persecution

Rule of Law? IV: Gender Bending and the True Enemy

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© infrakshun

Feminism – at least as we know it today – and its various complex sub-categories of benign and malign forces had its beginnings way back in the 19th century. The religious influences upon men and women had defined those roles for millennia; the assumed inferiority to man and her qualities of “temptress” alongside “feminine wisdom” was the backdrop to the burning of witches in the Middle Ages to the witch-hunts of the 17th century and the stultifying sexual repression of Victorian England.

In the United States, the roles of men and women were already defined before the Founding Fathers arrived and changed Native American lives forever. Long before the UK suffragettes began rebelling against these enforced roles, it was taken for granted that women existed as mothers and wives, a presumption that was both divinely ordained and thus a natural duty. The developing democracy rested on man as the giver or provider and women as the enabler or nurturer. Women were more or less property of the husband with the belief in the sacred mother-child bond and the woman’s natural instinct for child rearing. The physical prowess of the male (imagined or otherwise) determined that the “hunter-gatherer” would do just that.

The inability of the woman to provide for herself was also directly related to the male holding the reins of financial power which precluded any property rights or ability to earn for women. That being so, in early England and America up to the mid-1800s, fathers had sole rights to custody, because custody was closely tied to inheritance and property law.[1]  Several early feminist activists of the day, most notably English-born Caroline Norton fought to have these ruling turned in favour of women after being deprived of her own children in the aftermath of divorce. [2] That changed when the legal principle of the Tender Years Doctrine automatically gave rights to mothers based on what was seen as developmentally sensitive years of 13 and under.

Custody rights were shaped by these gender precepts: the love and emotional support of the mother and the more distant, intellectual, financial provision of the father. These gender roles were sacrosanct in society and in law. Upon the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, the nuclear family was in the process of disintegrating due in part, to fathers having to go further afield to locate work opportunities. The British Empire was the hub of this economic and capitalist revolution which would have serious repercussions for family and community.

Although initially new wealth was created for Western European peasantry due to outsourcing by emerging companies, this soon changed. The majority of middle and working class women worked from home. The American economy for example, relied a great deal on home businesses such as woodwork and textiles. With centralisation came disenfranchisement and disconnection from communities built on these crafts and skills intimately connected with an understanding of the land. Factories replaced a network of cottages industries largely dominated by women and their highly skilled handcrafts. The home traditionally carried by women was replaced with mass production. Women’s domestic duties rapidly disappeared so that rearing children for the majority became their only destiny. Single mothers and young women often had to move into boarding houses close to factories with the consequent lack of sanitation and poorly paid wages that accompanied such a move.

In summary, the gender roles became increasingly defined by economic constraints where the male breadwinners were the benefactors of monetary power. This meant that fathers’ capacity to nurture their children from the masculine polarity was further reduced at the same time the mothers’ foundation for community and cottage industry income was removed.

When set against custody decisions the differences became stark. Since women’s only validation for their existence was now from the maternal role it was seen as horribly cruel to deny the mother what was after all seen as a biological and thus a fundamental right due to this new social prison. The father however, was forced to provide economically for his children without ever having rights to see them. Emotional bonds of mother and child were reinforced while the father’s presence became a purely financial consideration.

Through no fault of his own and from the causes of macro-social forces rather than intrinsic gender pre-dispositions, fathers’ rights in custody battles became increasingly fractured due to the obvious fact that women were indeed spending much more time with their children and thus having the advantage when questioned by the judge regarding “quality time”. By the late 20th century very few fathers now retained children in custody trials. [3]

The idea that the mothers had an unassailable right to child custody was now firmly entrenched in the legal system. But what made this doubly unfair that with the onset of the World War and its closure, women had rightly become wage earners in their own right therefore taking on the male role as provider and nurturer. [4]  Prevailing views cemented these stereotypes by presuming that unless women were financially destitute and compelled to work it was unnatural and morally wrong, whereas if the man’s career ambitions evolved to the total exclusion of the family unit, functioning as a hotel to be fed and watered, this was somehow understandable and correct, despite the fact that many men so desperately wanted a relationship with the children. At this stage, socio-cultural dictates in general were making it difficult for men to be emotionally in touch with their feelings at all, let alone to express a natural desire that true shared parenting was perhaps healthy and vitally important.

By the 1950s the legal maxim in custody battles was “the best interests of the child” which in practice seldom worked out that way. This did not alter the mythology of women as automatically the best bet for custody regardless of the evidence or circumstances. For decades an almost subconscious aversion to awarding rights to the father developed in the minds of many judges as a matter of principle. Furthermore, large economic shifts in the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s and throughout the chaos of the 2000’s have clearly placed men in general at a disadvantage regarding accessibility rights during and after divorce proceedings.

Large scale fragmentation of the family unit has unequivocally taken place due to the many factors already discussed in this series so far, most obviously due to globalisation as a euphemism of international corporatism and its doctrine of ever greater centralised consumption devoid of social and ecological values. As a consequence, the resulting economic disparity between men and women – while taking account of the many exceptions to the rule – has placed the onus on men to uphold an impossible and singular financial standard usually on a single income and in a highly volatile and shifting global economic market place. Technology and automation is overseeing the demise of traditional work connected to the land. The 9-5 working day with the feminist agenda for gender equality will offer needed rights to mothers but also exacerbate another problem.

A painful and recurring irony has arrived that indicates the divide and rule scenario in operation so favoured of think tanks, the Empire’s intellectual vanguard of change. The dichotomy of men and women’s rights is increasingly reversed in the affluent Western world. Where financial solvency was praised as vital for the support of the family it is now seen as an impediment to proper family cohesion and parenting. Another bizarre twist has taken place. While many women have played the game of “success” under the push for illusory equal rights and juggled the family life with a corporate career; headed companies and donned the mask of the capitalist entrepreneur or boss,  in many cases women are repeating the exact same reasons that men lost their custody battles: by being distant from the family and not participating in “quality parenting.” Now that women have got what men had in the corporate world they too are being penalised for precisely the same reasons. [5]

While some men stay at home and care for the children the gender stereotypes remain. Men are not “house-husbands” they are shirking their manly responsibilities or just “unemployed”. Yet women who work still retain both roles and then complain when it becomes too demanding. The net result is a constant dichotomy that flips between genders creating and perpetuating multiple levels of tension.

In custody cases successful career women have to justify their work role by not assuming the traditional role of mother love. Whereas men the “hunter-gatherers” are forced to justify why they cannot support their family financially and are thereby somehow deficient of masculine genes. This is not a gender issue and never has been. What this represents – as in so many of the issues we have addressed so far – is an issue of reductive economics and the international financial architecture that has been built on exploitation of such depth and profundity that it is little wonder that it has ultimately defined who we are. Behind this wholly exploitative framework is the psychopathic mind that delights in such obfuscation and confusion. These anti-human ways of being allow it to be hidden from scrutiny. It is a shocking indictment of our society that the key benefactor of this descent will continue to be the wealthy Elite.

It is obvious that such a state of affairs does not just happen but results from an integration of Christian ethics with the organisation of Roman legal systems which were progressively adapted into our Western institutions. The human cruelties, indifferences and inconsistencies were also incorporated and laid the groundwork from one Pathocratic Empire to another. Łobaczewski talked about this “Western civilization” and how its degeneration was due to a “serious deficiency” in recognising the signs of decay which inevitably led to evil consequences. This was  due to the simplistic appraisal of human psychology upon which the societal structures of law, justice and philosophy were based. The insufficient resistance to evil was easily taken advantage of due to the “enormous gap between formal or legal thought and psychological reality.” [6] And so it is. We are still sourcing our knowledge and understanding from a juvenile dictionary and total lack of comprehension which has locked in economics, law, justice and just about every other domain in society. Is it any wonder that we are experiencing serious cognitive dissonance concerning the nature and direction our societies are taking?

It is the knowledge that we have an inherited the workings of societies “insufficiently resistant to evil” that can inform our future thoughts and actions on this issue. It will require that we become cognizant of how ponerogenesis plays out in our own lives and how we can best avoid its traps. Learning to see how we can understand this process will mean whether or not we become the scapegoats of this degeneration or the pioneers of its eventual dissolution.

Is gender equality a possibility? It depends on society’s current enforced assumptions about our roles. Equal opportunities cannot be approached when the very fundamentals of our socio-economic systems are skewed. Equal opportunities to be treated civilly and with respect cover both genders. Unfortunately, much as feminists would rail at the statement: men and women ARE fundamentally different – physiologically, neurologically and how we process reality – as a thousand studies have underscored time and again. So, while our conception of gender roles have indeed been enforced and expected, there are natural even timeless differences of masculine and feminine which only truly work when they meet in the middle to create that third force. It is the integration of the dualities while retaining differences which alter reality for the better rather than seeking to displace, out-do or gain ascendency over the other, or even worse to claim “rights” as though women in the Western world are somehow separate from the inculcated pathology of which we are ALL apart.

The inherent assumptions of those in positions of power which mean that women are seen as objects and where they are not deemed worthy of attaining the CEO position does happen. Similarly, men can be ridiculed for being stay-at-home dads or a job as a nurse. The problem is, within these positions are also wider implications denoting much more than mere ignorance or bigotry. It may be that the kind of roles that moderate feminists wish to see cannot be observed in the type of social reality we have right now, for the reasons so far given in this series.

Does that mean we don’t press for change? Or course not, but until we see that such urging of women’s rights without due awareness of ponerology which has our Western societies comprehensively in its palm means that much of the core reasons for seeking gender equality will be as authentic as Live Aid.  This is a problem not of female rights against male rights. It is a HUMAN RIGHTS issue against the PSYCHOPATH. All else derives from this. One talks of gender equality immediately assuming that men are not expressing the exact same victimhood. And this where so often white, middle-class, Western female entitlement arrives in much the same way as Jewish ethnocentrism and the reflex assumption from African-Americans that slavery by white traders of the past still demand recompense.

Until we embrace the fact that we are ALL victims of a centuries old evil that resides both in concrete reality and the metaphysics of myths and imagination within our own hearts we will never be free. We must take a grand, bird’s eye view of humanity which has in the modern era all the tools necessary to forge a new awareness of the multitude of horrors we have collectively suffered over lifetimes. That means truly joining together against a common foe and defending ourselves against it. Not by wasting energy on gender issues and spectres of the past. The only thing that will change these issues is SEEING who is stirring the pot of constant division and conflict. That does not mean doing nothing but it does imply that we choose our battle very, VERY wisely.


Notes
[1] Women and the Law of Property in Early America by Marylynn Salmon, Published by UNC Press Books, 1989 | ISBN 0807842443, 9780807842447.
[2] Family Life in the Nineteenth Century, 1789–1913: The History of the European family. Volume 2. By David I. Kertzer, Yale University Press, 2002.
[3] Wrightsman’s Psychology and the Legal System  By Edith Greene, Kirk Heilbrun, Cengage Learning, 2010. 049581301X, 9780495813019.
[4] ‘The Mother-Love Myth: The Effect of the Provider-Nurturer Dichotomy in Custody Cases’ by Kalie Caetano The Macalester Review: Vol. 2: Iss. 1, Article 2.
[5] More Fathers Are Getting Custody in Divorce’By Lisa Belkin, New York Times, November 17, 2009.
[6] op. cit. Lobaczewski; (p. 48)

Crowd Control I

By M.K. Styllinski

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a  profoundly sick society.”

– Krishnamurti



In this post I want to offer some further examples on just how complex and confused our ideas of sexuality, sexual offences and the law has come to be, primarily due to our lack of awareness of ponerology and the development of our Official Culture.

A recent Telegraph report has highlighted the kind of ridiculous mindset so prevalent in US lawmakers. Some of these wise men and women in the State of Virginia:  “… want to make oral sex illegal for teens aged 15-17, although it’s still legal for two teens aged between 15-17 to have vaginal sex with each other.”

I kid you not.

As journalist Rebecca Holman rightly points out: “If you ban oral sex, what else will these teenagers do with their time? Set fire to bins? Do poppers? Shoot things with air rifles? HAVE ‘ACTUAL’ SEX? All of the above?”

There continues to be considerable controversy in the West as to what denotes a balanced and natural sexual expression for children. With our culture becoming increasingly sexualised on the one hand (Kinseyian programming) and made to feel dirty and deviant on the other (fundamentalist religious conservatism) it is little wonder that children and young adults are becoming confused and disoriented.  In any given case, there are complex interplay of forces which define the descent into abuse.  Translating new insights from psychology and social science and transforming them into practical tools for educational and treatment practices are proving challenging to implement. The battle between those who advocate what amounts to a form of anti-sexuality clashes with the those who posit a pervasive sexualisation of women AND men. This is producing an almost irreversible tension in the minds of children. The issues they raise are valid in each camp but they are politicised, thus producing more noise rather than true solutions.

Those that advocate the extreme curtailment of sexual freedom are offering children repression, conformity and far too strict a definition of what is sexually “appropriate.” This fear-based and reflexive wish to white-wash the child into a perfect angelic purity serves to warp the natural growth of the child’s sensual curiosity and inquisitiveness. Over in the United States, the city of San Diego is a case in point. Though instances of abuse clearly exist, it seems the cases where the authorities got it hopelessly wrong are also common:

In 1992, a major grand jury investigation found the county’s child welfare agencies and juvenile courts to be ‘a system out of control,’ so keen on protecting children from predation that it took hundreds of them away from their parents on what turned out to be false charges. The report called for ‘profound change’ throughout the system. […] Teachers and social workers, undereducated in psychology and overtrained (often by law enforcers) in sexual abuse, tend to see sexual pathology and criminal exploitation in any situation that looks even remotely sexual. [1]

And this is a form of ponerisation in itself where paranoia sits next to very real abuse and a product of the exact same degeneration. For example, there is still resistance to the fact that as psychopathy rises to positions of power, and as society begins to exhibit symptoms of psychopathological inculcation it may follow that more sociopaths, narcissists and psychopaths will emerge in society as a whole.  The type of intervention that blends the law courts, mental health and psychological evaluations are too close to the needs of lawyers tuning in to the lucrative climate of sex-predator-paranoia. In many cases, the law is actually causing great harm to children for no other reasons of greed and material gain.

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The above statistics offered by the Canadian government in 2012 show that the highest police reported sexual offences per 100,000 and by age ranges from 13-15 years old with the highest age of victims of sexual offences at 14-15 years old. What is extraordinary in Canada at least, is the high rate of offences from females far outstripping males which may reflect the commensurate rise in narcissistic behaviour in young women and girls.

Over in the state of Texas, USA it is a similar story. While juvenile crime has gone down overall sexual assault has continue to rise according to statistics from 2007 – 2011. Yet how much of this is drawn from genuine pathology and / or the result of draconian laws and the blurred definitions as to what is a “sexual offence”?

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Sex crimes by juvenile offenders are on the rise in Harris County,”by Cindy Horswell, Houston Chronicle, April 21, 2012.

While offering some welcome amendments, the UK’s Sexual Offences Act 2003 nevertheless incorporates new and draconian provisions on child pornography and prostitution. [3] Anyone asking a person under 18 to provide a “sexual service” for “payment” commits a crime and the child (those under 18) is classed as a “prostitute.” However, if an individual asks a person under 18 for a nude-photograph this will automatically be considered a criminal offence or “inciting child pornography”. This means that anyone under 18 and engaged in a relationship is legal, but when expressed physically with the use of a web-cam, they become criminals. All those under 18 of course, are deemed “children” which, when applied to the law, is unfair and dangerous to civil rights. The law is therefore, high on rhetoric but low on the practical realities of such a law.

Compare this UK jailing of a man along with his female accomplice, who raped a 12 week old baby. [4] The subsequent sentence reflected a clear deficit in the justice of the law where “life” meant that the perpetrator was eligible for parole in only six to eight years. We have to wonder why it is that the justice system seems to either favour the predator or to accuse and scapegoat the innocent, rarely finding the median between those two poles. Should genuine sexual predators find themselves with a silver spoon in their mouths then the likelihood that they will face prosecution and punishment becomes even less probable.

Protection is always afforded to the aristocracy and the upper classes of the British Establishment with favouritism filtering down to the outer rings. In one instance a judge give undue leniency to the Queen’s former choirmaster for a series of child sex attacks in the 1970s and 80s. He received five years meaning he would be out on good behaviour in a very short space of time, which indeed he is. [5] While this occurs in the UK, such disparities are far more extreme in the US.

Being caught urinating behind a tree, mooning, skinny dipping, masturbating, and passionate lovemaking and many other non-violent, victimless offences can make individuals sex criminalss and placed on the sex offenders register. A “doctor and nurse” game could now criminalise both US and UK children.  However, those that voice such concerns are either labelled paedophile apologists and tainted with an undue liberal reflex or are quite literally paedophile advocates! When criminalisation has broad generalisations and poorly defined legislation contained within it and where essential definitions are needed for each sexual crime, the inevitable result is that all sexual activity is seen as criminal. When we understand, in the real world, that much sexual activity involving children under the age of consent is consensual and experimental, the involvement of the law should not be necessary.

What the law does is to effectively criminalise young people under 16 who engage in sexual experimentation. Coercion is so often assumed in many cases. If a fifteen year old girl “forces” a 16 year old boy into having sexual relations, what then? What if they are genuinely “in love?” Is the boy to be prosecuted and placed on the sex offenders register?  Apparently so.

One example from an American mother who wrote an open letter to former President George W. Bush, on an internet blog illustrated the crassness of current legislation which has yet to improve:

Dear George:

I am a mother of a sex offender, at least that is what they are calling it. My son did not rape, abuse, or force anyone. He had sex with a minor, who also wanted sex with him. I am not an educated female, but I do know the difference between forcing someone and consenting.

I do not Condone what my son did, it was wrong and he should be punished. My problem is this: he was sentenced to 30 yrs. to a violent prison. On his court papers it says it was a non-violent crime. So why is he in a violent prison? No one will give me the time of day. Also he has to register as a SO. [sex offender] […]

I would like to be alive when my son gets out.[6]

One of the most recent examples of this dangerously simplistic view of prosecution concerns 17 year old Genarlow Wilson who was convicted of Aggravated Child Molestation for a voluntary act of oral sex with another teenager at a New Year’s Eve party.  He was 17 and she was 15.  Genarlow,  a good student, athlete and with no criminal record not only received a sentence of eleven years but the disastrous label of “child molester” requiring him to be placed on the sex offender register for life. He was also black.

“ ‘Wilson maintained his innocence. ‘I know that it was consensual,’ he told ‘Primetime.’ ‘I wouldn’t went on with the acts if it wasn’t consensual. I’m not that kind of person. No means no.’”

“ ‘Five of the boys accepted plea deals, but Wilson — the only one without a police record — held out. ‘I knew Genarlow’s state of mind,’ said his attorney, Michael Mann. ‘He wasn’t going to prison willingly. He wasn’t going to plea to something in his mind he didn’t do.’” [7]

Such is the law in the State of Georgia where two teens can have intercourse which is counted as a misdemeanour but where oral sex is a felony carrying a minimum of 10 years in prison. If two teens are engaged in heavy petting, this could be felony of child molestation. Until 1998, oral sex between husband and wife was illegal, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. For Wilson, whether the fifteen year old was willing or not, and the fact that he was only two years her senior, the law on child molestation had the last word. Was Wilson’s case yet another miscarriage of justice based on outdated laws favouring a religious puritanism?  A public outcry concerning the Wilson case was thought to have secured his release after serving four years. His sentence was deemed “dispropotionate” but the original conviction was unaltered. As a result of this case however, Georgia law is being reconsidered, though at the time of writing any formal legislation has yet to materialise.

It has not helped a 26-year-old college student on federal disability, who has been on the sex offender’s registry for a decade after a being charged over 10th grade fellatio. Despite the fact that it is no longer a crime in Georgia she and her husband have had to be moved on by Harlem police under sex offences law that prohibits “offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, playground or other place where children congregate.”

Careless and ill-considered, perhaps, but criminal? This woman was ordered to leave her legally bought home or face arrest:

Before she and her husband of six years bought the house, she says, they made sure the property was far enough away from a public park down the street. What the Whitakers didn’t realize was that a nearby church was operating a small day-care center. As a result, they’ve had to move into a trailer park across the county line. They’re sharing a two-bedroom single-wide with Whitaker’s brother-in-law and his teenage daughter.‘We’re paying a mortgage for my cat to live here,’ she says of the house she and her husband have had to leave behind. When she stops by to check on the property or do laundry, she says, her neighbors routinely call the cops, who drop by to make sure she isn’t trying to move back in.

Now, Georgia’s strict new sex-offender law — signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue in April but delayed in federal court before it could take effect July 1 — could force Whitaker out of the trailer park as well, leaving her with few options for living anywhere in the state. Under a nebulous loitering provision in the new law, she might not even be allowed to go to church. [8]

Judgments concerning adult sex offenders which are then applied to children and often careless adults alike can represent a dangerous misunderstanding of the nature of sexuality. For children, while the mimicking and simulation of T.V. and magazine images and messages may be an indication of a premature sexual induction that may lead to so called unwarranted behaviour towards other children, it should not immediately be confused with pathology or abuse. Yet this is exactly what is happening in many instances. This is more likely an indication of an adult prurience projected onto the child who may actually ensure that such explorations do become neurotic, obsessive or worse.

At the same time, psychopathic children could be a reality where no amount of rehabilitation is ever going to work. The very real indications that conviction rates of child molesters in the UK for example, are frighteningly low, the extreme difficulties in detecting the abuse of under-fives and the general underreporting of incidences, all suggest that we are still operating between two extremes.

What is appears to be true is a steady rise in sexual offences in the United States, Canada and certain European countries. The true statistics may be extremely difficult to ascertain since we have draconian, repressive laws operating alongside psycho-social and technology influences further mixed with the social engineering of oversexualisation and the anti-sexuality reflex of moral panic. What is certain is that children are as increasingly confused and lost as adults when it comes to healthy sexual identity.panic_button_1600_clrMoral Panics and Neural Circuits

The question of “moral panic” was first coined by British sociologist Stanley Cohen from his study of UK mods and rockers during the 1970s. He used this term to define the role of media and deviant behaviour which fed on peoples’ already sensitive fears of the unknown, still raw from economic hardship. The threat from this perceived deviancy was thereby exaggerated, fuelling unrest. Cohen defined this collective behaviour as:

“A condition, episode, person or group emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right thinking people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnosis and solutions; ways of coping are evolved or (more often) resorted to; the condition then disappears, submerges or deteriorates and becomes visible.”  [9]

A recent UK Home office report found that “a lack of intimacy and high levels of loneliness” were common factors in the profiles of the vast majority of sex offenders, similar to the high level of neglected children in the UK and abroad. [10] Far from dealing with the dark and hidden aspects of our collective shadows we have found new ways to limit reality and thus our own understanding by creating new demons, whether they are paedophiles or terrorists.

Both exist, but not in the ways that governments and their agencies would like us to think. Just as anti-sexuality and puritanical beliefs clash with overt sexualisation, so too the divisions between those who promote moral panic as opposed to finding out the root sources of abuse and sexual crime.

Sarah Payne’s law in the UK and Megan’s law in the US both seek to alert the public about the whereabouts of the sex offender in your town or village under the guise of freedom and protection. [11] Though it seems logical that we should all be alerted to the presence of paedophiles and child killers in our neighbourhoods evidence suggests that further isolating and excluding the offender, – child molester or not – and reinforcing this identity through stigmatisation, naturally drives such people underground, continuing the likelihood of long-term child abuse or other related crimes.

The question of such moral panics disappearing is dependent on how useful their presence may be. Self-appointed vanguards of this moral imperative would love to believe they are upholding the sanctity of society as they perceive it. It is more likely that they are merely cogs in the wheel of a purposely initiated “panic” that is tailored towards a pre-designed conclusion. The witch hunts of 17th Europe; the trials of the Spanish Inquisition; the Nazi programs of genocide are testament to the ease by which ponerisation of an idea then “injected” into the populace can be initiated.

The primary mode of panic thus adopted appears to have been the “Elite-engineered” model, [12] with other secondary models under its influence. We can include the Grass Roots model of a dissatisfied society achieving catharsis through retribution and the Interest Group model made up of advocates, activists, interests groups and think-tanks seeking to bring awareness to the “moral evils” in society. These latter forces work in tandem with each other come up against the infinitely more knowledgeable core of Elite control, the top tiers of which have had the populace under a microscope for a considerable length of time. These “positive” forces for change can thus be easily manipulated despite an increasing awareness.

When the action of negative feedback is excluded from contemporary discourse concerning abuse and the nature of the child molester, the obvious outcome is a headlong rush to reaction without any understanding of the consequences. Judgments about whether one is a child molester, a terrorist, mentally ill, or a dissident, it is becoming the province of authorities which are tied to regressive world-views and corrupt political interests. Moral panics lead to various individuals and groups becoming scapegoats for a host of inner demons the history of which is long and rich, whether they are the “white trash” of nomadic America or the Irish gypsies on the outskirts of London. When crude moral indignation surfaces with clamours for “justice,” scapegoating always emerges from its artificial womb.

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Quite apart from religious absolutism, moral panics were often whipped up by the authorities for political or monetary gain. Women were the primary targets. | Photo credit: Witch Hunt Exhibition, Vestry House Museum March 2012

The more horrific and depraved the crime, the easier it can be to direct the fear and revulsion towards a group or individual and the solution provided by the Establishment to enact laws or justify social engineering. The reaction of populations against the real or imagined threat of sexual predators creates the vortex to which all “deviance” or resistance is drawn. Behind this chaos lie select members in power for whom such confusion is ripe for manipulation. The reaction seems to follow a pattern whereby those least able to defend themselves are targeted such as ethnic, religious and sexual minorities. Sexual offenders in the US, under the present laws, many of whom have placed on the register as dangerous sex offenders, may have only committed relatively minor offences. This serves to bypass the real culprits who were responsible for the crimes.

Medical and health authorities are becoming the next stage in the law and justice treadmill, where dissent and deviancy are judged to be “abnormal” or threatening, the hatred of the paedophile becomes a microcosm of bigotry and intolerance then applied to many other “deviant” groupings. There is a medicalization of social control where mental illness, ethics and political bias merge. That is not to say that we must embrace deviancy that is clearly harmful to the child as outlined in the previous chapter. There must be the clearest definitions possible so as to maintain the purest objectivity in a world of full of murky disinformation.

While the “moral panic” meme does have validity it also acts to mask deeper social problems that lie festering at the roots. Social constructivist solutions are focused on how and why these issues become defined at particular historical junctures but they neglect the overall synthesis of why these social problems appear in the first place and are singled out for public exposure. Ponerisation operates on precisely these gaps in awareness, where sophisticated “twists” on truth discombobulate individuals and groupings perceived as threatening to the status quo. The tide of emotional rage becomes paramount and reasoning leaves by the back door, held open by the authorities. For instance, the multiple strands of warring interests groups exclude the possibility that in some cases there is unwarranted panic about Satanism and ritual abuse whilst in other instances it has been proven exist. Centralisation and bureaucracy tends to quash lateral thinking and multi-disciplinary approaches.

The technique of scapegoating comprehensively pervades the media, the judiciary and law enforcement. Though there are numerous cases of justified sentencing of child molesters and rapists, there is also a tragic quota of those wrongfully accused. If the individual is guilty, a remorseless witch hunt results in a regression towards vigilantism and the herd mentality, often destroying all that goes before it. The net result, (so beneficial to the Establishment), leaves civil society with a situation far worse than the one that preceded it. Miscarriages of justice are intermingled with genuine abuse all of which produces an exponential footprint of trauma that engulfs communities and feeds media sensationalism.

Examples of high profile ritual or familial abuse claims came pouring in from around the world during the late nineties and early 2000’s including the Orkney Islands, the Pitcairn Islands, the Isle of Lewis, Rochdale and Cleveland cases of sexual abuse in the UK and the Christchurch Crèche case in New Zealand; the separate cases of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Martensville ritual abuse, the Shieldfield child abuse scandal in the US and several others. It is precisely because the abuse was present that the methods used by police and the judiciary ensured that innocent men and women took the fall for predators ensconced in the community and with links to those in wider positions of power.

 


*  For an instructive look at the reality of child psychopaths and the havoc they can cause have a look at the film Joshua (2007) and We need to talk about Kevin (2011). These are extreme cases admittedly, but the core disturbances they cause are very real.

Notes

[1] p.34; Levine, Judith; Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, University of Minnesota Press (2002).
[2] Severe Attachment Disorder in Childhood – A Guide to Practical Therapy by Dr. Niels Peter Rygaard authorized by D.P.A., Aarhus C, Denmark Translated from N. P. Rygaard, L’enfant abandonn6. Guide de traitement des troubles de I’attachement. 2005; Printed in Austria by SpringerWien New York. | ISBN-10 3-211-29705-7.
[3] Sexual Offences Act 2003 Elizabeth II. Chapter 42, Great Britain – “An Act to make new provision about sexual offences, their prevention and the protection of children from harm from other sexual acts Royal assent, 20th November 2003. Explanatory notes have been produced to assist in the understanding of this Act and are available separately (ISBN 0105642037) Reprinted incorporating corrections, January 2004; reprinted May 2004.” TSO The Stationary Office: http://www.tso.co.uk/
[4] “Babysitter raped 12-week-old as girlfriend took photographs,” The Times, January 11, 2006.
[5] “Child abuse sentence ‘disgusting’ BBC News, 27 August, 2004.
[6] ‘Mother of Sex Offender’ by “Dianne,” Age 57, Columbia, SC. http://www.deargeorgeletters.blogspot.com/
[7] ‘Outrage after Teen Gets 10 Years for Oral Sex with Girl’ ABC News February 7th 2006, to find out more about Genarlow Wilson’s appeal, visit http://www.wilsonappeal.com.
[8] ‘Life in the shadows’ – Now facing a legal challenge, Georgia’s war on sex offenders could punish minor violators while failing to focus on the worst ones By Scott Henry, July 19, 2006.
[9] p.9; Folk Devils and Moral Panics the Creation of the Mods and Rockers by Stanley Cohen, 1973, published by Paladin.
[10] Research and Development Statistics (RDS)Home Office UK, Crime in England and Wales, 2004/2005 http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/
[11] ‘Megan’s Law,’ was passed after seven year-old Megan Kanka was raped and murdered by a paroled convict who had moved onto her street in New Jersey in 1994. Photos and addresses of all high-risk, Class 3 sex offenders are to be posted on the Internet.
[12] “Moral Panics and the Social Construction of Deviant Behavior: A Theory and Application to the Case of Child Ritual Abuse”, by Jeffrey S. Victor, Social Perspectives Autumn 1998.

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