PEDOPHILE NETWORKING AND SELF-PORTRAYAL
Author: Dr Anita Heiliger, excerpt (translation)
The group of the "fixated pedophiles" is usually connected to networks of like-minded in which they confirm each other in their "preference" for children, are mutually assured of their "normality" in passing on images of children as well as children themselves, and cultivate themselves as a group discriminated by society (see Gallwitz / Paul 1997, Thönnissen 1990). In the publications of the pedophile movement, they will seek to promote legal changes that allow sexual acts between adults and children. In the Netherlands, pedophiles have even founded a party last year, which is explicitly pursuing this goal.
In the past and even today, critical analyses have largely been hampered that explore "pedophilia" and the perception of the dangers of "pedosexuality" for children through their ideological support, for example by scientists and politics, as well as through the activities of "pedophiles" in institutions such as the German Child Protection Association (Deutscher Kinderschutzbund, DKSB). The poster series of the Lintas campaign for the DKSB - e.g. with the slogans "Dad was her first husband" and "Whenever the opportunity arises, Uncle Paul can't help doing it" - demonstrates this attitude, and thus sparked widespread indignation (see Ohl 1997).
But much earlier, in the 70s well into the 80s, and as a consequence of the alleged sexual liberation being part of the 68-movement, sexuality with children was supported, and soon its legal permission was demanded. In 1980, Alice Schwarzer published one of the first public critiques about "pedophilia" and was therefore violently affronted by the "pedophile" scene and their sympathizers. At the same time, the Green Party declared that one of its objectives was to abolish the legal prohibition of sexual contacts of adults with children. It was not before a Green MEP was incriminated and sentenced for raping a two-year-old girl, that in 1985 they removed this target from their program (see the "Children's Friends" 1996).
This happened more than 20 years ago, but partially the Greens are still strikingly reticent on issues of sexual abuse and "pedophilia". At the beginning of the millennium, my workgroup "Täterarbeit versus Täterschutz" (perpetrators' work versus perpetrators' protection) in the Women's Project Kofra asked for a meeting with the Greens and the Rosa Liste (Pink List) in order to inform them that a "pedo self-help group" was meeting regularly in the gay milieu, and to demand consequences. The event took place, but nothing happened, except that the group some time later met in other rooms. So it took more years until a journalist from the STERN uncovered the scandal and there was a raid with several arrests and seizures. Similarly silently behaves the gay movement towards "pedophilia", which wrongly assumes that men abusing boys are generally gay, and they refuse to distance themselves clearly from such men. That these "pedophiles" are no gays has been pointed out several times: they are not looking for a male partner, but for the child.
As for other representatives and sympathizers of "pedophilia": e.g. the ZEGG (Zentrum für experimentelle Gesellschaftsgestaltung) in Leipzig, the "Society for Experimental Formation of Society", where "free love" is propagated and whose founder Dieter Duhm later on found shelter in Otto Mühl's infamous AA commune in Austria. For 15 years, Otto Mühl raped and tortured here girls and women, since 1991 he is in jail. A welcome guest at ZEGG was the sexologist Ernest Bornemann, who coined the saying, "Who has never experienced how a 10-year-old capricious doll bosses around an experienced man of 40, knows little about sex" (see the "Children's Friends" 1996, p. 19).
In the 80s, also section "child sexuality and pedophilia" of the AHS (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Humane Sexualität) - Association of Human Sexuality - gave their view as for the decriminalization of pedophilia. This paper - updated in 1998 - can still be downloaded from the website of the AHS. It defends the "pedophile persons", i.e. the sexual contact between adults and children: "Pedophilia is a sexual orientation that has not been chosen by the people concerned". It says there that among them - as in any relationship - there are those who pursue violence and abuse of power, however, this is no reason for a flat criminalization of this orientation; the discrimination of "pedophiles" is based "on the widespread lacking and erroneous information of most people" (workgroup parents and relatives of "pedophile" persons). Well-known scientists like Kentler, Bleibtreu-Ehrenberg and Michael Baurmann belonged to the AHS at that time. On its former website, the "Pedo Workgroup" of the AHS claimed not to generally prohibit consensual sex between adults and children, because this would be "of no help for the thousands of children who live in a secret relationship with a pedophile" (Peter Näf at Urbaniok and Benz 2005).
The extent of this group of sexual abusers is very difficult to assess. The Bremen sociology professor Rüdiger Lautmann, who in 1994 published the book "The lust for the child. Portrait of the pedophile," indicates that 5% of the pedosexuals are "true pedophiles". However, while reading the book it quickly becomes clear that in most aspects there is no difference at all between those interviewed by Lautmann and other pedocriminals - e.g. in the detailed description of their strategies to gain access to victims (see Heiliger 2000).
As is well-known, the number of pedosexual offenders as a whole is also difficult to assess. Primarily we find here the sexual abuse within the family, which - as expected - constitutes the largest part. But in light of the ever-expanding consumption and production of "child pornography" and of the information that is obtained when cases have been detected, we can assume that sexual abuse of children is a more widespread crime than previously known - too many individuals and authorities continue to ensure trivialization and acceptance, cover-up and support.
Self-portrayal of the Pedophiles
The "fixated pedophile" sees himself as a "true pedophile" (cf. Lautmann 1994) compared to the "surrogate object" offenders. He sees himself as someone who really loves children - in contrast to the other group - and who is concentrated on the needs of the children. He presents his pedosexual contact as free of violence; he asserts that he himself responds to sexual desires of the child and that he thus contributes to the child's sexual self-determination and opposes the sexual oppression of children. He sets himself apart from all forms of violence against children and their commercial sexual exploitation. He argues that he advocates the child's right to a sexual relationship with an adult. The prohibition of sexual contacts between adults and children will be interpreted as sexual hostility and "desexualization of childhood." Therefore, he denies that the sexual contact with the child, defined by him as non-violent, inflicts mental or physical harm upon the child. Therefore, such a "pedophile" man does not have any sense of wrongdoing in relation to his actions, for he considers them as natural and even beneficial for the child. The "Pedo Workgroup" within the AHS writes, "As long as they are consensual and approved according to the child's particular stage of development (i.e. consensual), as long as in any phase of the (sexual) encounter the child's needs, feelings, and desires remain the measure (i.e. suitable for children), as long as there is no misuse of authority or dependence, and as long as health risks are avoided, [such actions] are always beneficial for both sides - in spite of all (and even because of certain) differences".
Another stereotypical assertion of the "pedophile" is that the sexual contact represents only a small part of his relationship with the child, that it is a serious love relation and that he performs a responsible, educational task towards the child: "I'd love to have a young friend who gives a sense to my life and who is also a human duty for me," says Stöckel in an interview (1998, p. 70). The "pedophile" insists that the - even sexual - relationship is voluntary and intentional on the part of the child. The sexual acts would generally remain at the level of affection, looking and masturbating, which is described by Baurmann as "very superficial and innocuous contacts" (ibid., p. 74). Scheller adds: "Factual sexual intercourse is usually completely out of the sexual desire of the pedophile" (ibid.). Günther Amendt points out, "While on the one hand examples are given constantly in order to justify the right to sexual relations between adults and children, on the other hand everything is being done in those pedophile self-portrayals to deny any sexual relation..." (Amendt 1980, p. 25).
The relationship with the child will be enthusiastically idealized; Lautmann says i.e., "Surveying, attending, and taking care of a person's development, is one of the original motives of human relationships, even in love. In pedophilia, this trait is quite exceptional and almost self-contained" (Lautmann 1994, p. acquires 25) . He even enhances his enthusiasm with the assertion, "The pedophile sexual form has an unusually sophisticated approach to consensus... in terms of language, time, and matter, the lovers structure their procedure" (ibid. p. 98). It amounts to a "very particular relationship, based on the exchange of dissimilar feelings" (ibid. p. 91).
Lautmann refuses the concept that "pedophilia" is deficient or abnormal: "We are concerned... with a differently shaped sexuality" (ibid. p. 118); it is an erotic-sexual preference, which should not be prosecuted. He hereby denies the fact that the "pedophiles", as mentioned earlier, underwent experiences of deficiency in their own childhood and practically reactivate them permanently in contact with the child. However, in their own imagination they give them an inverse meaning (care, love...) to give the child what they themselves were denied.
Martin Dannecker (1987) evaluates these self-portrayals as follows: "Characteristic of the limitless disavowal of one's sexual desires is the predominant self-stylization in those apologetic texts as being a mere executor of the children's sexual desires" (ibid. p. 79). Marlene and Claudia Stein-Hilbers Bundschuh subsume in their paper "Promotion and decriminalization of pedosexuality" (1998): "The arguments of the pedosexual movement aim at protecting the (by his own definition) non-violent adult, who is erotically and sexually fixated on the child, against prosecution." The assertion of the harmlessness of pedosexual contacts - in fact, traumata cannot always be detected - should be countered by mentioning that children may be able to process even very severe traumatic experiences without symptom formation. Urbaniok and Benz (2005) agree that in sexual relations with minors there is a always a risk of harm so that such contacts can never be regarded as harmless.
The full document in original language can be downloaded here: Pädosexualität. Definition, Selbstdarstellung, Strategien der Opfergewinnung und Möglichkeiten des Gegenhandelns