Sandy Marks

Fallen Angels: Paedophilia – Summary Submission to the ILGA Conference, Barcelona 1980

In their shorter paper the Fallen Angels want to persuade ILGA’s Second Annual Conference they must overcome a crucial barrier to “the emergence of an effective sexual-political practice” between adults and children. The Fallen Angels view themselves as here to provide a corrective intervention to the gay rights and women’s liberation movements on their support for paedophiles.

‘The emergence of an effective sexual-political practice’ appears to refer to the lack of inclusion for paedophile rights and children’s rights by the gay rights and women’s liberation movements. Without paedophile rights and children’s rights (defined as two sides of the same coin by the Fallen Angels) there can be no cohesive ‘sexual-political practice’

This ‘barrier’ to including paedophile rights had been created by:

(A) a more general/overall failure to develop a critique of adult-child relations, and of the historical construction of the ‘adult’ and the ‘child’ coupled with

(B) the reluctance of the gay movement to establish solidarity with young people in their struggles against ageism

So the Fallen Angels took it upon themselves to call the Gay Movement to account, their final three sentences underlined concluding their case.

  • “The question is whether gay complicity in the oppression of children and pedophiles is to persist”

  • “The ILGA must acknowledge adult-child relations as crucial to the development of a coherent sexual politics.”

  • “We demand the right to form alternative relations with kids – on their terms, and to affirm the erotic in those relations.”

 

The age of consent should not be accepted as related to puberty in any sense.

“What we are saying is that the gay movement can no more accept physiological maturity as determining sexuality than it can afford to accept biological gender as determining social destiny.”

 

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“It is no longer sufficient to take refuge in the denial that the origins of homosexuality are anything but imponderable or irrelevant. Our gayness is invalidated through the concepts of childhood and of the corruptibility of children. It is time we asserted the validity of the choices and refusals we made as children. It is high time we began to defend the right of all children to sexual self-determination.”

 

A recurrent theme for the Fallen Angels (appearing in CAPM Paedophilia & Public Morals and their longer submission to ILGA, as well as Tim Brown’s individual writings) was that despite CAPM asserting PIE’s female membership as at only 14 in total amongst 450 men, women are the most isolated of paedophiles and that they as mothers, lesbian or heterosexual, can be paedophiles too. Women should make common cause with paedophiles because it would assist with breaking down expectations of and stereotypes surrounding women and motherhood which hold back women’s liberation.

1. Mother and Child

We want to suggest ways in which paedophilia bears on women’s struggles: –

i) ‘Legitimation’ of children’s sexual desire (i.e. pre-genital). In opposing male penetration sex. In opposing the ’tyranny of orgasmic sexuality’

ii) In breaking down the male image of the woman as mother. In asserting  the sexual component in mother-child relations

iii) In understanding the structural role of the mother in reproducing social gender divisions, and the whole sex-gender system

iv) In examining how  age of consent laws do not ‘protect’ children, they operate to isolate ‘promiscuous’ girls and justify their ‘treatment’.

v) In denying the corruptibility of children. (Concern for the fate of male children – and the laws are mainly intended to insulate boys – requires that the ‘overbearin’ or ‘possessive’ mother be invented, virtually acknowledging the sexuality of women, and that she be guilty, by a kind of active negligence, of what the male paedophile achieves by direct intervention, the corruption of the child.

 

Fallen Angels consider that the gay movement has have drifted from its early inclusion of paedophile rights as gay rights.  They are holding a self-righteous mirror up to the gay movement and accusing them of hypocrisy: “gay men have effectively betrayed children, they have betrayed their own childhoods, and they have betrayed the possibilities of the early gay movement.”

The Albany Trust’s lacklustre victory in only achieving partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967 with the age of consent set at 21 is perceived as ‘selling-out’ — not for failing to achieve parity with the heterosexual age of consent — but for any age of consent being imposed at all.

“In frantically disassociating themselves from ‘child-molestors’, once the price of toleration had been made clear to them (in Britain through the 1967 Act), and in their anxiety to deny the characterisation of homosexual desire as infantile or fixated, gay men have effectively betrayed children, they have betrayed their own childhoods, and they have betrayed the possibilities of the early gay movement. The hypocrisy of that betrayal is demonstrated by their subsequent selective appropriation of pedophile culture, by the images of children still typically reproduced in gay male press, and by the continuing fetishising of youth. The child survives only in the form of the youth whose submission to the strong man amounts to the assertion of the patriarchal principle unalloyed.

Gay men have disassociated themselves from those who would prey on little boys; unfortunately it is not so easy for those of us who are male pedophiles to disassociate ourselves from those gay men who aspire to be ‘good’ fathers and ‘good’ teachers, whose complicity in the oppression of children, in fulfilling the paternal or didactic functions, cannot be neutralised by any alternative practice within those established roles. But there are no doubt gay men who are sincere in denying any interest in children. How else could that particular strain in gay male culture have arisen, that celebration of gayness as hedonism and the unrestricted pursuit of pleasure, had not a substantial number of gay men been prepared to abandon to women — alone and together — the task of re-examining child-rearing practices and the painful exploration of alternatives?”

The Fallen Angels’ own commitment to male paedophiles providing child care is reflected in their call to Conference (which was passed) to provide a men-only staffed creche at the next IGA meeting.

 

3. The Child Protection Racket

The Fallen Angels criticise the National Children’s Bureau (where astonishingly Marks is briefly a Director from 29 November 1994 – 1 July 1995 for 7 months) for, in their view, increasingly denouncing the Women’s Movement and joining sides with the reactionary moral forces who ‘adopt the ideology of protection to defend the institutions of control’ under the guise of what the Fallen Angels call ‘the Child Protection Racket’.

“3. The Child Protection Racket: The racket is not confined to the emergent or growing organisations expressly concerned with the protection of youth; it also involves longer established groups who are similarly prepared to adopt the ideology of protection to defend the institutions of control. In Britain, where for example the National Children’s Bureau and ‘Families Need Fathers’ increasingly denounce the Women’s Movement as posing the principal threat to the family and to the child, the co-ordination between reactionary moral forces is perhaps particularly disturbing, but we are aware of parallel development internationally. It is important to remember that these groups are not anxious to end the general exploitation of child labour nor of course to challenge the oppression of children without existing institutions, but simply to isolate and eradicate what they see as posing a threat to the existing mode of exploitation.”

Five members of the Pedophile Information Exchange in Britain, who have already barely survived a virulent campaign of denunciation from the yellow press, are now facing charges under an archaic conspiracy law, not because they have committed any offences ‘against’ children — in fact the police are overlooking several substantive offences in order to obtain witnesses to the supposed conspiracy — but because the existence of a pedophile organisation cannot be tolerated. But even the existence of self-identifying pedophile groups has not deflected antagonism from the gay movement. It seems evidence to us that any effective interventions by gay people in support of the child’s autonomy and contrary to orthodox socialisation, contrary to the rigidification of gender roles let alone straight sexuality, will be deemed by the right a corrupting and depraving interference . And yet, to secure the objectives of gay liberation we make such interventions.”

The Fallen Angels viewed the press exposes of PIE as ‘a virulent campaign of denunciation from the yellow press’ and claim knowledge of inside information of prosecution witness deals with ‘police overlooking several substantive offences’ to provide statements as to the ‘supposed consiracy’.

Before demanding “the right to form alternative relations with kids – on their terms, and to affirm the erotic in those relations” Fallen Angels finish by attempting a rebuttal to three criticisms made of paedophilia:

“i) Pedophilia is dismissed as inevitably exploitative, given the power of adults over children. But, given that power, we insist that adults examine their existing relations with children, and the ways in which all adults rationalise their own pedophilia, while dismissing and silencing the child’s eroticism.

ii) Pedophilia is ageist and obsessive. But this is patently absurd – unless gayness is seen as ageist and obsessive. Pedophilia is expected to account for its origins, but a minimum account of the ‘origins’ of homosexuality must involve coming to terms with the forms of pre-genital desire, of non-reproductive sex, which entails a challenge to the differentiated sexualities of adult and child

iii) Integrating pedophile demands is likely to be too costly to the gay movement. But how can an effective strategy be formulated in opposition to the whole sex-gender system and the reproduction of capitalist patriarchal relations, if we persistently evade the adults responses to, and construction of, the child’s sexuality.”

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IGA Conference April 1980: The Fallen Angels take PIE’s fight to Barcelona

Building on the articles published today by the Islington Gazette, this post (and others to follow) give further detail on the documents Fallen Angels produced.  First read (and watch) below:

In 1994 the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) would eventually vote to remove three paedophile rights groups (from the US and Netherlands) from their ranks. The UN had threatened to revoke ILGA’s NGO status and funding along with it. But 14 years earlier it had been a British group of pro-paedophile rights activists calling themselves the Fallen Angels that had first demanded IGA (as it was then) defend paedophiles rights and abolish the age of consent.

In April 1980 at the IGA’s second annual conference the Fallen Angels had a choice of sessions to attend at which they could raise their arguments for gay and women’s rights campaigners to back paedophile rights before attempting a push in plenary for an overall vote. At the time, five PIE Executive Committee members were awaiting trial and had handed in their passports as part of their bail conditions and so were unable to appear in person to rally international support.

A PIE legal defence campaign had formed in August 1979 almost as soon as the arrests took place which blossomed into the Conspiracy Against Public Morals (CAPM – also referred to by members as the Campaign Against Public Morals Committee) but divisions over publicity and campaigning style between the PIE defendants and the more militant members such as Fallen Angels would eventually lead to PIE denouncing the Fallen Angels. Some members of the Angels had their roots in the Gay News Defence Fund and its successor Gay Activists Alliance which meant they wanted to focus their energies on public demonstrations and ‘zaps’, which jarred with the reporting restrictions placed at the three PIE committal hearings and the legal advice to the accused to defend the case on a civil liberties basis: freedom of association and speech for paedophiles. Here’s a letter from Tim Brown to Socialist Challenge written shortly after CAPM’s third meeting.

The IGA newsletter covering the Conference provided a report from the Workshops – one specifically on Pedophilia and Age of Consent and others on Political Action (Pending & Forthcoming).

To support their proposals to conference they circulated 3 documents:

  • A summary submission “We demand the right to form alternative relations with kids – on their terms, and to affirm the erotic in those relations.”
  • A 10,000 word paper entitled ‘Corrupting Children: Children, Paedophilia and the struggle Women’s and Gay Liberation’ (blog post to follow shortly)
  • ’Tots on the March’ – the London Gay Activists Alliance submission to the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure (RCCP) dated August 1979, signed off with “Gay love and paedophile kisses, or paedophile love and gay kisses to the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure, from the London Gay Activists Alliance.” (blog post to follow shortly)

The Angels won the support of conference to call for the abolition of age of consent laws as oppressive and for the discussion on ‘pedosexuality’ (as paedophilia was now being called to further enhance its legitimacy as a sexual orientation rather than a paraphilia or child abuse) to progress within the member organisations to report back to the IGA Information Secretariat run by Edmund Lynch in Dublin.

p.14 PLENARY SESSIONS

6. Workshop C2: Pedophilia and Age of Consent

After reports from the Women’s Caucus’ discussion on the subject and from the Workshop the meeting discussed on the following draft resolution, which is an amended resolution as put forward by F-48 and COC:

1. Believing that all individuals should have the right to sexual self-determination irrespecitve of gender or age;

Considering that age of consent laws operate to oppress and not to protect;

This Conference calls for the abolition of all such laws.

Note: the concept of self-determination requires and demands laws to ensure that no individuals are coerced into sexual relations against their will.

2. Considering that paedophilia is, within member organizations, seen as a very complicated, highly emotive subject with far-reaching implications, about which is it not easy to reach a simple consensus;

Considering that our opponents use arguments concerning pedophilia against the idea of homosexual liberation;

Considering the possible consequences of a legal age of consent for the development of a gay and lesbian identity;

Considering that the legal use of the concept of ‘age of consent’ is often a fiction because it suggests that real consent cannot be given under a certain age;

Considering the need, especially for women, for protection against sexual violence;

Considering the place liberation of pedosexuality takes in the whole of sexual liberation;

Considering our distinctive ability, derived from our experience of oppression as gay men and lesbian women, to contribute to the discussion of the liberation of pedosexuality

3. It is resolved to continue discussion on the subject within IGA and to ask members to pursue a discussion on pedophilia within their own organization. Member organizations are requested to teel (sic ) the Information Secretariat (or other member-organization) directly of results of discussions and actions.

Bill George (COC/CHE) proposes to insert the word ‘fictitious’ before ‘age of consent’, discussion about this resulted in the line:

‘Considering that the legal use…’ Considerations of the draft-resolution are accepted.

Discussion of 1 “Believing…’ Shane Enright (SHRG) proposed this recommendation be for the study of the question of age of consent. David Russell (NGRC- NZ/COC) proposed: This Conference urges member-groups to study whether or not to adopt the policy of abolition of all such laws” The Chair then proposed a straw-vote on “Whether or not to study and adopt the policy…”

The proposal was supported with a large majority, four people voted against and Peter Ashman (CHE) asked to record in the minutes that CHE voted against. It was resumed that COC will gather information and sent it out in order to continue the discussion on pedophilia.

The Campaign for Homosexual Equality’s (CHE) refusal to vote for the age of consent as a fiction or embrace ‘pedosexuality’ was noted by attendees, and not just for the record at IGA. It would later cause ructions amongst CHE and a push back from within the ranks for a more paedophile positive approach from CHE’s reluctant Executive Committee who rightly feared embracing paedophile liberation would damage CHE’s legitimate campaigning for parity with the heterosexual age of consent.

Fallen Angels were particularly scathing of groups like CHE and Albany Trust who they regarded as ‘reformist’ for lobbying piecemeal reductions in the age of consent when they considered it as oppressive to paedophile liberation and children’s liberation, campaigned for by them as two sides of the same coin.

 

7, Workship D1: Political Action (pending) and Workshop D2 (forthcoming)

Tim Brown (Fallen Angels) proposed a motion on the PIE Trial; Accepted

Barry Prothero (GAA) called for demonstrations outside British embassies abroad when the European Court of Justice’s decision on the NIGRA case is announced.

Following Barry Prothero’s successful February 1980 application for the paid role of NCCL Gay Rights Officer (replacing Nettie Pollard, PIE Member No. 70 who’d been voluntary since the lapse of the Penthouse grant) he was attending the IGA Conference as a representative of NCCL and the London Gay Activists Alliance. He and Tim ‘Paedophile Love & Kisses’ Brown shared a house together at Davenant Road, where Fallen Angels listed its HQ as on the delegates address list.

It is the last proposal from the Fallen Angels that strikes me as the most chilling. They demanded that at the next IGA conference a creche should be provided, staffed only by men, for the full participation of women in the conference. Coming from a group

[p.15]

CRECHE FACILITIES

1. The Second Annual Conerence of the International Gay Association notes the complete failure of the organisation to provide adequate creche facilities for children, together with the male expectation that women would be responsible for those children that did arrive.

2. Conference therefore censures the organisations for their example of outrageous  sexist and ageist behaviour against children and women.

3. Conference therefore contacts the organizations of the next IGA Convention:

a) To provide a creche which is attractive to children and which fully provides for their needs; so that all potential delegates are able to bring children with them to thenext IGA Conference;

v) That the responsibility for the creche must be that of only men, so enabliing all women to fully participate in the Conference

Fallen Angels

After some discussion, the Convention accepted Proposal 3, but did not adopt Proposals 1 and 2

 

 

P. 15 IGA