Tim Brown

Conspiracy Against Public Morals: Paedophilia & Public Morals (October 1980)

CAPM eventually published their planned pamphlet on ‘Paedophilia and Public Morals’ (P&PM) in late October/ early November 1980, a few weeks after Tom O’Carroll published his book on the ‘radical case’ for paedophilia. P&PM had taken longer to get out due to a delay in raising £2,000 to print and distribute the pamphlet, and then problems in persuading their distributor to actually distribute it. In Fallen Angel Tim Brown’s view the glossy A5 covered booklet superseded the Fallen Angels Manifesto of April 1980 “Corrupting Children” in priority of publications for the IGA’s Information Secretariat to assist with getting distributed to IGA membership.

Eighteen months under Thatcher and CAPM’s fear of a right wing populist backlash against gay liberation, women’s and children’s liberation was that the PIE trial would provide the perfect reporting storm for the press, led by the News of the World, to whip the public into a fury, demanding punitive action from politicians.

However, the pamphlet had been finalised before Private Eye first broke the news of Sir Peter Hayman in their first Beast of Berlin column. Their failure to consider how Hayman’s involvement may impact on the court ordering reporting restrictions to apply or other aspects preventing better publicity for their cause was extremely politically naive.

“The CAPM pamphlet covers much of the areas ignored by O’Carroll. Written by a collective of paedophiles and other gay men, it gives a detailed account of the development of law on children’s sexuality in Britain and relates it to a theory of patriarchy in capitalist society.”     Gay Noise no 6 Thursday 23rd October 1980,p.4

“CAPM disagreed strongly with the approach Tom adopted, and were trying to publish a leaflet which would give the “true” radical case. CHE had been asked to help with the distribution of this leaflet.”⁠  CHE Executive Committee minutes 25 October 1980

“Campaign moves into full swing

Paedophilia and Public Morals is the title of the new 60 page pamphlet soon to be published by the Campaign Against Public Morals (CAPM). With only three and a half months to go before the show trial of PIE members at the Old Bailey publication of this pamphlet is a bold initiative on the part of CAPM members.

Without kowtowing or apologising, the pamphlet sets out to provide a basic framework for an informed public debate on patriarchy and the suppression of children’s sexuality. Concentrating at some length on the role of pornography and the manipulation of medical model of paedophilia this pamphlet will play an important part in the battle for a positive restructuring of the way the women’s movement, the gay movement and the socialist left views the position of children in general and child/adult sexuality in particular.

The members of CAPM feel that it is only by mounting the most widespread debate will lit be possible to organise tangible displays of support on the streets during and after the PIE trial; a trial that will be used, make no mistake, against all homosexual men and women.

Already the International Gay Association has committed itself to an international support campaign – but it is we who will translate it into action. It is up to Gay Noise and its writers, readers and supporters, the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association, the Scottish Homosexual Rights Group, Gay News — in fact the entire gay movement — to take up and support the initiative of CAPM. For more information, and to send messages of support, large sums of money (while Lotte’s back is turned) and requests for CAPM speakers, contact CAPM BM 1151 London WC1V 6XX”⁠ Gay Noise No 4 Thursday 25th September 1980 p2.

By the time of the first trial in January 1981 PIE had gone from questioning whether the Fallen Angels were Heaven Sent? to calling them ‘Risen Apes’ in a scathing update. Denouncing them as a ‘small handful of political theorists and hydrophobic feminists’ who ‘took control during last year of CAPM’ PIE declared ‘This clique of leftover intellectuals have spent the remainder of the year working to achieve those (CAPM’s) aims by a series of hysterical and vicious attacks on PIE, and in particular on Tom O’Carroll…in their own booklet PAEDOPHILIA & PUBLIC MORALS – replete with “sexist pin-ups” – and elsewhere. It is clearly their aim to use the trial as a vehicle for their own naive political ends, whatever the cost to the defendants.” PIE clearly identified the Fallen Angels Collective as having taken over CAPM, at some point during July 1980-October 1980, to publish “their own booklet”, as set out below.

“The Campaign Against Public Morals (CAPM) exists to defend the PIE defendents (sic), and alert people to the dangers surrounding that trial. This pamphlet has been written to encourage some debate around the key political issues of the trial. To this end, certain arguments and positions have been put froward (sic) which are the view of the particular authors and the basis for the unity of the campaign as a whole. Involvement in CAPM does not necessarily mean agreement on such questions as the Age of Consent, the right of children to an independent income or other such questions. The authors believe however that these are vital to be argued for.” [P&PM, p.59]

PIE Bulletin (January 1981) p.3

PIE Bulletin (January 1981) p.3

A far cry from six months earlier when PIE had awaited news of Fallen Angels’ IGA lobbying developments with ‘keen anticipation’.

PIE Periodical (July 1980) p.4 ‘Heaven sent support?’

However following O’Carroll’s imprisonment, an article by new PIE Chairman Steven Adrian Smith giving an overall favourable review to CAPM’s Paeodophilia & Public Morals, it appears some form of a rapprochement was in process between PIE proper and its radical socialist revolutionary Angels:

“It is a pity that CAPM, in common with people such as Roger Moody and the editors of GAY NOISE (a welcome newspaper giving extensive coverage to paedophilia and the PIE trial), have pitched their arguments exclusively towards a very narrow, albeit very active band of the political spectrum — the radical left, an audience to which Tom O’Carroll’s book was specifically not addressed, and the many valid and important assertions they make will consequently be lost on a wider readership.” (‘Public Morals: Weaponry of Repression’ by Steven Adrian, Magpie No. 15 Spring 1981, p.16)

“Finally, it should be noted that visually the booklet has been put together with great imagination. The selection of illustrations and graphics which amount to half the content of the book displays an inventiveness and resourcefulness which are sorely needed in MAGPIE. To draw an unfair comparison, Tom O’Carroll’s book is presented in an austere and formidably academic format which is hardly calculated to inspire one to read it, the CAPM booklet is visually exciting and attention grabbing and is cleverly designed to draw one into the text. A pity then that the text is peppered with more typographical errors than commas.” (‘Public Morals: Weaponry of Repression’ by Steven Adrian, Magpie No. 15 Spring 1981, p.22)

Certainly by 1986, PIE defendant John Parratt (Warren Middleton) and Fallen Angel Tim Brown were still on friendly enough terms for Middleton to thank him (formerly of CAPM) in the foreword to Betrayal of Youth.

 

Paedophilia & Public Morals Front page [Qn: Is this a child’s writing & drawing or are either faked by an adult to look as if by a child?]

p.2 – 3 (inner cover)

Introduction: The Show Trial & The Populist Offensive

p.5

CAPM cannot say too much about the content of the charges:

“This is not out of coyness. It is because the rest is sub judice and we would be in legal trouble ourselves if we were to go into them in any more detail. We will however endeavour not to avoid the many controversial issues which are likely to come out at the trial, even if we cannot specify the context in which they come up.”

 

CAPM considers the PIE trial will be a “show trial”

The popular press led by the News of the World will report on the PIE trial relentlessly and unfavourable, whipping up public fury which in turn will place pressure on an already right-wing populist government under Thatcher, a year into her first term.

“The present government have merely made a virtue out of necessity. For the significant period prior to taking government, the Tatcher/Joseph wing appreciated the climate and adopted an aggressive ‘right populist’ stance. In the run up to the elections they seized every opportunity to champion the bigotry of the people against each other. Once in government they have continued this approach escalating the already existing internecine warfare. Classic examples of this have been their stand on immigration and on social security ‘scroungers’.”

 

p.6

On why the Fallen Angels are defending PIE when they don’t agree on politics:

“We are not defending the five because we agree with their politics. Many of the arguments in this pamphlet run counter to what some of the defendents (sic) believe. We are not defending them because they are wonderful right on people with inpeccable (sic) revolutionary socialist credentials. We are defending them because they are on the front line where they are likely to receive the fiercest blows of a generally barbaric offensive. This we cannot tolerate.” (P&PM, p.6)

 

p.7

Chapter 1: Patriarchal Power & The Oppression of Children

pp. 8 – 9

 

pp.10 – 11

“In the 80’s this is all in flux again. The welfare state is being significantly dismantled. Women are bein driven out of the labour force to be full time mothers again. Capital cannot afford the national extended family. The definition of childhood has however remained much the same. For a period it was not defined so much in terms of the mother. Now it will be again. Either way, children are at the bottom of the patriarchal pile. What is important however, is that in this period the state has to intervene directly to re-establish the centrality of motherhood. It will do this by raising the question of ‘vulnerable children’. It will attack all expressions of autonomous actions by children. It is in this context that the question of the age of consent is so important, a question which will be forced upon us by the coming show trial.”

Commenting on an article press cutting on a BBC2 Horizon programme ‘A touch of sensitivity’ discussing research of the effects of a mother’s touch on growing children, CAPM asks:

“Can the state entrust to woman the socialisation of children, while avoiding any emotional/physical contact that might imply sexuality?”

pp 12 – 13

Chapter II: Control, Protection & Corruption

pp 14 – 15

CAPM try to avoid defining ‘Women under the age of 13’ as children, female children or girls, preferring to use the term ‘Women’ which means adult female [p.14]. Even female babies, all female children, must be referred to as ‘women’. This causes them linguistic difficulty and is shown up by their need to refer to the Indecency with Children Act: “c) Women of any age may legally consent to non-penetrative sexual relations with men, but in practice a charge of Indecency with Children would be brought.”

pp 16 – 17

 

“Take the famous ‘theory of maternal deprivation’. This ‘theory’ created by pseudo-scientists and propagated by the media, claimed that children would grow up deprived and hence deviant if separated from their biological mother. Hence mothers should not go out to work etc. While an ideology of protection, its function was clearly the control of women and children. It was to discourage women from entering the waged labour force and to define their role as full time mother, which not only oppressed women, but strengthened the repressive role of the nuclear family on children.”

pp 18 – 19

 

 

 

 

pp 20 -21

“The PIE trial is going to be a noisy trial. The DPP and the police have the chance to legitimate the law through ideology of protection, just like in the Angry Brigade case, only this time its the ‘protection of children’ which is at issue. If they can get away with this, the law will be applied more generally against gay organisations, lesbians and men, just as the conspiracy laws were applied against Trade Unionists in the early seventies, after the Angry Brigade trials. The gay and lesbian movement cannot afford to make the same mistake that was made in 1972.”

pp 22 – 23

Chapter III: Paedophilia

“The popular image of paedophiles is contradictory, but always hostile and condemning. In fact these images are intimately related to the contradictory attitudes adults have towards children and child sexuality. On the one hand, paedophiles (women and men) are seen to be marauding, predatory males, prowling around the streets, spitting blood, lust and perversion and in search of innocent children to corrupt, deprave, rape and destroy.

The contrasting stereotype is of the failed macho who cannot ‘pull the birds’, who hasn’t grown up and can only identify emotionally and sexually with someone of equal ‘immaturity’, but one whose age matches the supposed ‘maturity’ process.”

“Perhaps these images lie behind some of you who are at present reading this pamphlet. Perhaps you are thinking that only men are paedophiles because paedophilia is about harming children.” *

* “Just as homosexuals have adopted the word ‘gay’ amongst many others, so some paedophiles have suggested ‘kind person’ as a positive description of paedosexuality. It at least has the advantage of being equally applicable to women paedophiles as well as to men.”

 

 

pp. 24 – 25

 

“The first thing which we must state categorically is that there is a massive inequality of power between adults and children, this is incontrovertible and is one of the central theses of this pamphlet. It must also be the case that this power structure will tend to be reflected in paedophile relationships. Those paedophiles who attempt to dispute this have missed the point and cannot analyse the cause of their own harrassment by the state.”

CAPM take a sideswipe at PIE and the five defendants awaiting trial as blind to the cause of the state’s action by them.

“However the mere fact that a particular relationship tends to reflect a general oppression tells us very little about the place the relationship has in that structure of dominance. If we were to outlaw all those human relationships which reflect an oppressive structure in this society we would end up banning  every human, interaction, sexual or otherwise! We have to ask whether such relationships add or detract from the overall oppression. Given the family, the school, the police, social workers etc, are paedophiles just another brick in the wall imprisoning children? We say determinedly NO. They are a crack in that wall.”

 

pp. 26 – 27

“Finally, there is quite a different kind of argument advanced in radical circles. This is the ‘physiological’ argument. Namely that sex with prepubescent children in physiologically harmful. This argument says more about adult orientated concepts than it does about physiology!

In the first place, there is no way a child will consent to do something which is physically hurtfull. The child will scream the house down! There is no need to legislate against the possibility of some mistaken consent, as the possibility simply does not exist. In the second place there is a tacit assumption that all sexuality is orientated towards penetration and/or orgasm. This is a very adult notion. There are plenty of other expressions of genital sexuality and it will be precisely those other ways which are included in the substance of a consenting paedophile relationship in these cases.”

CAPM think it is impossible for paedophiles to make a mistake as to the consent of a child to sexual activity so there is no need to legislate against the possibility of mistaken consent. How could CAPM be so sure?  The idea that paedophiles wish to have penetrative sex with children is dismissed by CAPM as (a) the product of a dirty mind and (b) negated by CAPM’s assertion that paedophiles in the majority choose ‘other expressions of genital sexuality’. How would CAPM know?

“In summary then, we do not see that paedophilia adds to the oppression of children; rather the reverse. We do not therefore support the existence of any anti paedophile legislation.”

Chapter IV: Three Sides of the Coin

“Reprinted in the pamphlet are two articles and a letter, the first of which appeared in the American pamphlet Growing Up Gay. It’s written by a young lesbian called Sky, who left home at 15 to come and work with the American organisation Youth Liberation.”

pp. 28 – 29

 

pp. 30 -31

p. 30 Letter written to the Leveller (which didn’t publish) – A man writes about being 10 and having a relationship with a 24 year old school teacher at primary school.

At the end of Allan’s letter a cartoon of a blackboard declared ‘children’s power means paedophilia now!’

p. 31 Interspersed with headlines:

“Girl, 12, lured ‘shy’ man to bed’

‘Judges free ‘victim’ of sex temptress, 11″

‘Sex temptress aged 12 made advances he couldn’t resist’

‘Court hears of schoolgirl temptress”

CAPM appears to view men who have sex with 11 and 12 year old girls as blameless, their anger is reserved for the child protection ‘racket’ which sends the girl into care:

“Note the similarity between the reporting of these cases and that of rape against women. Whilst it is OK that the men should get off, it is the girl who gets sent into care. Patriarchal age of consent laws receive eloquent expression through the mouths of judges and magistrates.” [p.31]

 

pp. 32 – 33

 

pp 34 – 35

pp. 36 – 37

The news cutting at the bottom of page 36 (see above) is concerning the case of William Pate, a Finsbury Park man who was a sadistic abductor and rapist of young boys. During 1978 a cross-party group of MPs had successfully campaigned for his release.

pp. 38 – 39

 

 

pp. 40 – 41

pp. 42 – 43

 

pp. 44 – 45

“Our case therefore adds up to a demand for the abolition of the age of consent in conjunction with major changes to rape laws. There are obviously special considerations that should be taken into account in terms of the trial of rapists of young children. It might be thought that a child of five would be unable to withstand cross examination in the witness box before a conviction can be secured, but freed of adult pressure, children of all ages are quite capable of deciding what constitutes rape. It is after all a violent and painful experience, and one way of alleviating unpleasant and unneccessary pressure, would be to have the court run by children. If it s a case of justice for children, then it is they who should be instrumental in its procuration. Many adults claim children to be incapable of such action. Those same adults who claim children are innocents in need of protection also call for a ‘short sharp shock’ to deal with those nasty youth who disobey adults. If five year old children can take on the militarily superior forces of the occupying British Army in the streets of Belfast, or Apartheid in the ghettos of Soweto, then the only people who have anything to fear are the oppressors.”

 

pp. 46 – 47

 

 

pp. 48 – 49

 

 

pp 50 – 51

 

PIE’s Practice

CAPM critique of PIE was that instead of seeking alliances with the sexual political movements and the left it was focused on demanding “a series of reforms” through:

(a) “rational argument”; and

(b) “vigorous lobbying of the powers that be”

“Blinded by its optimism towards the state and their attachment to the most awful kinds of publicity, they were unable to perceive that from the state’s point of view, they were easy meat.”

p.50 Gay News front page covering ‘The Vilest Men in Britain’ Sunday People headline with ‘They used deceit to smash men’s lives’

 

pp. 52 – 53

“Clearly then, pornography and obscenity laws play an important role in the way in which the state brings cases against paedophiles. This applies to the coming trial of the PIE five. Despite the fact that none of the defendants have been accused of playing any part in the production or distribution of pornogrpahy, pornographic material will play a central part in the trial, both at the level of evidence and media coverage.

Pornography is distinguished from other representations of sexuality by its function rather than by its content of social effects. This function is to make profit from the production and/or distribution of images by virtue of their powers of sexual stimulation. Clearly pornography is not restricted to illicit magazines or blue films. It is to be found in the popular press, on advertising hoardings, films on general release, television and so on. Sexual stimulation is a central motif of the market place.

This transformation of a part of human existence and activity into a commodity, a saleable object, is clearly reprehensible. It stands condemned along with capital as a whole, by virtue of the part it plays in dehumanising social relations.

Pornography material can, however, have social effects which go beyond those defined by its function as a commodity or vehicle for commodities. These effects are determined by the relationship between the particular images and the hierarchical sexual power relations which exist in society. Thus there is a vast difference between the social significance of straight porn, gay porn, paedophile porn and the precise nature of the representations involved.

The significance of straight porn, for the consumption of heterosexual men has been well documented by the Women’s Movement. Its role in reinforcing male dominance is unquestionable and there much evidence to suggest that its incidence can be directly correlated with that of rape. There should be nothing very surprising about this.

So now we come to the question of paedophile pornography. To start with a distinction has to be made between those pornographic representations of children produced for general popular consumption and those which are produced for people conscious of being paedophile.

The former is more  rampant than people admit and normally untouched by the state. From films like Pretty Baby and Little Darlings through ads like Elliot boots, to a million, apparently ‘innocent’ adverts adorned with pretty children. The danger lies in the fact that the sex objects are presented simultaneously with the social taboo on child sexuality and paedophilia.

Pornographic material designed specifically for paedophiles, is of course, illegal. While it does not share the same dangers as does the daily barrage of ‘normal’ child pornography, it remains sexist and negative. When consumed by adults it is not essentially subversive even if it conflicts with the value of the status quo. Nevertheless it must be pointed that adult consumers of this material cannot be regarded in the same light as adult gay or straight porn consumers. Sex between adults is legal to a point. The motivations of these consumers is therefore immediately suspect. The charge of unquestioning sexism is immediately suggested and is (probably) justified. For paedophiles, pornography may represent the only assertion of identity, the one confident statement in an otherwise silent world, that child-adult sex can be a reality. It is a disgraceful tragedy that the porn merchants have a monopoly of the paed-positive expression, and that this is therefore grounded in commodity sex objectification.” [Chapter VII Pornography – pp. 53 – 55 – underline emphasis mine]

 

 

p.54 – 55

Two birthday cards are placed opposite one another with the comment “‘Nuff said”: A 5 year old’s birthday card and a birthday card saying “Happy Birthday Stick to Sex…it keeps you young!”

pp 56 – 57

“Right to an Independent Income

Over the past few years, many feminists have argued strongly for the rights of prostitutes. We unreservedly support this position. It is natural to ask whether or not these arguments can be extended to women how earn a living by posing for pornographic magazines and films, and if also, whether they apply to children.

The feminist defence of prostitutes has never been defence of prostitution. However, given the nature of this society, where women are expected to be sex objects with no autonomy, being house slaves into the bargain, and perhaps earning pin money from sweated labour as well, the life prostitutes takes on a different complexion from that of the institution of prostitution. Prostitutes demand money for services rendered, exercising some control over their sexuality even if that control is constructed wholly within the context of the market. They are using their sexuality to gain a degree of autonomy, of independence, potentially sabotaging the financial structures of male privilege.

It seems to us that the very same argument applies to women who sell their images to porn merchants. But it might be countered that by appearing in porn, those women are betraying all women in general; by participating in an operation which degrades women and encourages sexist attitudes and behaviour. In fact that argument can be used against prostitutes too. The men who use prostitutes have their sexist attitudes and behaviour reinforced. The fact that prostitutes are known to exist reinforces the predatory assumption of men in general.

Ultimately in this society, survival involves complicity between the oppressed and the oppressors; wages labourer and capitalist, the claimant and the state etc. The question is how, in the process of survival, do the oppressed obtain some autonomous space from which they can potentially challenge that social order? By being a housewife, by being a prostitute, or by being a pin up? All involve complicity with the oppressors, but the latter two, at least have the merit of establishing a relatively large independent income.

If these arguments are acceptable, then it is difficult to see why they don’t apply to children. Legally, children are not supposed to have any independent income whatsoever. It is crazy therefore to condemn the child prostitute or porn poseur, to say that those children should be in care or whatever. These children have struck out for independence. Of course, it is abhorrent that these are the only routes open to them. That only goes to show how oppressed children are at present.

Now there are grave dangers in this argument, of course. The logic might appear to lead towards a complete acceptance of child labour. Though we believe that the abolition of child labour in the 19th century to be the result of ruling class interest rather then genuine philanthropic liberalism, we have no wish to advocate a Dickensian world. Children should not have to be prostitutes, pin ups, or chimney sweeps to obtain an independent income. Money for material needs of children is available without there being child labour to make up for it. It is presently channelled through the family, either from the adult wage or by the state. It should be directly available to the child. The problem then, is not lack of resources but the capitalist social order, a problem whose familiarity faces all people. In the meantime however, we support any attempts by children to obtain an independent income.”

[Despite quoting statistics which said of 450 PIE members only 14 were women CAPM refuse to acknowledge that the majority of self-identifying paedophiles were also ‘predatory’ men]

pp. 59 – 60

 

“The Campaign Against Public Morals (CAPM) exists to defend the PIE defendents (sic), and alert people to the dangers surrounding that trial. This pamphlet has been written to encourage some debate around the key political issues of the trial. To this end, certain arguments and positions have been put froward (sic) which are the view of the particular authors and the basis for the unity of the campaign as a whole. Involvement in CAPM does not necessarily mean agreement on such questions as the Age of Consent, the right of children to an independent income or other such questions. The authors believe however that these are vital to be argued for.” [P&PM, p.59]

Outer back cover

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Little Angels? A letter to Socialist Challenge from Fallen Angel Tim Brown (October 1979)

 

 

The entire issue of Socialist Challenge can be found here . In 1986 Tim Brown would be thanked by Warren Middleton (John Parratt), PIE Executive Member, in the foreword of his book ‘Betrayal of Youth’ as ‘Tim Brown (formerly of CAPM)”. This letter was published during the month after Brown had attended the third meeting of Conspiracy Against Public Morals with Sandy Marks, Nettie Pollard (former NCCL Gay Rights Officer) and Barry Prothero (the then current NCCL Gay Rights Officer) who was Brown’s housemate at Davenant Road, N19 at the time.

 

Little angels?

In an article generally favourable to kids, David Holland’s “Whose Consent?” (20 September) was remarkably weak on paedophilia, To say that ‘cross generational sex is a side issue…’ (rather a silly euphemism for paedophile sex, aren’t sexual relations between a girl/boy of 16 and woman/man of 60 cross generational?) is plainly incorrect. Daughter/father relationships, lesbian/feminist custody cases, and child/mother relationships all in their various ways proclaim the prolific nature of paedophile relationships.

I find it amusing that David Holland should quote Lewis Carroll or Peter Pan as a ‘little angels idyll’ in contrast to the ‘savage’ attacks on children’s sexuality taking place outside the playhouse. Both J.M. Barrie and Carroll were paedophiles, and tolerated as such as the medium by which the Victorian middle classes came to terms with the existence of, and their cravings for, sexual children. Under age sexuality was recognised and wrapped up in a cloying innocence. Embedded in Peter Pan is the image of the paedophile as an immature adult, ‘the person who never grew up’, and that image embodies many deep felt – but denied – fantasies that adults have for children.

Paedophiles are adults who love children. The number of adults who love children is immense. But the number of paedophiles…?

Well, just stop for a moment and muse over parent/child relationships. Pretty mundane, you might say. But if I were to turn up on your doorstep dear (adult) reader, and strike up a similar relationship with ‘your’ child, how long would it be before I was being carted off to the local nick with perhaps ten years (or much more) inside after the court case?

And what if dear ‘little x’ decided to go to Paris with me for a dirty weekend? Or forever? So much for biological parenthood. (This paragraph constitutes a Conspiracy Corrupt Public Morals, so please regard it in a hypothetical light… until it happens.)

Show me an adult who is not a paedophile. Then I’ll join Mary Whitehouse and believe in immorality. Sex with children is wonderful and can be highly recommended to all SC readers. (Oops! Another Conspiracy to Corrupt.) Children are wonderful they should not be subjected to any kind of guilt trip or legal shit about their bodies and their sexuality. It is theirs and nobody else’s. Tim Brown, London N19

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.”

 

p.1

 

 

“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.”

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