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June 11, 2007 7:06 PM   Subscribe

A pedophile among us. Jack McClellan told us he's mapping out Southland events where little girls attend then posting them on his website. "Is that part of what drew you here to Los Angeles [...] the number of children?" "Yes." McClellan recently moved here from Washington state, having run a site called Seattle-Tacoma-Everett Girl Love for years, which offered tips on how to track children down and how to avoid getting caught by the police. He has never been arrested for a sex crime, so he is free to attend public events with children present, and live next to a school. It is currently not illegal to post a minor's personal information online. "I can understand the fear," he added. "I hope that what I'm doing is setting myself up as an example that it is possible to have these attractions and not be out of control." His site is hosted by the Canadian ISP Epifora. Here it is. [more inside]
posted by phaedon (148 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Creepy creepy.
posted by delmoi at 7:13 PM on June 11, 2007


It's good to have an open mind about things.








Except for this shit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:17 PM on June 11, 2007 [8 favorites]


[the more inside]

Lindsay Ashford has a thought-provoking piece on the predator as the modern-day leper. He runs a website called Sugar and Spice, which specifically targets young girls and tells them that pedophilia is not bad. "A two-year-old understands pleasure," he said in an interview. In March, Ashford posted pictures of Barack Obama's two daughters, but has since taken them down. Efforts to take down his website, however, have failed. Ashford currently lives in the Netherlands, where, interestingly enough, the pro-pedophile movement is thriving.

[all links are either to background articles or caches. no NSFW pictures.]
posted by cortex at 7:18 PM on June 11, 2007


¿[more inside]?
posted by taosbat at 7:20 PM on June 11, 2007


NAMBLA Leader: We are human. Most of us didn't even choose to be attracted to young boys. We were born that way. We can't help the way we are, and if you all can't understand that, well, then, I guess you'll just have to put us away.

Kyle: [slowly, for emphasis] Dude. You have sex with children.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:22 PM on June 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


From his site:

The primary purpose of this site is to promote association, friendship; and legal, nonsexual, consensual touch (hugging, cuddling, etc) between men and prepubescent girls.

And that's as far as I got before my head exploded.
posted by dhammond at 7:25 PM on June 11, 2007


No matter what one's sexual orientation is, the ability to freely express yourself sexually ends at the boundary of consent of the other person--a consent that by definition, a child can never give. It is a tragedy born of prior abuse that people have this type of sexual orientation. Nevertheless, they are the ones with the duty to never act in any way on that attraction. The minute they do, it is crime by its very definition.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:27 PM on June 11, 2007


That link to the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett Girl Love website doesn't work. It goes to Fox News instead.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:28 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


I once heard a guy say that he felt sorry for pedophiles because they couldn't help who they loved, and I really tried to look at that idea logically, but all I could think was now I'm creeped out by this guy...
posted by misha at 7:29 PM on June 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


OK, I see it now.

Damn but if that guy doesn't give dope fiends a bad name.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:31 PM on June 11, 2007


That link to the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett Girl Love website doesn't work. It goes to Fox News instead.

The site's been taken down and replaced with the Los Angeles version at the same IP address as the last link in the OP.
posted by phaedon at 7:31 PM on June 11, 2007


Damn but that's some freaky tongue.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:33 PM on June 11, 2007


Heh, this guy (first one) is apparently an anti-circumcision activist as well.
posted by delmoi at 7:34 PM on June 11, 2007


Guys like him are the reason that it's illegal to "watch children play" in NYC. They're the reason that people think "pedophile" when they see Mr. Rogers these days. Very unfortunate.
posted by delmoi at 7:39 PM on June 11, 2007


delmoi: Are you talking about this sort of thing? Or something more extreme?
posted by grouse at 7:43 PM on June 11, 2007


Curiosity found me clicking through to that actual site, and I immediately clicked away with a shudder. I'm sure my IP address has been logged in some bureau's database.

Creepy creepy indeed, and as a father of a 4 year old girl I say


F U C K T H A T
posted by mattoxic at 7:49 PM on June 11, 2007


It's times like these that wish Ed Anger was still around.
posted by dhammond at 7:50 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


grouse: yes that's what I was talking about.
posted by delmoi at 7:51 PM on June 11, 2007


No matter what one's sexual orientation is, the ability to freely express yourself sexually ends at the boundary of consent of the other person--a consent that by definition, a child can never give.

Exactly. It's self-delusion on the pedophile's part, and I'm not a Catholic but I do believe in the near occasion of sin. Here pedophiles pretend to be in control as they prepare to do what they know they shouldn't, and then afterwards they pretend they were helpless. And if that doesn't seem convincing enough, they fabricate a story making it retroactively consensual.
posted by Tuwa at 7:52 PM on June 11, 2007


so is the implication by linking to their home page that his ISP is in the moral wrong for having this guy as a client? just curious
posted by radiosig at 7:53 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Guys like him are the reason that it's illegal to "watch children play" in NYC. They're the reason that people think "pedophile" when they see Mr. Rogers these days. Very unfortunate.

On the contrary, the reason for things like this is that people are so filled with fear of "Paedophiles hiding in the bushes" that they forget that...what, something like 4 out of 5 cases of abuse are perpetrated by relatives or friends of the parents?
posted by Jimbob at 7:58 PM on June 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


If it is true that this yucky guy has not broken any laws with his website, he ought to be able to have it. We're anti-pedophilia here, apparently, but I hope we are pro-freedom of speech?
posted by Methylviolet at 8:01 PM on June 11, 2007 [24 favorites]


*shiver*
posted by creeptick at 8:02 PM on June 11, 2007


i'm wary of even clicking on any of these posts.
posted by andywolf at 8:04 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


If anyone would like to see a truly amazing movie on the subject, Deliver Us From Evil cannot be missed. Highly recommended piece of cinema.
posted by mattoxic at 8:06 PM on June 11, 2007


Won't someone* please think of the pedophiles?!?

*Preferably someone with a lot of time and guns, and whose boundless rage has heretofore been suppressed for lack of a worthy target.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:10 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


so is the implication by linking to their home page that his ISP is in the moral wrong for having this guy as a client? just curious

I tried to present this as impartially as impossible. Pointing out Epifora as the ISP was a side-note more than anything, really. Having said that, I would imagine most companies would find this material morally questionable, so I thought I'd answer the question I thought this post might beg: who is hosting this material?

For those of you wary about explicit content to the sites I directly link to, don't worry, there's nothing explicit there (although I can't say what you'll find if you spend hours digging through this stuff).
posted by phaedon at 8:12 PM on June 11, 2007


i hope that what i'm doing is setting myself up as an example that it is possible to have these attractions and not be out of control.

uh, no. if you try something like this in my hood, you're setting yourself up for someone to whack you.
posted by bruce at 8:12 PM on June 11, 2007


Gross.

But yeah, what Methylviolet said. And I'd favorite her comment more than once if I had the option.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:13 PM on June 11, 2007


You have a hood?
posted by mattoxic at 8:15 PM on June 11, 2007


the contact has to be completely consensual, no coercion, if you're going to do it

so i did anyway. the one time i watched dr. phil was about a family who's son (around 12 or 14) was abusing the 4 or 5 year old daughter. they had video of him playing and wrestling and they pointed out where his hands would go while wrestling. use your imagination. easy for the kid to run to the above rationalization. "we was just playing".

i agree with methylviolet (though i haven't read all the links yet) but instruction on tracking and such is a bit disturbing.
posted by andywolf at 8:15 PM on June 11, 2007


One of the creepiest things about those links is how these pedophiles fail to understand that children are not capable of informed consent in a situation like the ones they think are so wonderful and consentual. I really can't stomach any arguments against this principle. Gives me the heebie jeebies.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:16 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


1. Epifora, Inc. exercises no control whatsoever over the content of the information passing through its networks.

(And rightfully so. Even though I'm up here I know more about American common carrier protections than Canadian, but I know that ISPs don't police "morally questionable" content as a rule.)
posted by mendel at 8:17 PM on June 11, 2007


the movie woodsmen with kevin bacon is pretty good as well.
posted by andywolf at 8:17 PM on June 11, 2007


You know, before I had my daughter a couple of years ago, I would totally have been in favor of fucking six year olds, but she's really changed my mind on that subject. Also, child labor laws, which previously just got in the way of my wealthy plutocrat lifestyle now seem almost fair, in a crazy way. That nutty toddler - sometimes I swear it's as though I'm learning as much from her as she is from me.
posted by jonson at 8:18 PM on June 11, 2007 [12 favorites]


Nothing wrong with freedom of speech, Methylviolet, as long as people remember that free speech can have consequences. Honestly, I would struggle to look at it as bad news if someone killed this person.
posted by ambient2 at 8:20 PM on June 11, 2007


It is a tragedy born of prior abuse

In the Glassner study only 35% of child abuse perpetrators studied were themselves victims of child sexual abuse.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:22 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


As MethylViolet says, I'll defend his right to have his speech. Speech should be free.

But I really wish that he'd stop. Really.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:23 PM on June 11, 2007 [7 favorites]


There is very little therapy/treatment available for pedophiles who want therapy/treatment. Jake Goldenflame, a sex offender who served five years and has been paroled, discusses issues of sex offender registration, treatment, and recovery.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:25 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


PWC = People without a conscience?

But are people without a conscience actually people?

CWC- Creatures without a conscience!

For me that works, because killing people is unacceptable. But killing creatures that hurt people (and children)? Well, with that I can live.

I say hamburger them.
posted by humannaire at 8:25 PM on June 11, 2007


If it is true that this yucky guy has not broken any laws with his website, he ought to be able to have it. We're anti-pedophilia here, apparently, but I hope we are pro-freedom of speech?

A good friend recently wrote about Epifora in Macleans, a newsmagazine up here in Canadia. (Article here; my apologies in advance for Macleans' asstastic website.) Best I understand, epifora is the don't ask, don't tell webspace re-seller of choice for the kiddy-diddler set.

I'm not a fan of the idea of thoughtcrime nor of the moral panic that stokes fear of pedos behind every bush while ignoring more present dangers like poverty or poor education.

But I think the question is: If we believe that pedophilia is a disease, a compulsion, a mental defect, is it wise to allow communication that facilitates the harms of that disease?
posted by docgonzo at 8:29 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I found it amusing that the Girl Love website has a "debate guide." Their naive belief that they can win this debate, if only they prepare enough, is so nutty, preposterous, and out-of-it that it's almost charming ... child-like, even!
posted by jayder at 8:29 PM on June 11, 2007


is it wise to allow communication that facilitates the harms of that disease?

Well, it might be wise to allow communication that facilitates our understanding of the disease / mental defect / compulsion / criminal behaviour. Admittedly, there are probably better sources, like scholarly journals, to learn about the psychology, effects and treatment of paedophilia. But at the same time, these people will find ways to communicate, whether openly or in clandestine ways. Know thine enemy?
posted by Jimbob at 8:33 PM on June 11, 2007


Why is it that the Pacific Northwest is a center of this stuff?
posted by Ironmouth at 8:37 PM on June 11, 2007


But I think the question is: If we believe that pedophilia is a disease, a compulsion, a mental defect, is it wise to allow communication that facilitates the harms of that disease?

If you frame it that way, you could say the same thing about addiction and eating disorders. It's certainly not wise, no. Neither is the pro-ana movement. But when you start legislating on what sort of information should be illegal to share...well, that's a pretty slippery slope. Even if websites like this were banned, I hardly think that would end pedophilia. If anything, it would simply drive people further underground. It's a complex issue, and the torches 'n' pitchforks mentality won't solve anything in the long run, despite a brief adrenaline rush of self-righteous satisfaction in the short run.

On preview, what Jimbob said.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:38 PM on June 11, 2007


They're the reason that people think "pedophile" when they see Mr. Rogers these days. Very unfortunate.
posted by delmoi

Funny you should say that. Because wdpeck wrote a comment that touched a few people in the Mr. Rogers thread. Then got outed.
posted by tellurian at 8:39 PM on June 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


Dear FBI:

I know my IP just got registered in all your pedophilia-related databases from browsing these sites, but just so that it's set in stone, I was on them because they got linked on the front page of Metafilter and not because I am a pederast.

Sincerely,

Demogorgon
posted by Demogorgon at 8:40 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Funny you should say that. Because wdpeck wrote a comment that touched a few people in the Mr. Rogers thread. Then got outed.

Wow. What the fuck.
posted by phaedon at 8:43 PM on June 11, 2007


Oh, yeah.

Uh, what Demogorgon said. Please don't deport me to Syria if I ever go to the US again.

Um. Trinidad would be all right.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:44 PM on June 11, 2007


I love free speech just as any American does.
I also love baseball bats upside the heads of idiots like this.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 8:45 PM on June 11, 2007


Disgusting. Ewwww. I need a shower. Sometimes I wish I didn't know what I know about the world we live in.
posted by Corky at 8:51 PM on June 11, 2007


But I think the question is: If we believe that pedophilia is a disease, a compulsion, a mental defect, is it wise to allow communication that facilitates the harms of that disease?

Well, I dunno about the disease rhetoric. It could perhaps be called a disease in the same way that any sexual fetish could be labelled as a disease, in that it's a direction of sexual desire away from socially legitimised objects, only in this case it also happens to be illegal.

The notion that minors cannot - by definition - give consent is a relatively modern legal construct, I think, tied in with the whole consent-between-equal-partners model of sexuality that is the idealised norm in western society today.

Obviously, it hasn't always been this way - the Ancient Greeks being an example of legitimised paedophilia - and there are parts of the world where even today people we regard as minors are being married off.

Mary, for example, was thought to have been around 13 when Jesus was born, although that's a bit of an irrelevant example since she was a virgin. However, it can suggest that our current notion that people are simply not (supposed to be) sexual until around 16 or 18 just happens to be the fashion of the day, which many other societies - both current & historical - would find strange, if not "diseased" in itself...

/Devil's Advocate
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:53 PM on June 11, 2007


At the same time, UbuRoivas, I think there is some distinction between attraction to pre-pubescent children, and teenagers. I'm sure someone will come along and tell us all the term.
posted by Jimbob at 8:55 PM on June 11, 2007


Metafilter: not because I am a pederast.

Demogorgon: curious wording. So your pederasty didn't direct you to the site, but MetaFilter did? Try to blame us, if you like, but I would like to state for the FBI's record that I do not in any way condone or endorse your activities.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:56 PM on June 11, 2007


Hmm.. there was an article posted on di.. I mean, another site, that talked about how the people who ran ThePirateBay also had a hosting company that was hosting a site where pedophiles went to talk amongst each other. My opinion on that was pretty lengthy, but it was inline with what Methylviolet said, to some degree.

However, I added that I found it a good thing if pedophiles had a place to go and chat w/other pedophiles. Like an online support group. By NO means would I encourage the behavior, but a part of me can hope that by sitting around talking about it and drawing pictures and stuff - maybe they'll relieve themselves and go to bed instead of trolling the streets or hiding in the bushes.

All of that aside, this part of the FPP made me wonder :
"It is currently not illegal to post a minor's personal information online"

Isn't it though? Isn't that why sites have to ask if you're at least 13 years old?

If it's illegal to ask personal details about someone under the age of 13, it should definitely be illegal to state that person's whereabouts online.
posted by revmitcz at 8:56 PM on June 11, 2007


I think there is some distinction between attraction to pre-pubescent children, and teenagers.

Ephebophilia?
posted by cortex at 8:58 PM on June 11, 2007


Jimbob, yeh, true. Apparently, most 'paedophiles' are actually after the pubescent ones, but end up tarred with the same brush as the minority kiddy-fiddlers. Still, who's to say that even going after kiddies is totally alien to human nature and / or society?

/Devil's Advocate (why am I doing this!??!? too much one-sided groupthink is my best guess...)
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:59 PM on June 11, 2007


You know, it would be no less creepy if the guy posted a grown person's whereabouts online; in other words, he's a stalker. His victims in this case happen to be kids, who according to this post have fewer legal protections (which is surprising, and should be a short lived situation). But his actions would not be defensible even if the objects of his obsession were of age.

It is very hard to hold on to my opposition to capital punishment in cases like these. Once someone has decided that raping children is an acceptable thing (and you can't call it anything but that), it seems impossible that they will ever come back from that place to full and functional humanity. Only the knowledge that giving the state that power means it will be used on those who don't deserve it keeps me this side of the line. I think it should be a life sentence though, once someone is convicted. It seems saner than letting pedophiles move around into a neighborhood only to be chased away when they're discovered. There doesn't seem to be any amount of time served that could be sufficient punishment.
posted by emjaybee at 9:16 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Demogorgon: curious wording. So your pederasty didn't direct you to the site, but MetaFilter did? Try to blame us, if you like, but I would like to state for the FBI's record that I do not in any way condone or endorse your activities.

Listen asshole, this is not a witch hunt, so please put your torch down. I don't like what you're trying to insinuate with that comment and I would suggest you try to be more polite.
The reason I wrote what I did is because it occurred to me that while Jack McClellan may not be doing anything illegal, I wouldn't be surprised if the FBI were watching him like a hawk. And while I'm not ashamed that I'm probably on a million other FBI lists for browsing through Erowid or learning how to build homemade shotguns, this is definitely the first time I've ever visited a site devoted to "Girl-Love," or any other questionable content in that vein.

I'm not blaming Metafilter for anything. I like chicks...adult ones.
posted by Demogorgon at 9:20 PM on June 11, 2007


Ugh. That is all.

And let's all admit there's a difference between a teenager and a 4 year old, ok? I mean, that discussion shouldn't even come up, especially when discussing people who posts pictures of preschoolers and tell other predators how to find them.

Freedom of speech ends where you put someone else's life in danger. And anyone who thinks that being molested as a child isn't a life sentence is being deliberately obtuse.
posted by dejah420 at 9:26 PM on June 11, 2007


Demogorgon, I'm pretty sure UbuRoivas was kidding.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:27 PM on June 11, 2007


The fact that the ancient greeks thought it was just fine and that our current laws and views are a "construct" is irrelevant. The simple question is--can children consent? Are they harmed by sexual contact with adults?

I think the answer is they cannot consent in the way that you or I do. They couldn't consent in Socrates' time, and they can't consent now. I'm not going to take moral lessons from a culture that was built around slavery, even if the philosophy generated by that culture was great.

I there is a ton of evidence that children are indeed harmed by sexual contact with adults. Certainly there is an enormous power imbalance where the person for whom the action is taking place is the adult. I really don't remember any kids in kindergarten wanting to hook up with 35-year olds.

Also, the comments above are well-argued Ubu Rovias. If you wish to /devils advocate anything, please don't resort to calling them "one-sided groupthink" and address the arguments. Name calling is not argumentation.

Also putting /devil's advocate next to something does not change the fact that you are arguing for child molestation.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:30 PM on June 11, 2007


From the debate guide that jayder linked:

Social construction of 'reality'

Will follow here.


I look forward to his section on this.
posted by brundlefly at 9:32 PM on June 11, 2007


I was kind of hoping that was the case infinitywaltz, I just didn't expect anyone to make such a tasteless joke.
posted by Demogorgon at 9:36 PM on June 11, 2007


Kidding! Kidding!

(mental note: don't antagonise Erowid readers, with their wild mood swings, uncontrollable tempers & homemade shotguns)
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:38 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


grrrrrr...
posted by Demogorgon at 9:50 PM on June 11, 2007


Funny you should say that. Because wdpeck wrote a comment that touched a few people in the Mr. Rogers thread. Then got outed.

Since we're issuing disclaimers - and in reading the old thread and finding out that wdpeck single FPP is about child kidnappings - I do not condone, nor do I relate, to this kind of behavior.

No matter what one's sexual orientation is, the ability to freely express yourself sexually ends at the boundary of consent of the other person--a consent that by definition, a child can never give.

I think the issue runs deeper than this. I think it's interesting that it is legal - and morally defensible, by some - to go to a public park, snap pictures of kids, go home, rub one out, and then post about it online so other people can do the same. Call me old-fashioned for condemning this kind of free speech. But at this point it can only get worse, what with the ability to record practically anything, anywhere, and then go home to the privacy of your metaphorical "bedroom".

Camille Paglia on the issue:

"The prostitution and martyrdom of JonBenet Ramsey has become a strange meditation device for American sentimentalists who can't let go of the pre-Freudian idea of childhood as a sexless paradise garden befouled by serpent adults."

She calls Ginsberg an apostle of truly visionary sexuality.

Having said this, has anybody been to Tijuana or Thailand lately? I'd venture to say that the child sex trade in these places is being driven by american tourism.

I mean, we've done everything we can to child molesters short of public hangings. And yet the phenomenon still exists. Maybe we're missing something?
posted by phaedon at 9:51 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Freedom of speech ends where you put someone else's life in danger. And anyone who thinks that being molested as a child isn't a life sentence is being deliberately obtuse.

Well, I guess the "social construction of reality" argument is that under our current attitudes towards sexuality, kiddyfiddling requires a whole bunch of headfucking manipulation, threats, secrecy & so on, which could be where the harm lies, along with victims being made to feel that they were screwed over by evil people whilst totally vulnerable (which is the current construct of reality).

If the NAMBLA had its way, and it was a natural, normal part of life, what harm would remain (provided that actual physical harm were carefully avoided)?

Consent has indeed become central to this issue, but I wonder to what extent this isn't a bit disingenuous. I mean, it's nice to think that we're all walking around & negotiating the social contract in a rational way, but to what extent are we, speaking broadly, in a position to bargain or offer real consent in most areas of our lives? Obviously, there have been strong feminist arguments that grown women are incapable of consenting to heterosexual relations, but that's another can of worms.

Perhaps closer to home is the fact that children are unable to consent to *anything*, but it's totally socially OK to make them eat vegetables or listen to PBR without consent, but not OK to tickle them in the wrong places, so I get the feeling that "lack of consent" is elevated here to justify a position that is actually held for reasons other than consent or its absence.

And I take back the groupthink jibe.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:55 PM on June 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


Easy with the term social contract mate. as Firas will get you....
posted by Samuel Farrow at 10:04 PM on June 11, 2007


Samuel Farrow: I think *everyone* is gonna get me. I just find the whole thing a bit bemusing. We all find paedophilia totally abhorrent, yet there's a part of me that wonders if it isn't similar to, say, a bunch of Muslims on a website discussing how awful it is that there's some guy out there with a site dedicated to the slaughter of pigs & preparation of bacon.

And no, paedophilia is not equivalent to eating the magical animal, but a lot of the abhorrence in both cases may stem from breaking strongly-held taboos, rather than from the actual harm that would result in a pig-eating or "ideal" kiddyfiddling society.

Anyway, I should shut up now. Just vaguely puzzled, that's all.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:19 PM on June 11, 2007


I get the feeling that "lack of consent" is elevated here to justify a position that is actually held for reasons other than consent or its absence.

The consent model and the social contract model are constructs. They are constructs designed to create a society where the young are not victimized. They serve a function in society as much as the construct that it is wrong to kill others. These constructs help keep random ass ice-picks out of my skull and my house from being burned down by arsonists acting out something they faced as children. They do represent a way of intellectualizing what to me seems self-evident and morally repugnant in a way that is visceral--that it is wrong for an adult to attempt to have sex with a five-year old child.

There is a slight difference between that and making a five year old eat veggies, no?

What harm would remain, you ask. First, you haven't proved your argument, which appears to be that the trauma that a child faces from sexual contact with a 40 year old is because society states that the contact is wrong and that shame is the agent of trauma. Gee, if only we would just give up our old morals, it would be just fine for adults to have sexual contact with minors. You are arguing the NAMBLA position right there. You need to do more than just take that position--you must prove it, because we know that children are currently traumatized by such contact. I'm not willing to take the risk that it is only our somehow backward morals that is traumatizing the child.

We do not know what the result of sexual contact between minors and adults was in greek society and whether or not a great deal of trauma was caused by that contact or not. I'd suspect it wasn't as wonderful as its supporters said it was. The very fact that they had to write justifications for their behavior indicates that the issue was far from decided for them.

The fact is that the sexual contact in these situations is almost completely for the pleasure of the adult. Why would a child even consent to sexual contact with an adult if it could? It does not have the reproductive drive that I do, nor has it developed sex organs or sexual markers such as enlarged breasts or wide hips or male chest hair. These are indicators that these bodies are not made for sexual contact at all. A child is markedly smaller than its sexual assailant as well--damage could result.

I don't remember me or any other kids I grew up with actively seeking out sexual contact with adults, especially at the ages which are being discussed in this thread. Since the child is completely at the mercy of the adult, the dangers are immensely great. A child is hard-wired to see adults as protectors.

The fact that we can address these questions by "deconstructing" them and realizing that they do not come from a central and unchanging reference point outside of our individual minds does not make the constructs themselves any less useful.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:20 PM on June 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


Ew. I had to make a comment just so this wasn't followed by "69 comments" anymore.

Whew. Okay. The bizarre thing to me is that he's simultaneously trying to shore-up the public image of pedophiles, and yet also is being as brazen as he can be about hunting down young girls. I know there's obviously something deeply wrong with him, and that his logic don't work so good, butthese seem like very contradictory goals.

And UboRoivas, I kind of see what you're getting at, but even if we grant your premise, and I'm not sure I do, then think of it this way. It's probably natural for people to want to kill other people. We don't do that, because that instinct is morally wrong. (Well, most of us don't, anyway.) Now, if you know you've got anger issues, and have daily fantasy's about murdering strangers, would you spend your days hanging out in bus depots whilst fondling the gun in your pocket? And if you did, would you set up a blog bragging about this behavior, like it was the best and most productive use of your time?

Ew.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:27 PM on June 11, 2007


I think that pedophiles should have places online to congregate and discuss their proclivities, and that those forums should be secretly hosted by the FBI with good IP tracking and logging software.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:30 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


From what I have read, avoiding children is part of recovery for a pedophile (recovery meaning not re-offending). For many pedophiles, I would think that exposure to web sites with (legal) pictures of children could encourage offending. It would be great if the pictures were a benign outlet, but I don't think they are for most pedophiles.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:34 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree that Ubu has dipped into something of a tautology, namely:

If the NAMBLA had its way, and it was a natural, normal part of life, what harm would remain

Yes, if it were natural and normal, no harm would remain. As for arguing the relative utility of living in a society where boy-love is acceptable - well, my point is you can argue this way in favor of anything. Modest Proposal, anyone?
posted by phaedon at 10:34 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm a parent, I have a son and a daughter, and my first reaction to this was "better the devil you know."
posted by davejay at 10:42 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


First, you haven't proved your argument, which appears to be that the trauma that a child faces from sexual contact with a 40 year old is because society states that the contact is wrong and that shame is the agent of trauma.

Well, somehow I doubt anybody will be giving me, or anybody else, a research grant to test this hypothesis.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:43 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think there are kids who have a *more* traumatic experience because of the oh my god! reactions of the (non-molesting) adults. It's a tricky balance -- taking the crime seriously and expressing appropriate outrage, but not freaking out and panicking so much that it complicates the victim's experience and any processing/recovery.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:48 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Funny you should say that. Because wdpeck wrote a comment that touched a few people in the Mr. Rogers thread. Then got outed.

Wow how bizzare. Someone linked to that comment in the last Mr. Rogers thread and I read it then. I had no idea what was going to happen. How creepy is it that he was talking about his adopted kid, that he probably ended up molesting.

What made me think of that were comments in that thread like this one.
posted by delmoi at 10:50 PM on June 11, 2007


I would bet that you are right regarding reactions, ClaudiaCenter--however, I think that Ubu Rovias' position is that the trauma is entirely caused by the attitude of society. That's a position which needs to be proved, given the dangers here.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:50 PM on June 11, 2007


Two things I always wonder about this sort of thing.

1. At what age did, say, Plato start having sex?

2. What percentage of child abuse is committed by free-roaming pedophiles like this guy, and what percentage is committed by the victim's family members, or adult friends of the family?
posted by stammer at 10:51 PM on June 11, 2007


Here's a fascinating thing I found: Straight Talk for Boys about Sex with Males.
The mission of Straight Talk for Boys about Sex with Males is to flood the world with truth and facts, and thus displace and supplant the myths and lies that are most often the only information a boy gets about his sexuality. This task also will not be easy, it will require the efforts of thousands of concerned and dedicated people all over the world. Will you do your part?
posted by Methylviolet at 10:52 PM on June 11, 2007


"Getting gay with kids is here, to spread the word & give good cheer!"
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:55 PM on June 11, 2007


that he probably ended up molesting.

did you read the link? that's exactly what happened. over a period of years.
posted by phaedon at 10:55 PM on June 11, 2007


sorry, here it is. read the section by carla murez.
posted by phaedon at 10:57 PM on June 11, 2007




UbuRoivas said: Well, I guess the "social construction of reality" argument is that under our current attitudes towards sexuality, kiddyfiddling requires a whole bunch of headfucking manipulation, threats, secrecy & so on, which could be where the harm lies, along with victims being made to feel that they were screwed over by evil people whilst totally vulnerable (which is the current construct of reality).

No...I think the harm lies in shoving an adult sized cock into a toddler size opening, that's where the harm lies.

If you want to justify child fuckers by pretending it's all semantics and "bad old morals", and that makes you feel better about what some people will do to gain sexual release...well, I don't know what to say. It horrifies me that you would spend that much intellectual power justifying sticking a dick into a preschooler.
posted by dejah420 at 11:14 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


did you read the link? that's exactly what happened. over a period of years.

I read that thread it was posted, but all that I remembered was that he had video taped himself doing it, I didn't remember if it was "his" kid or "someone else's".

I think using legal definitions of consent to make moral arguments is problematic. It assumes that a drunken 16 year and one day old girl in Nevada can 'consent' to something, but a 17 year and 364 day old girl in California can't. And having sex with the first is moral while having sex with the second is not. Clearly, that's nonsensical.

I think the consent model for explaining why child molestation is wrong is problematic. Rather, we should simply say that child molestation is gross, and therefore it should be illegal. I think that would be more logically consistent.

Of course, someone might say that homosexuality also grosses people out, to which I would counter, yeah but this is really gross.
posted by delmoi at 11:23 PM on June 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


I do not advocate sticking dicks into preschoolers.

The fact is that the sexual contact in these situations is almost completely for the pleasure of the adult. Why would a child even consent to sexual contact with an adult if it could? It does not have the reproductive drive that I do, nor has it developed sex organs or sexual markers such as enlarged breasts or wide hips or male chest hair. These are indicators that these bodies are not made for sexual contact at all. A child is markedly smaller than its sexual assailant as well--damage could result.

I don't remember me or any other kids I grew up with actively seeking out sexual contact with adults, especially at the ages which are being discussed in this thread.


Well, I don't know about you, but I remember having definite & conscious sexual urges & releases from the youngest age, and most people I've spoken to about this have related similar experiences. The idea, as expressed in the quote above, that you suddenly "switch on" at the onset of puberty seems to be part of the mythologising of the supposed innocence of childhood. The very fact that a child can have sexual feelings seems totally anathema & people will bend over backwards to deny it.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:28 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Delmoi,

Legal definitions are what we use to send people to jail. We need them. They can't cover every situation, but the line needs to be drawn somewhere. All we can do is publish the laws and charge everyone with constructive knowledge of them.

Even so, it isn't non-sensical. One community has one set of rules, another has a different set.

The consent model is an approximation--but it gets to the heart of the matter--a child has no power to stop a person who is intent on doing these things.

The fact that some logical contradictions exist is an unfortunate by product of human existence, not a reason to throw away the consent model.

Not only that, but it allows us to effect human sexual freedom for adults as well.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:30 PM on June 11, 2007


Ubu Rovias,

I had my first crush on a pretty girl named Kari at age 5. I was 5 at the time. No one is saying that these feelings don't exist for children--but I didn't have a thing for people outside my age group at that time. I think I'm on safe ground stating that the pedophile argument that the children desire them is total bullshit. I'm certain you'd agree.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:34 PM on June 11, 2007


I think I'm on safe ground stating that the pedophile argument that the children desire them is total bullshit. I'm certain you'd agree.

Absolutely.

It's more like this: let's say if I was an 8yo boy & some 12yo girl felt like playing doctors-and-nurses, i wouldn't necessarily have been saying no. If she were 16? 25? 35? I don't know the answers to these things, but I'm not sure that it would always necessarily be harmful or exploitative.

Anyway, I'm starting to creep myself out at this point, so I might pull up a deckchair and grab some popcorn.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:47 PM on June 11, 2007


delmoi is right about consent.

The inability of children under 18 to give consent (or under 16, or under 18 to give consent to people over 18, but able to give consent to people under 18, so long as they are over 14, and within 2 years of the other party...wait, what?) is a legal fiction intended to make rape law cohere around the idea of consent.

Saying that children under age X can't consent to sex, and that therefore sex with children under age X is rape, gets the analysis precisely backwards. Instead, the proper analysis is to conclude that sex is too pervasively harmful for children under age X, so the consent of children under age X to sexual intercourse will be deemed ineffective.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 11:51 PM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


We have a winner Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America. Well put.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:57 PM on June 11, 2007


(you know, Ironmouth, when I read his name for the first time, I just had that kind of completely intangible *hunch* that he was destined for great things)
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:05 AM on June 12, 2007


Heh - and in turn, I think I can kiss a final goodbye to any hopes of a political career after this thread...
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:14 AM on June 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ is this man creepy. It goes without saying that this is 923,809,123 sorts of wrong.

However, a dark part of me chortles at his citation of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:18 AM on June 12, 2007


We should be able to flag MeFites who favorite this FPP.
posted by pruner at 12:40 AM on June 12, 2007


Metatalk
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:24 AM on June 12, 2007


We're anti-pedophilia here, apparently, but I hope we are pro-freedom of speech?

No. because he does shit like that:

"...offered tips on how to track children down and how to avoid getting caught by the police."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:30 AM on June 12, 2007


You know, it's interesting that McClellan publishes locations where young girls hang out, but doesn't want his own identity known publicly. Hey Jack, we don't want to do anything illegal, we just want to know where you are. If other people find you and kick your ass, that's not really our fault, is it?
posted by grouse at 2:34 AM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK, here's one of those multi-reply thingies.

delmoi: Of course, someone might say that homosexuality also grosses people out, to which I would counter, yeah but this is really gross.

Dammit, I was just about to congratulate us on having a pedophilia debate without bringing in homosexuality.

As for the difference between teen-loving and child-loving, I think the former is called gymnophilia and the latter is called pedophilia. If I remember well from when my sister was working in forensic psychiatry, there are strong differences in the way these two types of people behave. Notably, the true child-fucking pedophiles tend to be less gender-specific (they'll go for a child of any sex before they show interest in an adult of either sex), and much more resistant to treatment. In fact, one of the few effective ways to prevent recidivism among pedophiles has been chemical castration (i.e., hormone therapy that essentially cancels out the sex drive).

To echo what dejah420 was saying about damage done to children: My mother is a pathologist who, for a short but rather exhausting time, was the specialist for child abuse deaths for a large region. Even if we imagine that the psychic damage to children can be somehow minimized through a change in the moral-social order, the physical traces that adult-on-child sex leaves certainly qualify as grave damage.

As for the psychic damage, my guess would be: fuck yes, it hurts.
posted by LMGM at 3:27 AM on June 12, 2007


dejah420 writes "No...I think the harm lies in shoving an adult sized cock into a toddler size opening, that's where the harm lies. "

So you're cool with pedophiles as long as they stick to blowjobs?

Ironmouth writes "I had my first crush on a pretty girl named Kari at age 5. I was 5 at the time. No one is saying that these feelings don't exist for children--but I didn't have a thing for people outside my age group at that time."

I'm against pedophilia, but regarding the "kids never have sexual desires for adults" meme, when I was an elementary school kid looking at 20 year old nudes in Playboy, I wasn't thinking "I have no sexual interest in her, because she's 10 years older than me".
posted by Bugbread at 3:34 AM on June 12, 2007


Instead, the proper analysis is to conclude that sex is too pervasively harmful for children under age X, so the consent of children under age X to sexual intercourse will be deemed ineffective.

Except of course in the case Canada of the two girls, aged 12, who engaged in experimental oral sex, later talked about it in school, and had the police called in by the administrators. One of them was later prosecuted for "harming a minor" or something like that, since the "victim" was too young to consent.

Then there was the case in the USA of two brothers doing basically the same thing, sexual experimentation, getting busted, and the older one prosecuted and the other given counselling and taught he was a "victim" of "sexual abuse".

I think these are cases where the law is clearly "too pervasively harmful for children under age X".

Also, for what it's worth regarding young people and adults... I personally found adults not remotely sexually attractive as a child, but there was a case in Canada of a man being acquitted for having sex with a minor (she was 12 or 13, IIRC). Normally the excuse "she lied about her age" is not good enough, and it is one's responsibility to take all due measures to verify someone's age. In this case though, the man was acquitted because the girl was persistently coming on to him, a fact which apparently was not contested in the court. On appeal, the judge ruled that since he did not pursue the girl that it wasn't his duty to verify for age beyond just asking. Needless to say, people were outraged across the land. But in any case, apparently it does sometimes happen that younger people come on to older people.
posted by PsyDev at 4:33 AM on June 12, 2007


UbuRoivas others appreciate your sentiment.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 5:06 AM on June 12, 2007


Disgusting!

No. Just ... no.
posted by Xere at 5:12 AM on June 12, 2007


Legal definitions are what we use to send people to jail. We need them. They can't cover every situation, but the line needs to be drawn somewhere. All we can do is publish the laws and charge everyone with constructive knowledge of them.

I'm not arguing against laws, I'm saying that from a philosophical standpoint, it's not reasonable to use the legal definition of consent as an epistemological definition, especially since it's so inconsistent.

Not only that, but it allows us to effect human sexual freedom for adults as well.

Well, polygamy and incest are still banned, despite being between adults, so consent is clearly not the only thing you can use to determine whether a sex act is a crime.
posted by delmoi at 5:21 AM on June 12, 2007


On the whole "free speech" thing:

Part of the reason we have free speech is so that psychos with zany ideas about how the world works can be thrust into the public sphere and denounced, rather than driven into the underground (where zany ideas usually thrive). We're seeing the process at work right now, with the 100+ comments saying this guy (and the ideas he puts forth) are completely messed up.

So, I say let the guy have his website. Whenever attention is drawn to him, it will usually be for a bad reason, and he will be branded a lunatic and a sicko. This is exactly what we want to happen.
posted by King Bee at 6:08 AM on June 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


but I hope we are pro-freedom of speech?

I just wanted to point out that since this guy's ISP is in Canada, freedom of speech here isn't the same as in the in the USA. We have "hate speech" laws here; it's illegal to publish anti-semitic writing for example. While it's not explicitly illegal to post this stuff (to my knowledge), it is not out of the question that this man could be sued or charged and found guilty in a Canadian court.

Some countries have laws against shouting "fire" in a crowded theater.
posted by GuyZero at 6:19 AM on June 12, 2007


Some countries have laws against shouting "fire" in a crowded theater.

Laws against Yippie proverbs? Abbie Hoffman must be spinning in his grave.
posted by King Bee at 6:25 AM on June 12, 2007


If it is true that this yucky guy has not broken any laws with his website, he ought to be able to have it. We're anti-pedophilia here, apparently, but I hope we are pro-freedom of speech?

Yes, but freedom of speech does not mean thinking all speech is wonderful. Or, what King Bee said.

And jeez, it's obvious UbuRoivas is playing the contrarian, and he cheerfully admits he's even creeping himself out, so don't attack him for things he's obviously not in favor of. His basic point—that we can't take our "natural" revulsion as automatically, objectively, valid—is absolutely correct; that doesn't mean we're wrong to object to pedophilia, it just means we should think about how the revulsion might slop over into areas where it's not as deserved and how it might make us less inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to people who have not been proved guilty. The "burn the witch!" syndrome is still deeply rooted in us, and just because in this case there really are "witches" doesn't mean we can just relax and go with the torch-wielding flow.
posted by languagehat at 6:40 AM on June 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Abbie Hoffman must be spinning in his grave.

Abbie Hoffman is buried in Canada?

Is this becoming non-sequiter one-upsmanship?

My point is that the bounds of free speech vary and the argument of "offensive, but legal" may simply not be true where the site is hosted.
posted by GuyZero at 7:15 AM on June 12, 2007


What harm would remain, you ask. First, you haven't proved your argument, which appears to be that the trauma that a child faces from sexual contact with a 40 year old is because society states that the contact is wrong and that shame is the agent of trauma. Gee, if only we would just give up our old morals, it would be just fine for adults to have sexual contact with minors. You are arguing the NAMBLA position right there. You need to do more than just take that position--you must prove it, because we know that children are currently traumatized by such contact. I'm not willing to take the risk that it is only our somehow backward morals that is traumatizing the child.

Well, you could start with Rind et al. (1998), but I'd argue you haven't proved your case that sexual activities (exclusive to the acts with no other influence) with children causes harm.

If it is a clear case of sexual assault beyond age having any bearing, that's one thing.

But the paranoia and delirium that tends to surround these issues (I'm thinking McMartin) also has its share of problems.
.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 7:16 AM on June 12, 2007


I'd like to say, though it died out, that all those at the top of the thread that wanted to be first to call out for violence against this guy are in this particular case at least as bad as he is. Note, just like you guys he has not actually hurt anyone yet. Moreover, he at least seems to think he's not hurting people (though 2 years old? wow...) whereas you seem to be openly pronouncing your sadism.

Fortunately it seems there were a lot of posts later on by people that can denounce something without a call for violence and seemingly free of the accompanied hatreds.
posted by kigpig at 7:16 AM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


do we need post like this ? have not looked at any of the web sites
posted by baker dave at 7:29 AM on June 12, 2007


Thou shalt not think that any male over the age of 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a paedophile. Some people are just nice.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:49 AM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I live in a country where the legal age of sexual consent is 13. I have never met a 13-year old I would want to fuck, but if that's your thing, I guess you better start learning Spanish.

Oh, and thanks to freedom of speech, I can call you a sick fuck and let everyone know who you are, where you are and what you like talking about on the internet.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:38 AM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


baker dave : "do we need post like this ? have not looked at any of the web sites"

Yo, baker dave, go look for your other comment in this thread asking questions and admitting that you haven't clicked any of the links.

You can't find it anymore, can you?

It was deleted. There was a reason for that.

(And, no, we don't "need" posts like this, but we don't "need" any posts, so that's a pointless question.)
posted by Bugbread at 8:53 AM on June 12, 2007


I was a little girl once. I'm reading all of these comments while thinking of myself as a kid. There were a few disgusting adult men who considered behaving inappropriately with me when I was small. Fortunately nothing ever happened (thank God), but I knew about it. At the time I was sat down and told of it. I was far too young to know those things, and it really affected me negatively in ways I still sometimes am aware of. But I can tell you this, I was a little girl. I didn't want to be seen sexually by anyone, I wanted to be a kid. I held NO desire for or interest in sex at that age (especially with icky old men, thank you!), and any claim otherwise would only have been wishful thinking projected onto me.

But kids also are taught to do what adults want them to do. So that whole consent thing is bullshit. People who are specifically trained that they are supposed to do what adults say can't feasibly be capable of giving true consent to the people they are taught to obey. (Leastwise not on something like this... maybe on "Do you want ice cream" or something.) Anyone who says that a child agreed to have sex with them is missing the point entirely. Even if a child says a million times yes, the answer should be no.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:57 AM on June 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


I've always wondered what the attraction was to pre-sexual humans. Children are nearly asexual and have no interest sex.
Then I remember some years back walking into a mega record store. Looking up I saw the poster for Nirvana's 'Nevermind'. The one with the naked baby underwater..and..believe it or not the baby's penis had been airbrushed out. Uh? And I thought, wow..someone decided to do this because they thought the sight of an infant sex organ would do..what exactly?! This fetishization of children or nakedness or both contributes to adult fascination with children as sexual beings.
posted by xjudson at 10:13 AM on June 12, 2007


"Children are nearly asexual and have no interest sex."

As other posters have noted, this is not a blanket truth. Some children are interested. Why do you think some kids play "doctor" with each other?
posted by zoogleplex at 10:58 AM on June 12, 2007


I have an unusual attraction to a specific group of people but one thing is for certain -- I would personally never map the locations of where all the geeky guys in my area hang out, no matter how many programming languages they may know.

That's just a whole lot of creepy right there.
posted by idiotfactory at 10:58 AM on June 12, 2007


those at the top of the thread that wanted to be first to call out for violence against this guy are in this particular case at least as bad as he is. Note, just like you guys he has not actually hurt anyone yet. Moreover, he at least seems to think he's not hurting people (though 2 years old? wow...) whereas you seem to be openly pronouncing your sadism.

So who would you rather living next door and sharing a backyard fence with you, the deluded piece of shit child rape cheerleader who hasn't hurt anyone... yet, or me, who doesn't wish harm on anyone besides McClellan and others of his ilk?

Sure, the former could make for wacky, sitcom-style neighbor antics, but I'm pretty sure you'd sleep better at night if you went with the latter.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:07 AM on June 12, 2007


What sitcoms do you watch, Alvy?
posted by brundlefly at 11:17 AM on June 12, 2007


I would personally never map the locations of where all the geeky guys in my area hang out

I took care of that for you.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:24 AM on June 12, 2007




Well, let's go back to the pole vaulter who got plastered across the internet and she is 18. My comment was the next level of paparazzi scoping out high schools for web dollars.

This steps off the curb and into the gutter. I would love a legal opinion about free speech here, which is akin to the Fire! in a theatre example.

If my 11 year old appeared and was tracked on this site, I would f r e a k. I am more liberal than conservative and came into this father thing as a stepdad, but hunting children crosses a line of civilization that needs to be discussed. I am glad for this thread as discussion is needed. Perhaps some laws will come of it.

I still stand by my previous posting - people who don't ask a for presence on the internet should not be promoted. Random pictures in newspapers are one thing, memes and hunting children are a new ballgame.

I really hate to say it, but if the law would not protect my kid, I would find a way to do it myself. I hate it because their wishes are bringing me down to their level. I wish more for civilization.

You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass.
posted by fluffycreature at 11:46 AM on June 12, 2007


So who would you rather living next door and sharing a backyard fence with you, the deluded piece of shit child rape cheerleader who hasn't hurt anyone... yet, or me, who doesn't wish harm on anyone besides McClellan and others of his ilk?

Rereading the comment you made, I thought your comment was more meant to be a joke, no? If you actually have guns and meant what you said, I can safely say I'd rather have McClellan who poses no real threat to me. This is presuming he doesn't have other opinions which make him more dangerous.

Though not tied into the morality of it but in response to the posed question, I feel pretty comfortable that McClellan will choose his actions very carefully being someone with a lynch mob ready to get him. I can't be so sure about you. For instance, what if I had a younger cousin around and you mistook some benign act as paedophillic? What if, say, I was teaching someone violin and gestures done to enforce posture were mistook as sexual in intent through the window where you judiciously watch out for all those evil child rapists. What if, god forbid, I was one of the many falsely accused of such a crime. Can I really trust that you wouldn't try to kill me in any of the above cases?
posted by kigpig at 12:13 PM on June 12, 2007


For instance, what if I had a younger cousin around and you mistook some benign act as paedophillic ...and you self-identified as a pedophile and had a website endorsing such?

What if, say, I was teaching someone violin and gestures done to enforce posture ...and had a website endorsing pedophilia?

It's my fault for introducing the hypothetical situation, but I hope you see what I'm getting at. My first comment was meant to be bleakly humorous in a "Y'know, instead of shooting up the post offices and colleges, why don't those psychos go after someone who has it coming?" sort of way. Sadly, the world obviously isn't quite so neat and tidy, and I'm not so naive as to think vigilantism is an effective solution.

Although I agree with the points King Bee, UbiRovas, and languagehat made , I find McClennan's brazenness and the validation he offers to other pedophiles disturbing. To me, one of the few benefits of child predators "outing" (The use of gay terminology to legitimize their behavior also rankles me) themselves is that they're opening themselves to more scrutiny from the authorities and the community. It also makes them visible targets - I can honestly say that if someone attacked, hurt, or even killed a self-described pedophile, I wouldn't shed any tears.

If that makes me a bad person in your eyes, on par with those who victimize their sons, daughters, and any other children unfortunate enough to fall into their orbit, I can deal with that. I'm not Jesus, nor am I trying to be, but to equate those who find such crimes abhorrent to those who wish to and perpetrate them is just absurd.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:41 PM on June 12, 2007


The use of gay terminology to legitimize their behavior also rankles me

the reference to a common phrase as gay terminology outs you as linguistically gullible.
posted by quonsar at 2:40 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


that you think "outing" in this context is not gay specific, with some linguisitc drift based on that, you are ignorant
posted by Snyder at 3:10 PM on June 12, 2007


The inability of children under 18 to give consent (or under 16, or under 18 to give consent to people over 18, but able to give consent to people under 18, so long as they are over 14, and within 2 years of the other party...wait, what?) is a legal fiction intended to make rape law cohere around the idea of consent.

Saying that children under age X can't consent to sex, and that therefore sex with children under age X is rape, gets the analysis precisely backwards. Instead, the proper analysis is to conclude that sex is too pervasively harmful for children under age X, so the consent of children under age X to sexual intercourse will be deemed ineffective.


My noble & learned colleague, Mr President Dr Steve Elvis America, I am afraid that after some considered afterthought, I am unable to concur with your wise position.

There is a golden thread running throughout the majority of the civil & criminal law, and it is that in most cases, people are required to be capable of forming a mature mental understanding of their actions & their consequences, otherwise they will be deemed to have not legally performed the particular act in question. In lay terms, it might appear that they did X, but actually, they didn't, because they didn't know what they were doing. The mens rea in criminal law is perhaps the finest example of this principle.

Children, not unlike mental defectives or the insane, are generally presumed to be incapable of forming this requisite mental element, and thus are unable to perform legal actions such as entering into contracts, creating their own wills or committing crimes (although there is a grey area for juvenile justice, and in extreme & exceptional cases minors may be tried in adult courts of law).

Your contention is that "consent of children under age X will be deemed ineffective" precisely because "sex is too pervasively harmful for children under age X". However, I put it to you that the element of harm is not relevant to the legal construction. In fact, it could be precisely because the element of harm is too difficult to prove on a case-by-case basis, that our learned legislators & judiciary have chosen to simply apply the well-established precedent of minors being mentally incapable of acting as legal citizens to the area of sexuality.

In our current legal conception of sex, there must be two or more consenting human parties. Since precedent & statute have firmly established that minors cannot form the mental element for a whole range of criminal & civil matters, they are presumed to be incapable of forming a legally valid consensual position in sex.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:09 PM on June 12, 2007


I really hate to say it, but if the law would not protect my kid, I would find a way to do it myself. I hate it because their wishes are bringing me down to their level. I wish more for civilization.


Well, this is also perfectly understandable from an individual point of view, and thats why the law shouldn't be based too heavily on what victims want. If someone did that (basically made them a huge target for pedophiles) to my (hypothetical) kid, I would probably do something as well (at least threaten them, sabotage their equipment, who knows) because at that point the welfare of my child would be more important than laws or theoretical notions like free speech.

However, as a matter of public policy and societal good, I would rightfully be arrested if I did anything illegal in that pursuit.

This is why I am wary of the whole victims rights / advocate movements. Not that they should have no say, of course their opinion matters. But there is a part of society which seems to place way too much weight on what the victims want, rather than what is good for everyone. The victim is never going to be rational about their experience, nor do I think they really should be --- that's everyone else's job.

Sexual crimes in general seem to have a dampening effect on rationality (the whole way we deal with released sex offenders makes very little sense from a policy or harm-reduction perspective, it's all about vengeance). This isn't somehting that can really be changed, and should be acknowledged as perfectly normal... but ideally we would also realize that this sort of emotion doesn't make good policy (of course, in many many aspects of our society, emotion is substituted for good judgement).
posted by wildcrdj at 6:41 PM on June 12, 2007


“Preferably someone with a lot of time and guns, and whose boundless rage has heretofore been suppressed for lack of a worthy target.”

Yeah, I’m on it.

...no seriously, viscerally I’m there with some of you, but it’s horrible to kill someone for expressing an opinion. Unconscionable. So there’s no way I’d harm him, just so everyone knows.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:01 PM on June 12, 2007


...nah, that’s bullshit, he’s a dead man.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:01 PM on June 12, 2007


Seriously, I’m just kidding.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:03 PM on June 12, 2007


But, y’know, where does he live again?
posted by Smedleyman at 7:05 PM on June 12, 2007


No, I don’t want to know, just you know riffing on the whole “ooh, is Smedleyman a whacko?” ambiguity thing. Heh heh.

I could probably get away with it though.

Nah.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:09 PM on June 12, 2007


*knowing look*
posted by Smedleyman at 7:09 PM on June 12, 2007


*frown*
posted by Smedleyman at 7:11 PM on June 12, 2007


*smirk & nod*
posted by Smedleyman at 7:12 PM on June 12, 2007


*headshake*
posted by Smedleyman at 7:14 PM on June 12, 2007


.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:15 PM on June 12, 2007


/best use of the “niceFuckingHatAsshole” tag ever
posted by Smedleyman at 7:16 PM on June 12, 2007


Hey man...bedtime.
posted by taosbat at 7:20 PM on June 12, 2007


Do amphetamines have caffene in them?

A great deal has been said well here. My only thought is that taking pictures of kids and posting them - I wonder if the parents can sue?
I don’t know where I’d stand in making some sort of law here. Sure as hell seems wrong given the context of the site. It’s kind of creepy in the first place if someone takes a completely innocuous picture of a kid and places it on the web with other pictures if he’s not related to the kids some how (even socially - this is my buddy’s kid, we play ball, etc.)
So I’d echo “families should be allowed to safely enjoy parks and other community activities without perverts gawking at their children and rating them on the Internet,” but I’m wary of how without harming free speech rights or having unintended consequences and misuse of such law if it’s very broad in scope.

Although I’d probably take the camera away from a guy I didn’t know taking pictures of my kids and destroy the hard drive, at the very least. Feel free to call a cop, buddy.
*throws money on the ground like Sonny Corleone*
posted by Smedleyman at 7:46 PM on June 12, 2007


Although I’d probably take the camera away from a guy I didn’t know taking pictures of my kids and destroy the hard drive,

I love how that statement would have made no sense ten years ago.
posted by phaedon at 9:33 PM on June 12, 2007


Cameras have hard drives? I thought they saved to flash sticks...?

(drive...flash...kiddyfiddler...flasher...hard...there's gotta be a joke in there somewhere...argh...so very punstipated!)
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:07 PM on June 12, 2007


Microdrives, UbuRoivas. Itty-bitty GB-scale hard drives the size of a Compact Flash card or so. They've been a popular alternative to flash memory for a while, though dropping costs for high capacity flash may kill the market.
posted by cortex at 8:29 AM on June 13, 2007


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