Questions from Italy
By: M. de Jong
Last year a girl law student from Italy interviewed an active member of Association MARTIJN. This is the interesting result.
1) How would your association define obscenity and/or pornography?
These are tough question to answer, because society commands what is considered "obscene" and "pornography". Persons who have paedophilic feelings are not any different than "normal" people, they are also influenced by society's opinions just as much as any others. The only difference I think is that generally spoken they often are a little bit more sceptical concerning social opinions, because of the fact that they know the difference between what it really means to be a "paedophile", and what society thinks. This discrepancy acts as a constant reminder to them to take what society believes with a pinch of salt. But that said, because there are no stereotypical "paedophiles" as such there are only people with paedophilic feelings, a general answer cannot be given. It wholly depends on the persons in question. Our association therefore cannot give an answer to these questions, because the opinions of our members vary just as much as everybody else's opinions. Therefore our society does not have an "official" standpoint as such. If I take your question about what is pornography more as a philosophical one, then one can ask oneself, what is pornography, in the broad sense, for? Why do people need pornography? Well, the simple answer is, I think, that it is more or less a surrogate in place of a real partner to get sexual stimulation from. Simply in order to more or less fulfill one's sexual needs.
2) How would you define child pornography?
You mean, me, the person writing this? Well I don't know whether it matters what I think, but I'll give it a try. If I for a moment forget the possibility of written or drawn pornography, for I assume that is not what you want to hear about, to me "child pornography" means a picture where at least one child, is busy with sex. So in my opinion there should be no distinction between what we would normally call "pornography" when talking about grown-ups and "child-pornography". If what is depicted in magazines like Playboy is not normally called "pornography", why should we use the word differently when the subject in the picture is a child. My understanding is that we normally only call something "pornography" when the person in the picture is actually having sex (such as intercourse, oral or anal sex etc.), not when he/she is simply nude, not even when it is "posed". Of course when you would have asked the same question in the Victorian age the answer would be wholly different. In the end it's all a question of semantics.
3) What is your position about child pornography? Do you think it is harmful to children?
Yes, it CAN be harmful to a child. There are two forms of possible harm. One is the direct harm that occurs if a child is forced to do things she/he does not enjoy (that is putting it mildly). I will discuss this no further as this obviously cannot ever be tolerated. The second form of harm occurs when she/he has done things in complete ignorance of the fact that what she/he is doing is considered "perverse" by society. In this case the shame that could develop later in life for what she/he has done, accentuated by the fact that the proof of her/his conduct is publicly available, (in the form of pictures of the event taken) can be considered "harm". What I'm actually saying is, that "harm" for this second level is mostly determined by the opinion of society, which more or less dictates if one is supposed to be ashamed or not of such acts. Shame, I don't think I am telling you something you did not realise is very much determined by social norms. Of course it goes without saying that actually hurting children, or forcing children to do something they detest is always evil and wrong! But simply sex in itself is something that children can enjoy just as much as grownups, and there is no inherent reason why they should be ashamed about it. Whether that means it's OK to point a camera at it and spread the pictures of it all over the world is of course a wholly different question.
In my opinion there is actually not that much moral difference whether the subject in question is an ignorant child, or a grown-up who was unaware of being photographed/filmed. Pornography, in our culture still has an element of "dirtiness", and it takes a special kind of mentality in a person to choose to occupy himself with this kind of behaviour. When this deliberate choice has not been made beforehand, the chances are quite big that the person will feel very negative about himself and angry toward the photographer when he/she finally finds out what has happened. This is just as much true, or truer, for a child as it is for a grownup. But on the other hand, it is striking to see the difference of legal reaction when one compares C.P. being posted on the internet to what occurs when a some guy places obscene pictures of his ex-girlfriend all over the internet. Especially when one considers that the later act is almost certainly deliberately intended to cause actual harm to the subject in the picture. It seems the degree of hysteria in the former case has no end, while the latter behaviour is largely ignored.
Why is that, one wonders, if the reason to be upset is the unjustness of placing an obscene picture of someone without his consent. The simple answer is, I think, that the fact that consent of the publication of the picture has not been given is not a such big factor, at least not one big enough to explain all the hysteria. The simple fact is, of course, that it is obviously not so much the fact that the subject in the picture has not consented to the publication of the picture (regardless to the question whether a child is able to consent here). But the simple fact that it is a picture of a child who is having sex that is causing all these reactions. Just the combination of sex and child triggers levels of hysteria that are incomparable to almost any other subject. Not that I'm saying anything new here, or that I want to lessen the fact that real child abuse is inexcusable. I just want to clarify that the main point here seems not to be the question whether or not the child consented (in the sense finding it objectionable or not, not in the sense of "informed consent") to be photographed. The real disturbing fact for most people seems to be the simple fact that a child is shown engaging in sexual conduct, and possibly seen to enjoy it! This is something that puritans don't want anybody too see, because they want to maintain the dogma that such a thing is just not possible! So they have spread the dogma that all images in which a child can be seen to have sex the child is forced to do disgusting things it really does not want to do. And who in heavens name wants to see a child suffer, or do really disgusting things?
Let me conclude with an (I confess) extremely utopian example, to make my position more clear. Imagine a world where everybody accepts that a child can be sexually active, and can get pleasure out of that. And where nobody thinks badly about this, but on the contrary considers the pleasure children get out of it as one of lives more positive things. Then and only then, it would be possible to photograph a child's sexual behaviour and show it to others, without a chance of inflicting shame on the child when she/he grows up. The level of "harm" done thus depends on where society stands, between this (utopian) end of the possible range of opinions, and the opposite one. A society where the idea of a child having sex is considered such an abomination and such a shameful thing that an extreme reaction seems to be justified (such as is more and more the case in our society). Finally, let me say that I believe, that the more and the louder people yell that child pornography is unacceptable, the more harm will come to those persons that somehow have been involved in it. This does not mean that I think that C.P. should therefore be acceptable, it is simply a fact I observe. If I could personally choose a future, it would be one in which the taking, (and therefore the possession) of pictures of children that are obviously enjoying sex would be legal, except of course when these pictures would be taken for commercial ends. On the other hand, pictures in which children would be clearly suffering, or would be obviously forced or coerced to behave in an undignified manner, should be just as illegal, or even more illegal than they are now.
Of course I know this is all seems extremely utopian, because such a situation could only ever exist in a world where all people would not only not be offended by such pictures, but where the whole idea of sexual children would be considered acceptable. Or even found to be a source of genuine joy. Also the kind of sexual behaviour that would be acceptable should be perfectly safe for the children involved (no possibility of catching AIDS or getting pregnant or other negative results could be allowed). So it would be limited to mutual masturbation and such, certainly not penetration. So, to conclude we're not talking about anything that could be accomplished with a slight change of mentality here. I am talking about an extremely utopian world. In fact, from where things are going now, it will be virtually impossible to reach such a state, as almost nobody that has grown up with our current mindset, could truly imagine such a world let alone would want this to happen.
Now, in the current situation, at best, C.P. could be considered a necessary evil. Of which production would be illegal, but perhaps the ownership could be, under strict circumstances, be allowed if it can be shown that the persons in the pictures won't/can't be harmed in any way by looking at their pictures. Or would (as grown-ups) consent that their pictures would be used fur this purpose. This perhaps seems far fetched, considering the complete hysteria surrounding this subject, but I'm willing to bet that there are people who would not mind, even now, to make their childhood erotic pictures available, if it meant that less children would be endangered that way. As what I have been told some time ago is true then some of the children that appeared in material made in Denmark in the 1970's never had any objections to their pictures being used for this purpose. I can only say that I surely wouldn't have objections like that, I would only be too glad if I could help lessen some people's sexual frustrations. But then, I have never had such sexual extensive contacts like that in my youth, let alone being photographed while having them. I have been, I must confess, an almost boringly obedient angelic child that almost never did anything "dirty".
4) Have you ever heard about virtual child pornography (that is, computer-generated pornography involving children?)
No, the thing that comes closest to mind are some of the characters in the latest version of the computer game "Final Fantasy". Just joking of course. The claim for why V.C.P. should be outlawed, I have heard, goes along the lines that it would be impossible to reject claims by someone who has been found to have C.P. in his possession but claims that all the pictures in question are "fake". But even the very best electronically produced pictures (for example in movies and computer games) can be easily identified as such, even when produced by companies with almost unlimited funds, let alone by a private person.
I don't believe that any powerful criminal organisation, with the means to produce indiscernible lifelike V.C.P. will be interested in producing this stuff, they have much easier ways to earn big money, and have no reason to take such risks if it's just for the money. And then, for such a fictitious organisation, it would be much easier to use real children! If they have so little morals that they are only doing it for the money, it would be much cheaper for them to go to some far away lawless country to do their evil deeds, no matter how much effort society would invest to prevent that from happening.
When (if ever) V.C.P. is made, it will always be done by private persons who have other motives than money to do so. Also, I assume that these people won't have the slightest interest in producing V.C.P that cannot easily be identified as such. At least, as long as it will remain legal to have V.C.P that can be easily be proven to be artificial. Also, these same people will have a vested interest in the fact that the viewer of their pictures can believe that what they see is genuine. The last thing they want is that people start doubting their own eyes, so they won't be interested in trying to create life-like V.C.P. Why all of this is the case I will explain later. Therefore I presume that the ability to identify any "V.C.P." as such will continue to be present for a long-long time. So the claims that it won't be possible to differentiate between real and fake "child pornography" are, in my opinion, not really genuine.
Also, I am sure no sane person has ever claimed that the C.P. found in his possession was "fake". A person who, in the past, would have tried to convince a jury that all of his C.P. was "fake" would be laughed out of court (or more accurate, would be put into prison faster than he could say "virtual"). So I cannot believe that any real V.C.P. case has prompted this legislation. Perhaps, just perhaps, such a claim might be used in ten years time with a straight face, but I doubt it very much that this claim could then not be proven to be a lie fairly easily. But I suppose all this has not been of real consequence to the V.C.P. debate, because the whole V.C.P. idea is, in my opinion, just a red herring.
5) What is your position about it?
I think it is an invention of the puritanical right wing. For example, in the Netherlands, the same term "virtual pornography" is used for a completely different thing, namely that a picture of a real child is manipulated in such a way that the end result is pornographic. How this is in practice possible is never really further explained (one would suspect that putting a child's face on a picture of a grown-up who is having sex would not really have the desired result, but perhaps this is not what the law intends). This version of "virtual pornography" is in my opinion also just an invention of puritanical politicians, and has nothing to do with any real danger of this happening on a wide scale. It is a variation on the American concept of V.C.P. designed, I think, simply for our somewhat more sceptical Dutch society. Because in this variation one could argue that a real child can be harmed. The original U.S. variation just does not seem to cut it for the more down to earth Dutch.
All of these attempts to try to demonise something called "virtual child pornography" are in my opinion just the steps politicians have chosen in order to finally reach their ultimate goal. Namely that of trying to widen the term "child-pornography" until it covers everything that can give paedophiles sexual gratification. Including written texts and cartoon like drawings. To criminalize texts and drawings now seems to cause too much resistance, so they seem to try the "step-by-step" approach, even if the in-between steps are actually nonsense. It almost seems that, in the end, the objective is more to frustrate and punish paedophiles than to actually prevent children being harmed. Why that is the case is an interesting question all in itself. One would think that it is in societies best interest that paedophiles can have some sexual outlet, so as to lower their level of frustration. Instead one seems to constantly try to increase the level of frustration, anxiety, hatred and fear in paedophiles.
6) What do you think about the claims that have been made about the possibility that pornography both real or fake can be used to lure children and lower their inhibitions towards unwanted sexual relationships?
Let me be as cynical to say the following: Logic suggest that when children are shown a photographic image of a conduct they think would be fun to imitate in their relation with this grown-up, that would mean that what they then choose to do would be a wanted, not unwanted kind of relationship. Otherwise what would be the point of showing them these pictures, if what they saw would horrify them so much that it would strengthen their resolve never to act like that? I'm sorry, of course I'm being a bit disingenuous here. When you say "unwanted sexual relationships", you, of course (whether conscious, or unconscious), refer to unwanted by society, not by the child at that particular moment. Regardless, people who project their own paedophilic fantasies onto real paedophiles often make claims like these. Because paedophilic feelings are shared by almost everybody, in a more or lesser degree, even by those people that are very much puritanical. They fantasise about what they could do, and project that as fears for what a real paedophile would do. It causes them to construct sentences like "the possibility that pornography both real or fake can be used to lure children and lower their inhibitions towards unwanted sexual relationships" which clearly demonstrate their level of prejudice. I'm not inferring that you are like that, this kind of sentences are often simply repeated in discussions about this topic, without them realising the amount of bias that lies behind these sentences.
Is it possible to show children pornography, to learn them that sex can be fun? Yes of course it is! But it goes without saying that it does not have to be child-pornography as such. Just regular pornography will also show them that people can enjoy sex. I don't imagine that this would be any reason to ban all kinds of pornography (or is it, I wonder...). Children will damn well recognise that the persons shown in the picture enjoy their behaviour! And they will almost certainly wonder if they can enjoy the same acts just as much. And, if they try, I assume there is a big enough chance they will find out that they do! It is not a secret that very young children can be sexually active and enjoy it. Just ask some people about their childhood memories, and you will find this out soon enough (if they can be honest about it). Another thing is whether C.P. shown to a child will convince a child that it is "normal" to behave like that. Any child, in my honest opinion, must be incredibly naive to believe that. Perhaps it will work with a child that still believes Santa-Claus exists, but show me any ten-year-old or older child that does not know that such conduct would be considered extremely "dirty" and naughty by his parents, and you have done a virtual miracle. I don't believe for a moment that a child older than 10 or so can be simply tricked into believing that this behaviour is "perfectly normal", not after ten years of being indoctrinated into the view that "touching down there is very dirty". What it probably will do, is to raise the curiosity of the child. Most people would secretly consider this the real danger, but would of course never publicly admit that. I don't have to add, I hope, that I consider the act of trying to use this "technique" on children young, and therefore naive, enough to really fall for this trick as being extremely disgusting and even evil. But then, we would certainly have to talk about an age group much lower in age than what the person who use the word "child" here, in combination with these claims, want us to think.
[Till here published in OK 85]
7) Is there, in your point of view, any difference between an obscene drawing and an obscene pseudo-photograph (whatever obscene can mean referring to the very personal perception of it)?
In the end the only difference will be the degree of possibility for the person using these pictures to stimulate his/her fantasies in such a way as to reach sexual gratification by them. It just depends on how powerful his/her imagination is, and how great his need for sexual relief. Some people will be better served by "real" looking pictures, other by pictures that show an (exaggerated) abstraction. Some people will even be better served with written pornography; it all depends on the person. And of course some "variation of menu" is also often needed to keep being satisfied by what are essentially primitive and limited surrogates.
8) Eventually, where does this difference reside?
9) Are you in contact with other associations like yours?
Only in the global sense that we know about each other's existence, and sometimes read each other's publications. Other forms of correspondence, let alone real life meetings, are to my knowledge exceedingly rare. To my knowledge the only existing organisation that attempts to bring groups like ours together to discuss what is happening to them and to try to form an alliance of sorts, is called "IPCE". They have a web-site explaining their goals. MARTIJN is not an official member of IPCE, but has been asked to come, as guests, to one of their meetings (which are held annually, I believe) on one or two occasions in the last ten years or so. So I would not count that as "having regular contact".
10) Why do you think most States are banning not only the real child pornography but even the virtual one?
My, (I agree) very cynical conclusion would be the unspoken desire to simply further punish paedophiles for trying to breach the ban on the unwritten social agreement that children must be kept sexually ignorant for as long as possible! Of course that does not mean that there aren't people who genuinely think that such laws are there to protect their children. The real reason cannot, in my opinion, be to make this world safer for children! For that would imply one would try to reduce the number of paedophiles that do something stupid and evil to a child out of pure frustration and hatred toward society. As the saying goes, love can easily turn into hate. Instead most states seem hell-bend in trying to ensure that a greater and greater number of paedophiles will become desperately unhappy and frustrated. I'm not sure if this is deliberate policy or not though. Also, it almost seems as if they want to convince the larger public that they can't believe their eyes when it comes to C.P.
Let me bring in some historical information, that perhaps will explain better the fight which is going on between certain groups of paedophiles (certainly not all, I'm talking about a small minority here), and puritanical elements in society. Without this knowledge, I must confess, it is very hard to understand what is going on. I am using the word "fight" not lightly here. What has happened in the past can only be understood in the context of a moral fight between the forces of Puritanism and people who, driven by their paedophilic feelings, want a world devoid of the kind of Puritanism that they see as the cause of all their problems. This "fight" is a "propaganda" fight, that has been overwhelmingly won by the puritanical forces (until now at least). In the early seventies, in the middle of what is now known as "the sexual revolution", the knowledge slowly dawned on persons with paedophilic feelings that what they felt for children was not unique to them, but that there were many more people like them. Yes, that indeed that they were not simply incidental "disturbed individuals", but that paedophilia as such was a sexual orientation, comparable to say homophilia. All the centuries before they came to this realisation they were repressed so much that they never could find others like them, so they just did not know! Unlike homophiles it is very hard to recognise someone as being a paedophile.
Seeing then, as they did, that homophiles used the sexual revolution to also, at long last, gain respectability, they tried to accomplish the same thing using the same means. In other words, they tried to also show the world that a grown-up and a child could have a mutually pleasant relationship that included childlike sexual conduct, just like homophiles came into the open and openly told about their mutually pleasant relations with other men. So paedophiles started publicising booklets in which they tried to show the beauty and inherent eroticism of a blossoming child, and that such children could enjoy their sexuality. They tried that in an attempt to explain to the world that what they felt came from a deep love for children, not merely lust. Such booklets as I describe now, not only had more or less pornographic pictures in them, but also political discussions and proclamations that tried to explain what they where attempting to do. At the same time however, bolstered by the relative success these booklets had and the fact that no police action was taken to keep them from the market other publications also came on the market that showed only pornographic pictures. Made for no other reason than to serve as a sexual outlet for paedophiles who bought them. These publications unfortunately also contained much more "hardcore" material than the former ones did. One should not forget that paedophiles that bought both kinds of magazines were themselves most often sexually very frustrated, not surprising considering the fact that they had often had a whole life of sexual repression behind them.
Well what happened should not have been a surprise, considering the fact that "the sexual revolution" proved to be much less "permanent" than most people assumed at the time. Puritans, who where of course very upset, but powerless to change these developments concluded that they could not directly attack the results of the sexual revolutions, especially the liberation of homosexuality, but found in paedophiles the best possible strategic target. Puritans, to further their believe that sex was dirty, considered that when you teach all children that sex is dirty and dangerous, then in the end everybody will become more puritanical. Also the spectre of sexual child abuse would make even the most sexually liberated person wary about the "negative aspects of sex". So they started attacking "sexual child abuse", first in a form they already had use before, as "satanic attacks", in the form of "religious satanic child sex abuse", when this form of propaganda proved to work unsatisfactory their strategies slowly changed to attack "paedophiles". In our country we first became aware of these propaganda attacks when newspapers in the USA started to spread absurd stories such as that "child sex slaves are openly sold in Amsterdam, on 'Dam square'". Now everybody who has ever visited Amsterdam and who knows 'Dam square' knows that such allegations are nonsense, but the pure fact that they were made, made Dutch politicians nervous, and that was exactly the goal of this strategy. Similar things happened in Denmark etc. Other thing, too many to mention also happened, including American persons infiltrating Dutch society trying to stir things up.
In the end it became obvious that the larger group of heterosexuals were quite willing to "pay the price" of throwing the "paedophiles" for the lions in order to conciliate the gains of their new found freedoms. Not only the Dutch Right political wing, but also the Left dropped us like a brick. It seems they never really were that interested in our 'coming out', they just wanted every possible support for their own goals. So, they, the American puritans, in my opinion have succeeded in their goals admirable. Precisely because society as a whole did not really understand what was happening. And paedophiles, and what they had to tell and show, were in the mean time so demonized that nobody wanted to seriously listen to them anymore (if they ever did that in the first place is also doubtful). Also, almost nobody, (except for paedophiles themselves) has ever dared to look at the pictures they tried to use to demonstrate the sexuality of children. So I suppose, now, more than ever, all kinds of uncontrollable claims can be made about C.P. that everybody will accept as true with almost nobody trying to verify them. And even when one does happen to see a picture that disproves the claims made about C.P. one better keep's one's mouth shut about it, for fear of being arrested for possession. This has been true since the beginning of the attempts to make C.P. illegal, and I doubt much has changed since then. Of course, if you try to make something illegal, in the end criminals will offer it in some form for monetary gain. So I will not imply that the same thing is still going on unaffected. But this, all this fighting and demonising has caused paedophiles to become increasingly bitter. And some individuals have, for reasons ill describe below, unfortunately committed, (and I am very ashamed to admit it) acts against children that are too horrible to contemplate. Hate and love are two sides of the same coin.
I am not trying to imply that all paedophiles will turn into potential child molesters, if all of this further escalates to a point that all possibilities of means to reach sexual gratification are eliminated. Remember, at the very least the possibility to reach orgasm just by using ones own fantasy can never be taken away! But in every randomly picked group of persons there will always be some individuals, who are more susceptible than others, to break down and become psychotic under influence of what can only be described as the enormous psychical stress inflicted on them. It is not only the inability to have any form of sexual outlet that can make life miserable for a person with paedophilic feelings. But also the forced inability to utter ones feelings, and of being honestly oneself. Combined with the constant feeling of being (unjustly) hated by society, and the emptiness and loneliness in ones life caused by the impossibility of having a meaningful relation with the object of their love. Sometimes made acute when one is unfortunate enough to fall in love with a child, without any means to tell anybody, including and especially the child itself.
Almost all paedophiles I know are therefore constantly fighting against their depressions and anxieties. Knowing all the time that a single letter exposing them as paedophiles to the nearest newspaper can make life even more like hell to them. In this situation, sexual frustration is just one single aspect contributing to their frustrations and misery. It would not further be that important to them, but just like when you have an itch you can't scratch, a simple thing like an itch can become an obsession if you can't do anything to resolve it. Even a real itch can then lead to self-damaging behaviour, if only the itch has to be endured for long enough. One only has to go see a movie such as "forty days and forty nights" to be reminded of what a burden forced sexual abstention can become. Extrapolate forty days and forty nights to forty years if you will... Perhaps then you will get a glimpse of what most paedophiles must endure (and yes, I know paedophiles can at least masturbate, but some loathe their paedophilic feelings so much they don't even allow themselves this outlet). Persons, with a leg cast, have been known to inflict wounds upon themselves by trying to scratch themselves with a metal wire just to get rid of a no longer bearable itch. Similarly some paedophiles can become so obsessed with getting rid of their particular "itch" that they get desperate and crazy enough to commit the most foolish and self-damaging acts. Most often they also unconsciously want somebody to stop them, even if it has the direst consequences for them.
Other paedophiles just become so hateful toward society that they throw overboard all their moral principles, and just do whatever they feel like, but even these people often show the same unconscious self-destructiveness, which demonstrates itself in unbelievable carelessness. In extreme cases something in their psyche just gives way, and they revenge themselves in a suicide attack on what they feel is the source of their misery, or on the thing they think will make the people they hate the most miserable. An example is the paedophile who went into a school and shot the children of the parents who made his life unbearable, and then committed suicide. I think it happened in Scotland a couple of years ago. Again, love can easily turn to hate. Perhaps he started to hate the children he was not allowed to love. Cases like these are perhaps the greatest tragedies that can result. But luckily these cases are very much the exception. Most paedophiles in this situation will simply silently suffer, some become alcoholics, others will simply commit suicide without anybody knowing why they did it. Only a very small fraction will develop the sadistic tendencies and obsessive and the aforementioned uncontrolled behaviour to a degree that it results in a (as I mentioned, often self-destructive) sexual attack on a child. Of course when such a thing happens, (and is then plastered all over the news), it will in return deepen the hatred against paedophiles, resulting in the further acceleration of the current downward spiral. This does not imply however that paedophiles have the inherent tendency to become "evil", any more than any other random sample from society under similar circumstances. Paedophiles, in the end, are just as normal as anybody else, but have to live in very abnormal circumstances.
I don't want to claim I have an answer to all these problems. For one thing, we have allowed all of this to escalate for far too long to simply turn things around. One can only hope that things don't escalate further, and that in the end things calm down. So that in a hundred years or so from now we can all laugh about our silly sensitivities and consider it all a historical mistake, just like we are now considering witches and the Spanish inquisition as mistakes. It's not to say that I mean that real "paedophiles", (in the sense of persons that abuse children sexually), don't exist now. But they are, (as I tried to explain) more or less the result of the expectations of society. Some of what has happened has been the result of several kinds of "wishful thinking" and "self fulfilling prophecy's" and prejudices. Let me explain further. With "wishful thinking" I mean to say that when some person likes to think about paedophiles as "monsters", they in fact (unconsciously) want to create monsters like these, because it suits them somehow that they exist. And, as an example of a "self fulfilling prophecy", take for example someone who told everybody in the 1970's that paedophiles only made C.P. for monetary gain. Even when at the time, it was a lie, because such claims where widespread and because of the inherit drive for people to "imitated known behaviour" it would eventually become true. Perhaps the person making these accusations was conscious of what he was doing, or perhaps not. Perhaps he really believed in what he was saying was true, but just by convincing everybody that this was the case he would lay the seed for it to become true eventually. In the same sense, one can perhaps expect that in the future some person will really attempt to create "virtual pornography". Just the fact that someone believes that this stuff actually exists can give him the idea to actually attempt to do such a thing. One never knows... This, it seems, is like an universal mechanism. Perhaps some people are counting on it that this will happen again, as it has in the past.
Finally, It's no real secret that most real child sexual abuse (I mean, children being forced to have sex) occurs mostly within the family in the form of Incest. The perpetrator could I imagine act this way driven by actual, although perverted, paedophilic feelings. But my honest impression is that in most of these cases it is just as possible that it is simply the availability of the child, combined with the perverted kick these persons get out of doing something considered this perverse, that drives them to commit such acts. Perhaps "paedophilia", as a concept, is for such people a welcome scapegoat. It is an observable fact that social groups that yell the loudest for harsh measures against paedophiles are also the social groups where incest is the most widespread phenomenon.
I hope I have made some sense to you, and you don't believe this is all just crap nonsense made up by a "mentally disturbed person". Further I hope your questions were asked because of genuine interest in the causes of C.P., not because of any "hidden agenda". Unfortunately history has proven to me that there are plenty of people who think that the ends justify the means when it comes to people like me, and that they want to find a means to harm me. I gamble that this is not the case here. Well, my last hope is that I have both been earnest enough to give you honest answers, and at the same time I have grossed you out too much by them. If you feel the need to ask more questions, I'm always willing to try to answer them.
With best regards, the chairman of MARTIJN,
M. de Jong
source: 'Questions from Italy' by M. de Jong; OK Magazine, no. 85; May 2003