For greater context to documents below please see John Cockburn’s blog post on Mary Whitehouse versus PIE and the Home Office discussing Chapter 13 of Mary Whitehouse’s 1982 autobiography, “A Most Dangerous Woman” and her fight to bring in new legislation to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse. Note in particular Cardinal Basil Hulme’s nomination of Savile to The Athenaeum [Sir Jimmy Savile causes anguish at The Athenaeum, Telegraph 10 October 2012] and his involvement in the 1975 cover-up of abuse by the only son of former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons during Ted Heath’s government Lord Harvington. Father Piers Grant-Ferris of Ampleforth College, Scarborough:
“HE was a highly respected monk and teacher and a celebrated mountaineer, the only son of leading Tory peer and public figure Lord Harvington, a personal friend of Margaret Thatcher.
A former officer in the Irish Guards, Piers Grant-Ferris seemed to represent all the values of his late father, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons during Ted Heath’s Government and member of a prominent English Roman Catholic family.
But the younger Grant-Ferris, who once boasted that only his faith had saved him when he became lost in the Andes without food, had desires which were anything but godly.”[Shame of an officer and a gentleman Yorkshire Evening Post, 18 November 2005]
In November 1976 Mary Whitehouse accused Albany Trust of supporting pedophiles in their campaign to normalise sexual attraction and activity between men and children, indirectly funded by the government via the Trust.
“One constantly has to ask oneself – does the right hand of the government know what the left hand is doing?”
The psychosexual advice column of a pornographic magazine is very likely to have been Bob Guccione’s Penthouse Forum with which individuals from Albany Trust, Peter Righton’s ACCESS and NCCL already had contacts into:
1. Dr Robert Chartham/Ronald Seth was a Forum agony uncle providing psychosexual advice and free 1 hour counselling sessions at a clinic on Wednesdays during the early 1970s [see further Dr Chartham – double agent during WWII? Under surveillance by MI5?]
2. Albany Trustee Dr Charlotte Wolff had written an article for in 1971, donating her fee to Peter Righton’s ACCESS organisation
3. During 1976-1977 was funding PIE’s Nettie Pollard’s salary as an NCCL staff member and Gay Rights Officer [see further: April 1977: Penthouse’s funding to NCCL for PIE’s Nettie Pollard falters]
Grey refuted Whitehouse derisively in a speech addressing Gaycon, the group for gay Conservatives: “There is no truth in this charge”, it is “vicious, and totally slanderous”, “without a shred of justification”, and in his view nonsensical “(normalisation) whatever that may mean” – a phrase Sir Harold Haywood will repeat in his own letter to Whitehouse in December 1976 – and to which I will return to examine in more detail.
Grey uses the government funding instead as a shield and a sword – to deflect any charges of impropriety and to warn “employ a Youth Officer, funded by the Department of Education and Science, whose task is to assist established teaching and youth work training courses by providing accurate information about sexuality in general and sexual minorities in particular. Our activities in each of these fields are being carried out with the full knowledge and approval of the Government departments concerned.”
Disappointed with a lacklustre response from Michael Rubinstein, the solicitor Grey approaches on behalf of the Trust, Lord Winstanley (a Liberal peer and long-time friend of Sir Cyril Smith who will join the Trust the following year – see further blog post on these events) exhorts Grey to “pursue Mrs. Whitehouse to the end of the road if not further!” Grey’s reply below agrees Whitehouse must be tackled as vigorously as possible.