Documentary: Throwaway children

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By: Danish Paedophile Association

Sexual abuse of children

We want to inform you about a Norwegian documentary film on sexual abuse of children entitled Throwaway children.

The film has been shown on the Norwegian TV on October 5'th, Danish TV Oct. 11'th, and Swedish TV Oct. 18'th. It is going to be shown by the British BBC, the Dutch national TV, an American TV station, and no doubt in several other countries.

The purpose of the film is to document the sexual abuse of children worldwide, and the profit will be donated to an organization for the prevention of sexual assaults against children. A most honorary purpose. However, the film does not serve its purpose as well as one might demand. The film has too many errors, inaccuracies and exaggerations. Problems like incest, paedophilia, rape, violence, poverty, third world prostitution and child pornography are mixed indiscriminately together in a stinking pool. This film can only lead to moral panic and hysteria - not to a sensitive discussion.

Several Scandinavian newspapers have profited from this hysteria wave and written stories about sexual abuse on the front pages for several days or weeks. However, the more serious newspapers in Denmark have dissociated themselves from this simplified panic and some newspapers have even accused the Danish TV for not being serious. This includes both conservative, left-wing and liberal newspapers.

The first scene in the film is from Los Angeles in USA. We hear a telephone conservation between a police agent (Bill Dworin) and an Italian businessman. The police agent has set up a scam to trap paedophiles, and offers the businessman a girl of 10, or possibly younger for hard sex. A part of the conversation is worth citing here:
Businessman: But she must not die!
Police agent: Do you want to kill the girl?
Businessman: Yes.
A gay radio station in Copenhagen, Radio Rosa, has analyzed the sound carefully, helped by a media expert from the university (Karsten Fledelius), and claims that the sound has been edited, and the words have been placed in wrong order to make the man say the opposite of what he actually said. We have not been able to verify, neither from Italian sources nor from American, that the man actually intended to kill the girl.
The background of the story is that the Italian 47-year-old A. M. [edit] was caught by a police trap, set up by Bill Dworin. He was arrested in Kennedy Airport, New York, on march 18'th 1988 and charged with attempted sexual molestation. His defense attorney, Stanley Greensberg, claims that his client was only engaging in a fantasy over the telephone. On august 10'th M. was acquitted of attempted sexual molestation, but was convicted to one year and a day suspended prison sentence and no fine for sending child pornography by mail to Dworin. That was the minimum possible sentence.
The Swedish version of the film had a postscript telling about the sentence against M. and what the maximum possible sentence would have been, as to suggest that he got off too cheaply. It was not told that he was acquitted for the crime mentioned in the film, and that the sentence was for another crime.
The use of police traps in cases like this is not known in Europe. A detailed analysis of the use of police traps in the prevention of child pornography is found in an article by Lawrence Stanley, Esq. in Paidika vol. 1 no. 2, Amsterdam 1987.

Further contributing to the hysteria was the claim that a man convicted of sexual molestation in Los Angeles should be involved in satanism and pagan worship. This was "documented" in the film by showing a ragged shirt.

The original version of the film showed a scene where a Norwegian girl told about her fathers assaults against her. The father has been found not guilty by two courts. He now sues the producers for defame, and claims 5 mill. Norwegian kroner compensation. As a consequence of the lawsuit the scene was removed from the Danish version of the film. The Swedish version had a new scene where the story is told with the girl absent.

The film claims that considerable amount of child pornography is exported from Denmark to the USA. This was denied in the film by police commissioner Wolmer Petersen, Copenhagen. It was apparent that the producers did not believe Wolmer Petersen.
The fact is that the Danish police several times have asked their American colleagues to document their claims about child porn from Denmark. So far they have never received any items that could support these claims. Child pornography was legally sold in Denmark in the 70'ies, but is not available anymore. The film producer, Alf G. Andersen, says to Radio Rosa that child pornography is now mainly produced by amateurs for private use.

The most serious error in the film is a scene from the Dutch village Oude Pekela. According to the film, more than 75 children in this little town should have been abducted by a gang of child molesters in fancy costumes, anaesthetized with poisoned candy, and subjected to the most bizarre treatments such as drowning attempts, being smeared with faeces and urinated in the head, being beaten and kicked, straps tied around their penises, swallowing semen etc.
According to the Dutch minister of justice, Frederik [Frits] Korthals-Altes, this story is totally untrue. The police has investigated the case thoroughly for several months and has not found the slightest evidence.

What actually happened in Oude Pekela is, accourding to the Haagse Post: Two very small kids were playing in the forest, and one pushed a stick up into the other boys anus. He was brought to the physician because there was blood on his underpants. The physician, Dr. Jonker, started an investigation and interrogated the kids in such a way that they invented stories. More kids became involved and the case developed into a mass hysteria.
The story has been totally disclaimed by the Dutch police. They are able to account for where every child has been, and everything has been disproved. Nevertheless, the Norwegian producers still believe Dr. Jonker.

A few figures and statistics are mentioned in the film. These figures are presented as facts although they are highly controversial, to say the least. It is claimed that each year 1.5 million children are missing in the USA, and that more than 10% are victims of sexual abuse. This figure originates from the so-called Meese commission (Attorney general's commission on pornography, Washington D.C. 1986). This commission argued that pornography was harmful. Their claim is highly controversial, and denied by a number of scientists saying that they have been misinterpreted in the report. One of these scientists, the Danish expert in sex crimes Berl Kutchinsky, Univ. of Copenhagen, says that the numbers are highly exaggerated. In 1986 the Denver Post disproved this figure. They found that in 1985 28,000 persons under the age of 21 were missing in the USA. This includes persons missing for only a few hours. It was estimated that 95% of these were runaways, 4% was abducted by a parent, and 1% was abducted by strangers. 90% of the missing persons returned. It was concluded that 280 persons under 21 were abducted that year - and not 1,500,000! The Denver Post interviewed a number of politicians and others that believed the high fantasy-figures, and nobody contested the documentation.

The film also shows child prostitution in the Philippines and Brazil. This information is more reliable, although a brothel scene in the Philippines is obviously constructed. A criminal has abused a 10 year old boy, Mike, and an 11 year old girl Rosario, who died after the abuse.

A number of incest cases in England and pornography cases in USA are also shown.

The film was made by a team of Norwegian journalists, leaded by Alf G. Andersen. His story is as follows:
In 1985 he wrote a series of articles on child sex abuse for the Oslo newspaper Aftenposten. The Norwegian minister of justice, Helen Bøsterud, got interested and asked him to prepare a report documenting the international extent of pornography, prostitution and trade involving children.
(Alf G. Andersen: International Report on Child Pornography, Child Prostitution and Child Trade, Norweg. dept. Justice, 1987. Available from: Department of justice, Law dept., Akersgaten 42, 0030 Oslo 1, Norway)
In 1987 Andersen was asked to make a documentary film on the subject. The team traveled around the world for 4 - 5 months, the total production time was approx. 10 months.
The film is produced by Aker Brygge Film A/S in Oslo, and sponsored by the Department of Justice and the Red Cross in Norway.

The credibility of Norwegian minister of Justice in this matter suffered a severe crack in 1986 when she claimed that each year one million small children are abducted from the poorest countries and smuggled to countries like Denmark, Fed. Rep. Germany, and the Netherlands, where they are exploited in brothels, sex-clubs, the pornography industry or used as slaves. This claim was denied by the Danish minister of justice, Erik Ninn-Hansen, who says that the claim is totally unlikely and unbelievable. No such children have been found, and it is totally unlikely that so many children could be hidden. The Norwegian minister, Helen Bøsterud, was not able to document her claims.

It is Helen Bøsterud who took the initiative to the film Throwaway children.

The problems of child exploitation have many different aspects. Incest, paedophilia, prostitution, and pornography are different problems with different causes. A detailed understanding is necessary to cope with these serious problems. The Norwegian film Throwaway children does not contribute to the understanding - only to the hysteria.

Hopefully, You that reads this letter will be able to contribute to a more sensitive discussion, when the film comes up in your country.


Danish Paedophile Association
[address]

[The AVRO and the IKON did not show this documentary after Martijn send this letter to them. But later the TROS broad-casted the documentary[? - needs conformation]. (B. in 't Hout op 18 november 1988 namens AVRO Televisier aan bestuurslid Martijn: Hierbij delen wij u mede, dat wij inmiddels hebben afgezien van het uitzenden van de documentaire "Throwaway children".)]

source: Letter to Martijn by the Danish Paedophile Association; 19 October 1988