“My endeavor has been to present education as the last and highest form of evolution. . . . By placing education in relation to the whole process of evolution, as its highest form, I have hoped to impart to it a dignity which it could hardly otherwise receive or claim . . . when it is recognized to be the highest phase of the world-process. ‘World process’ here is an echo of Kant and Hegel, and for the teacher to be the chief agent in that process, both it and he assumes a very different aspect.”
—Thomas Davidson,History of Education
Returning to the 20thcentury history of homosexuality, the Homosexual Law Reform Society was founded in Britain in 1958, publicly supported by Clement Attlee, Isaiah Berlin, Julian Huxley, J. B. Priestley, and Bertrand Russell, among others, with members including Victor Gollancz, Stephen Spender, MP Kenneth Younger, and the aforementioned Antony Grey. Most of the founders were supposedly not homosexual, at least openly. That same year, the related charity the Albany Trust was set up, using J. B. Priestley’s apartment for its first meetings (Grey joined in 1962). The following year, in 1959, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the First Amendment rights of a gay and lesbian magazine, marking the first ruling on a case involving homosexuality. UK’s ITV, at the time the only national commercial broadcaster, broadcast the first gay drama,South, starring Peter Wyngarde.
And then came the sixties, towards the end of which the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was formed. Homosexuality became legal in the UK via Sexual Offences Act 1967, the year I was born. In the UK, the GLF had its first meeting in the basement of the London School of Economics, on 13thOctober, 1970. Why the LSE, of all places? Apparently it was simply the place to be.
Another chapter in the hidden history of the sexual revolution occurred in Germany during this period. In “The Sexual Revolution and Children: How the Left Took Things Too Far,” published inDe Spiegelin 2010, Jan Fleischhauer and Wiebke Hollersenup describe a movement in Germany of the late 1960s that involved schools across the country known asKinderladen. In a collection of reports found for one of these schools, the Rote Freiheit (“Red Freedom”) after-school center, dated from August 13th, 1969, to January 14th, 1970, fifteen children aged between eight and fourteen were mentioned as being “taken care of during the afternoon.” “The goal of the center was to shape the students into ‘socialist personalities,’ and its educational mission went well beyond supervised play.” There was “a very strong emphasis on sex education. Almost every day, the students played games that involved taking off their clothes, reading porno magazines together and pantomiming intercourse.”
An entry made on November 26threads: “In general, by lying there we repeatedly provoked, openly or in a hidden way, sexual innuendoes, which were then expressed in pantomimes, which Kurt and Rita performed together on the low table (as a stage) in front of us.”
“In the basement [were] found two rooms that were separated by a large, one-way mirror. There was a mattress in one of the rooms, as well as a sink on the wall and a row of colorful washcloths hanging next to it. [T]he basement was used as an ‘observation station’ to study sexual behavior in children. . . . It has since faded into obscurity, but the members of the 1968 movement and their successors were caught up in a strange obsession about childhood sexuality. It is a chapter of the movement’s history which is never mentioned in the more glowing accounts of the era.”
The aim of the movement was the “sexual liberation of children.” As with the Kinsey Institute, some of the leading German academics of the time were involved.
“[I]t was precisely in so-called progressive circles that an eroticization of childhood and a gradual lowering of taboos began. It was a shift that even allowed for the possibility of sex with children. Sexual liberation was at the top of the agenda of the young revolutionaries who, in 1967, began turning society upside down.The control of sexual desire was seen as an instrument of domination, which bourgeois society used to uphold its power.Everything that the innovators perceived as wrong and harmful has its origins in this concept: man’s aggression, greed and desire to own things, as well as his willingness to submit to authority. The student radicals believed that only those who liberated themselves from sexual repression could be truly free. To them, it seemed obvious that liberation should begin at an early age. Once sexual inhibitions had taken root, they reasoned, everything that followed was merely the treatment of symptoms. They were convinced that it was much better to prevent those inhibitions from developing in the first place.Hardly any leftist texts of the day did not address the subject of sexuality” (emphasis added).
This radical philosophy blamed “The de-eroticization of family life, from the prohibition of sexual activity among children to the taboo of incest,” for people’s “voluntary subjugation to a dehumanizing labor system. [F]or the revolutionaries of 1968, [what is today seen as sexual abuse] wasan educational tool that helped ‘create a new person’”[emphasis added].
“In the wake of the emerging gay movement, so-called Pedo groups soon appeared. Taking their cue from homosexuals, they also claimed that, as a minority, they were entitled to certain rights. . . . The Greens were not long immune to the argument that the government should not limit the sexuality of children [and] argued that ‘nonviolent sexuality’ between children and adults should generally be allowed, without any age restrictions.”
As with the Kinsey affair, and as with PIE in the UK, this chapter in German history has been all-but stricken from the record. It is generally assumed that these movements “petered” out because they were aberrational, a symptom of the times. But what if, like the New Criticism, they simply became the norm, and hence culturally invisible?
In 1973, The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders, and in 1974, Paedophile Action for Liberation (PAL) developed as a breakaway group from South London Gay Liberation Front. It was the subject of a front page and centerspread article in theSunday People, leading to some of the people exposed losing their jobs. In 1975, PAL merged with the Pedophile Information Exchange, a special interest group within the Scottish Minorities Group, with founding member Michael Hanson (a non-pedophile), as the group’s first chairman. As already mentioned, PIE grew out of The National Council for Civil Liberties (now simply Liberty), originally formed in 1932 as a response to the National Hunger March 1932. The first Secretary of NCCL was Ronald Kidd, and the first President was the author E. M. Forster. Vice-Presidents were the politician and author A. P. Herbert and the journalist Kingsley Martin ofTheNew Statesman. H. G. Wells, Vera Brittain, Clement Attlee, and Harold Laski (of the LSE) were also founder members.
Since the majority of inquiries were from England, PIE relocated to London in 1975, where 23-year-old Keith Hose became chairman. The group’s stated aim was “to alleviate [the] suffering of many adults and children” by campaigning to abolish the age of consent and legalizing sex between adults and children. PIE spokesman Tom O’Carroll (in his 1980 bookPaedophilia: The Radical Case) advocated the normalization of adult-child sexual relationships. Each stage of the sexual relationship between an adult and child, O’Carroll claimed, can be “negotiated,” with “hints and signals, verbal and non-verbal, by which each indicates to the other what is acceptable and what is not. [T]he man might start by saying what pretty knickers the girl was wearing, and he would be far more likely to proceed to the next stage of negotiation if she seemed pleased by the remark.”
By his own account, O’Carroll was not a homosexual: “I didn’t feel gay at all, and although Quentin Crisp is firmly in my pantheon of twentieth-century heroes, I felt as out of place in GLF company as I would sipping tea with Mary Whitehouse.” (Quentin Crisp was also one of my brother’s handful of acknowledged role models.) O’Carroll describes attending the early meetings of PAL:
“It was at these meetings that I first met other pedophiles, and experienced the sheer exhilaration and joy of suddenly finding a whole new social world—a world in which the Great Unmentionable was all at once the thing to talk about, a source of instant, garrulous rapport, between the unlikeliest combinations of people: at my first meeting there were maybe a dozen, all male, mostly young not easily pigeon-holed—by either dress, accent or manner—into any obvious social class stereotypes. Among them were a naval petty officer, a motor mechanic, a former child welfare officer, a medical-research technician, a high-ranking administrator and a bus driver. At a later meeting a middle-aged man introduced himself as the headmaster of a boarding school for boys.”
O’Carroll quotes a letter published in PIE’s magazine,Magpie, from someone reluctantly leaving the group, stating, “some of the finest people I have ever met in the gay world are PIE members.” Even more tellingly, Tom O’Carroll writes about how he was angrily criticized for his involvement with PIE—not by offended parents but by fellow pedophiles—for not being subtle enough. A professor at the British Psychological Society’s conference on Love and Attraction, in Swansea in 1977, accused O’Carroll of trying to be a messiah. “He had wanted to introduce to an academic audience some ideas about paedophilia and child sexuality,” O’Carroll wrote, “that were quite as ‘advanced’ as any I had to offer; but his ideas were to be safely couched in academic language, with an air of tentative, disinterested objectivity. Thus, carefully sown, the seeds of his radicalism would be nurtured in good soil, and would in their own good time propagate themselves more widely.”
O’Carroll also describes attending MIND, the national mental health organization, where it was suggested that PIE should submit evidence to the Home Office Criminal Law Revision Committee on the age of consent. O’Carroll writes that the report “caught the imagination of no less a figure than the Home Secretary of the time, Roy Jenkins. He is said to have been impressed . . . but added words to the effect: ‘Of course, it hasn’t a hope in hell.’”
Roy Jenkins is an important figure in this narrative. In Jenkins’obituary, Labor MP David Marquand claimed that “Jenkins did more than any other person to make Britain a more civilized country to live in,” that he played an “indispensable part” in taking Britain into the European Union, an “equally indispensable part” in paving the way for the single currency, and, by forming the Social Democrat Party (with the afore-mentioned David Owen) and “breaking the mold” of British politics, Jenkins created New Labor.Jenkins, who became Home Secretary in 1965, was “convinced that the ‘permissive society’ was the ‘civilized society.’” In 1967, Jenkins embarked on whatThe Telegraphcalled “the most radical program of penal reform since the Second World War. His Criminal Justice Act of 1967 said very little about the victims of crime, but plenty about the perpetrators.”
Other leading Labor figures more directly connected to PIE are Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt, who first encountered the group when they were working in the National Council for Civil Liberties. According toaDaily Mailpiece from 1976, “the NCCL filed a submission to a parliamentary committee claiming that a proposed Bill to protect children from sex abusers would lead to ‘damaging and absurd prosecutions.’ . . . . ‘Childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adultresult in no identifiable damage,’ it read. ‘The real need isa change in the attitude which assumes that all cases of paedophilia result in lasting damage’” (emphasis added). In 1978, Harriet Harman became the NCCL’s legal officer and promptly wrote its official response to Parliament’s Protection of Children Bill, which sought to ban child pornography. Harman argued that “a pornographic picture of a naked child should not be considered indecent unless it could be proven that the subject had suffered.”
Patricia Hewitt was part of the NCCL before PIE was formed and continued there throughout its existence. She stuck up for Tom O’Carroll after he was convicted in 1981 for “conspiracy to corrupt public morals” over the contact ads section ofMagpie.“Conspiring to corrupt public morals,” Hewitt wrote, “is an offence incapable of definition or precise proof.” She argued that O’Carroll’s involvement in distributing child pornography had “overshadowed the deplorable nature of the conspiracy charge used by the prosecution.” I spend so much time on these characters because many of them show up again in the 2000s, as part of Tony Blair’s “Brain Trust,” a New Labor incentive that included Rupert Murdoch, two of Jenkins’ devotees David Marquand and Peter Madelson, Patricia Hewitt, David Puttnam, Melvyn Bragg, and—my uncle, Lord Haskins.
While it would be premature to suppose that everyone operating inside these circles of power is necessarily implicated in the sexual abuse that clearly proliferates within them, at the very least, it seems almost unthinkable they would not haveknownabout it.
Alexander Schuller, a sociologist, was one of the pioneers of the movement and founders of a Kinderladen in Berlin’s Wilmersdorf neighborhood. “Like Schuller, the other parents were academics, journalists or university employees—a decidedly upper middle-class lot.”
At his blog, in a 2013 post, Tom O’Carroll mentions PIE treasurer David Grove (a.k.a. Robin Brabban), whom O’Carroll worked with in London in the 1970s. Grove was at Oxford during the same period as Alec Horsley, and according to O’Carroll (who refers to Grove as a “colonial boy-lover”), Grove “served as an assistant district commissioner in Nigeria from the 1920s. Alec was assistant district officer in Nigeria in the 1920s, so it seems more than likely he would have known Grove. Like O’Carroll, Grove “was indicted on a charge of conspiracy to corrupt public morals and would have been tried alongside [O’Carroll] and others at the Old Bailey but for the fact that he was gravely ill by then and died before the trial began.” O’Carroll writes that “Old David used to talk with great affection about the boys in Africa—hordes of little kids who were not banned from his verandah, nor from his heart or his life. He loved them dearly and they, I am sure, would have loved him. He was that sort of guy.”https://tomocarroll.wordpress.com/2013/05/
In the late 1950s, Jenkins wrote a tract entitledIs Britain Civilized?in which he attacked Britain’s “archaic” laws on censorship, homosexuality, divorce and abortion, and argued for changes to the country’s “Victorian” criminal justice system. Jenkins’ progressive views on social reform were still in the minority in the Labor Party at that time, but by 1964, when Labor regained power, a “group of middle-class, mainly Oxbridge-educated ‘intellectuals’ had risen to prominence in the party and, for these ‘modernizers,’ led by Jenkins and his Oxford friend Tony Crosland, the main aim was the social, rather than the economic, transformation of Britain.”Link
The death penalty had already been suspended, and Labor supported bills to decriminalize abortion and homosexuality, relax censorship and make divorce easier. Jenkins also embarked on what The Telegraph called “the most radical program of penal reform since the Second World War. His Criminal Justice Act of 1967 said very little about the victims of crime, but plenty about the perpetrators.” It introduced the parole system of early release for offenders serving three years or more, and the system of suspended sentences. “The legalization of homosexuality has not been the end of the chapter, but merely the beginning, with an aggressive ‘gay rights’ lobby demanding more and more concessions. The policy of early release of prisoners has had a catastrophic effect on the safety of the general public: 14 per cent of violent criminals freed early are convicted of fresh violence within two years of their release. AsThe Sunday Telegraph’sAlasdair Palmer states: ‘Scores of men, women and children have been assaulted, raped and murdered as a result of the policy of releasing dangerous criminals before their sentences are completed’—a policy initiated and endorsed by Jenkins.” Debatable rhetoric aside, it does tie in to my grandfather’s interest in and sympathy for violent offenders. Link
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/blairs-brains-trust-1525441.htmlAlso implicated throughout are British intelligence services MI5 and MI6: On the 19 July 2015, Australia’s “60 Minutes” broadcast an investigation of an alleged pedophile ring which was supplied children by PIE founder, Peter Righton, former director of education at the National Institute for Social Work and legal aid to the British government. The ring allegedly included senior politicians from all three main parties, naming Leon Brittan, Greville Janner and Cyril Smith, alongside British diplomat and long-time deputy director of MI6, Sir Peter Telford Hayman. Hayman also went to Worcester College, Oxford, where my grandfather majored.
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