Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How do you normalize pedophilia?—UPDATED

Will we see less of this in the future?
Before you start, read this story on a conference starting tomorrow sponsored by B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile mental health professionals and sympathetic activists [H/T to Lisa Graas!]. According to the story, the American Psychiatrists Association isn't participating in this conference, nor will it comment on the conference's aims. B4U-ACT has hopes of participating in the next revision of the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (usually abbreviated DSM), scheduled to be completed by 2013; the conference is also looking at "how the popular perceptions of pedophiles can be reframed to encourage tolerance."

First step, of course, is to create a different name for it ... one that will hopefully make it sound more attractive and positive a trait. Hey, let's call pedophiles "minor-attracted persons"! Then complain how the old word demonizes the poor, afflicted "minor-attracted person". 

 Next, you try to mislead the psychiatric field into taking pedophilia off the DSM by making false claims about the the current state of scientific knowledge. (“'It is based on data from prison studies, which completely ignore the existence of those who are law-abiding,' said Howard Kline, science director of B4U-ACT, in a July 25, 2011 press release. 'The proposed new diagnostic criteria specify ages and frequencies with no scientific basis whatsoever.'”)

[Reality check: how many people who are sexually attracted to children are going to admit it? Or, let me rephrase that ... how many people who are not now and have never been imprisoned for child sexual abuse will admit to being sexually attracted to children? ... Hands, anyone? ... Now, how many of these people are willing to admit that their desire is unhealthy and needs treatment? ... cricket, cricket ....]

  Once pedophilia is taken off the DSM, you can use that fact to have child sexual abuse laws nullified, most likely through sympathetic courts. At the same time, you use Hollywood to have pedophiles — er, the "minor-attracted" made sympathetic, decent and often admirable people. The best way is to start off with featuring them in comedies, where their kinky desires are the springboard of light, indulgent jokes, interspersed with the occasional drama documenting their suffering at the hands of the religious and intolerant.

Sound ridiculously improbable? 

[Child advocate Dr. Judith] Reisman warns that declassifying pedophilia as a mental illness could result in the repeal of child-protection statutes because the law always follows the input of psychiatry. She points to psychiatry’s normalization of sadomasochism, exhibitionism, and homosexuality as precedents. ...
[Sadomasochism not a mental-health concern? Really?]

“The first thing they do is to get the public to divest from thinking of what the offender does criminally, to thinking of the offender’s emotional state, to think of him as thinking of his emotional state, [and] to empathize and sympathize,” Reisman said. “You don’t change the nation in one fell swoop; you have to change it by conditioning. The aim is to get them [pedophiles] out of prison.”
 The outline I've given above is almost exactly the same strategy pursued by gay activists to push us in the space of forty years from having irregularly-enforced sodomy laws to six states legalizing gay "marriages". Except that we're no longer discussing supposedly mature, informed and consenting adults.

Which should give us pause for thought: In forty years, will consent mean anything? If the consent of the immature and ignorant is to be considered irrelevant, then how can adults demand a right to say no?

Hopefully, the saner, more intelligent members of the APA will be able to fend off the pedophile brigade ... though, wherever sex is concerned, this august body seems to have trouble figuring out what's healthy and what's not.

Update: August 18, 2011
Tantamergo over at A Blog For Dallas Area Catholics posted a bit of information I didn't have Tuesday: Dr. Fred Berlin, one of the featured speakers at the B4U-ACT conference, was an advisor to HE Rembert Weakland, the archbishop emeritus of Milwaukee who delayed action on accused molester Fr. Lawrence Murphy until it was too late then tried to blame his inaction on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (I wrote about this scandal, and the New York Times' misrepresentation of it, in The Other Blog last year.) Also, it appears Dr. Berlin was also an advisor to the USCCB, especially during the "Long Lent" of 2002.

Tantamergo's source is SNAP, which isn't the most trustworthy of sources. According to the Daily Caller, Berlin "distanced himself Monday afternoon from other B4U-ACT conference participants’ stated aims, saying that he opposes removing pedophilia from the DSM and that he hopes to stop pedophiles before they act. Berlin also disputed Reisman’s contention that he wants to decriminalize pedophilia, noting that 'society’s interests can best be served by supporting both criminal justice interventions and public health initiatives.'”

It should also be remembered that Abp. Weakland is prone to blame avoidance. He was one of Laurie Goodstein's sources for her hit piece against Pope Benedict; and she has repaid him by completely overlooking his complicity in the Murphy scandal, as well as his misuse of archdiocesan funds to silence a former Marquette student who had accused him of sexual assault.We should therefore take his claim that Dr. Berlin urged the USCCB not to remove pedophiles from the priesthood with a grain of salt.

Nevertheless, Dr. Berlin's address to B4U-ACT should be looked at carefully. Given his own stated belief that pedophilia is treatable (the Mayo Clinic Proceedings article to which Tantamergo links woefully notes, "Just as the prevalence of pedophilia is not accurately known, the rate of recidivism against a child is also unknown"), we may want to nitpick what he said and how he said it.