March 1977: Albany Trust, Arlo Tatum, Peace News and Paedophiles

Once again there is talk of the Albany Trust being in crisis [see Lord Beaumont’s emergency meeting of July 1971 calling Peter Righton to the House of Lords] and following the decision to ditch public association with PIE (and the now defunct PAL) by publishing Paedophilia: Some Questions and Answers, the Trustees travel to Whitehill Chase, Hampshire, Church of England retreat cottage  to discuss the future of the Trust under Harold Haywood’s Chairmanship. Antony Grey’s ‘Aide Memoire’, 12 pages of in-fighting recorded from his own personal perspective are located at the bottom of this post in full.

The second session on Saturday morning 27 March shows the discord in views between the Trustees on ‘Sexual Minorities’ or more accurately, paedophiles.

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Angela Willan (Woman’s own agony aunt) felt that the paedophiles should be last on the list to be helped amongst all other sexual minorities and that the Albany trust should not put itself in the position of selling their viewpoint for them. She also pointed out the situation of tremendous inequality as between adult and child.

However, Haywood appeared almost wilfully oblivious to Angela and Sue Barnet’s opposition to the Trust’s continued focus on paedophilia, ignoring Grey’s plea for the Trust to publish another booklet on its own terms on Paedophilia and instead wanted the Trust to be ‘more adventurous’ [p.11] launching into his vision for a one year program to commence under his remaining 6 months’ Chairmanship  ‘Sexuality in Institutions’. It would strive to:

 

(a) take up the way paedophiles are treated in prison

(b) try to get more moderate and better informed press attitudes to paedophilia

(c)  act as ‘honest broker’ between paedophiles and others who are reluctant even to listen to their point of view

(d) provide them with meeting places for discussion groups

(e) provide counseling/befriending

 

It might have been more accurately entitled ‘Paedophilia in Institutions’. Haywood hoped Lord Winstanley, Sir Cyril Smith’s old friend would be willing to get involved with fundraising for the Trust later in the year [p.12]

In response to Sue Barnet querying whether it was a good thing to run seminars or let paedophiles hold discussion groups, Arlo Tatum, the Trust’s Organising Secretary asked  “Can we not knock down some of the myths – such as that they are all child-molestors, or that the children involved are never seducers?” echoing the response of the Trust to Playland Trial No 2 in 1975 – ‘Who is exploiting whom?’

Arlo Tatum’s arrival in the midst of the Albany Trust as Organising Secretary (summer 1976? TBC) is both mysterious and interesting in itself. Four years prior, Tatum had been busy suing the US Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird. A US publication Washington Monthly had revealed that army intelligence units had placed Tatum’s organisation Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors under surveillance, a pacifist movement which aligned with Tatum’s Quaker principles. On appeal by the State Tatum lost, mainly because Nixon had, in a timely move, placed an Assistant Attorney General Judge Rehnquist in place at the Supreme Court.

Tatum had composed and sung songs for Aldermaston peace marches during the 50s and had also become the Director of Peace News. [Arlo Tatum obituary, The Guardian 7 May 2014]

During 1975, while Paedophile Information Exchange member Roger Moody was working for Peace News he was promoting the organisation in its pages.

 

Taboos

The paper’s pages have often been ahead of the times in being open to discussion of then-unpopular social issues, and matters of sexual politics, such as homosexuality and feminism. And in the case of non-hysterical discussion of paedophilia, most of the world still has to catch up. On 27 June 1975, the PN letters page carried this response to a report by Roger Moody in the previous issue about a group devoted to counselling paedophiles.

“Does ‘boy’ mean male under the age of consent for homosexual activity, under age for heterosexual activity, or before puberty – and similarly for ‘girl’. I do not ask out of prurient curiosity, but because the different answers to these questions have considerable bearing on how I (and other people I have talked to) feel about pedophilia.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the age of consent for all forms of sexual activity should be reduced to 13 or 14, in order to bring anomalous situations regarding contraception and male homosexuality closer to the situation that actually exists. I also have no doubt that in an ideal world, free sexuality between people of all ages and sexes will be a positive benefit to all and the myth of childhood will be totally dispensed with. However, we are not there yet… and if I were responsible for a young child in the world today, I would want them protected from sexual intrusions by older people.” [Peace News: The first 75 glorious years]

In 1976 Roger Moody was living in North London in a ‘licensed squat’ surrounded by children, working as an editor of Peace News.

The Seven Days of my creation: Tales of Magic, Sex & Gender by Jani Farrell-Roberts

The Seven Days of my creation: Tales of Magic, Sex & Gender by Jani Farrell-Roberts (2002)

In October 1976, six months before, Grey had visited Edinburgh. “There are several professional people and SMG members there who are keen to form the nucleus of a Trust branch in Scotland. I may have to go there again soon for the British Association of Counselling, and could develop these contacts once a policy has been decided.”

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As we know from other Albany Trust documents Antony Grey was most keen for Ian Dunn (co-founder of PIE) and Dr Alan Rodger (later Thatcher’s Lord Advocate for Scotland) to get involved with the Scottish branch, Dunn already a member of the Albany Society Ltd Council of Management for the past 3 and a half years.

 

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