26, 2005.
[3] ‘United States: Thousands of Children Sentenced to Life without Parole’ National Study by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch Finds Majority Face Life for First Offense, New York, October 12, 2005 Human Rights Watch, hrw.org/
[4] ‘EU must accept some erosion of civil rights-Britain,’ By Aine Gallagher, Reuters, September 7, 2005.
[5] Ibid.
[6] ‘Child Pornography Case Highlights Use of Internet in Crime’ By Michelle Mittelstadt, The Dallas Morning News, March 11, 2002.
[7] ‘On File’ By Annalee Newitz, AlterNet, http://www.alternet.org, June 22, 2005.
[8] The Patriot Act: HR 3162 RDS 107th Congress, 1st Session H. R. 3162 October 24, 2001, revised and updated to PATRIOT Act II in 2003. “Diminishes personal privacy by removing checks on government power, diminishes public accountability by increasing government secrecy; diminishes corporate accountability under the pretext of fighting terrorism; Undermines fundamental constitutional rights of Americans under overbroad definitions of ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist organization’ or under a terrorism pretext; Unfairly targets immigrants under the pretext of fighting terrorism. – b y Timothy H. Edgar, Legislative Counsel February 14, 2003 Section-by-Section Analysis of Justice Department draft ‘Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003,’ also known as “Patriot Act II” American Civil Liberties Union.
[9] Ibid.
[10] ‘I am ashamed to be leaving Liberty whilst people are interned without trial’ John Wadham LIBERTY editorial 2005 liberty.com.
[11] ‘Spanish police break up pedophile ring suspected of abusing babies’ Reuters, May 26 2005
[12] Baby rape sentence ‘unduly lenient’ BBC News, Wednesday, 3 September, 2003.
[13] ‘Italy and Oregon Courts Rule for Paedophilia’ June 2 2004 lifesite.net
[14] The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, July 25 Press Release, http://www.ceop.gov.uk/
[15] ‘Britain the most spied on People in the Western World’ The Sunday Times, October 29, 2006.