William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

England, Where Everybody’s a Paedophile

Potentially. Everybody’s a paedophile potentially.

That slogan has been adopted lustily in Merrie Olde England. The beauty of it, as I have often maintained, is that it is a true statement. It really is the case that everybody is either a paedophile or they are not.

Ordinarily, tautologies like our slogan are acknowledged to contain no information. To say that “Joe either is or is not a paedophile” tells us just as much about Joe’s criminal behavior as does the true statement “Joe either has a pound in pocket or he does not”, or “there will be a sea battle tomorrow or there won’t.”

But ignore the emptiness of the tautology and focus on its gut wrenching, horrifying overtones. Hone in on the potential of the first part, and forget the nullification of the second part. Once you allow yourself this leeway, you can suddenly see the darkness, and any restriction of adult behavior that seemingly protects children becomes allowable.

Keep adults away! As far away from the kids as possible for, of course, those adults might be paedophiles. Don’t let possibly nefarious grownups drive kids to the football game, because they might have more on their minds than just chauffeuring. Ban Teacher from patting Junior on the back, just in case that quick tap has a double meaning.

And whatever you do, keep parents from bringing their own kids to playgrounds, because, of course, those parents might be paedophiles!

Don’t scoff. The town elders in Watford, England recently discovered, to their horror, that actual parents were bringing their kids to local playgrounds. This fact is almost frightening. Luckily, it becomes downright terrifying when we marry it with the national slogan. Then we arrive at the inescapable fact that those parents might be paedophiles!, and therefore they have no business on the playground. This is logic and there is no counter-argument.

The Watfordian elders aren’t entirely heartless. They are considering allowing parents to submit to a criminal background check. If they pass this check, parents will be allowed to hover in the vicinity of their children—under the watchful eyes of “Play Rangers”.

Nobody has said, but I can only guess that these Rangers are eunuchs. For how else can their purity be guaranteed?

Actually, even this isn’t enough. It’s true that those Rangers have passed criminal background checks. But those investigations only uncover if somebody sinned in the past. They cannot—they very obviously cannot—predict whether somebody will sin in the future.

Pay attention, Watford! If you had reason to worry and fret and wring your hands before, what I’m going to tell you now will freeze your blood. Those Play Rangers might still become child abusers. All Play Rangers might become abusers or they might not. The only sensible thing to do, therefore, is to ban them, too. Remember, you were warned!

And if that argument works for the Rangers, it works for the parents who pass the background checks. Passing a check only tells you that the parent hasn’t abused in the past. They still might in the future. No possible method on Earth exists that can guarantee that those parents will remain forever pure.

Therefore, you should ban not just the Rangers, but the parents, as well.

But why stop at the playground? Think about all the evil that can take place behind closed doors. It is a fact that nearly all parents in England have not undergone criminal background checks. Can you really allow parents to keep children hidden inside given that they might be criminals? Anything might happen!

Further, most parents are not experts. They are not up on the latest educational and psychological theories of aberrant behavior. And, let’s be honest, most of them aren’t equipped to understand their intricacies. At the very least, a national program of mandatory education on How Not To Be A Paedophile is in order. Demonstrated competency in non-abuse must be a minimum requirement for parenthood. After all, it’s for the good of the children—the future leaders of the country!

For those parents that don’t pass the test—and those that pass, too, because they still might turn into abusers—some sort of program is needed to remove their children from potentially dangerous situations. A centralized location for child rearing is the only solution. Here, kids will be deposited in an certified abuse-free setting until they come of age.

Guards for this benevolent orphanage are problematic. After all, they might be paedophiles. Adult visitors might be, too, so they’re out. We have no choice but to seal the place off and disallow any contact with the outside world. Then—and only then—can we be certain sure that those kids won’t be abused.

Footnote: if we don’t take action now, all kids in England might turn out like these fellows.

16 Comments

  1. Alas the behavior of the Watford busybodies reflects what Thomas Sowell refers to as the Vision of the Anointed. Unwanted and appalling outcomes become a justification for an intrusion into everybody else’s freedom, even though the actual incidence of the appalling outcome is rare. The Watfordian elders are manifesting the same logic that leads people to ban meat, transfats, sodas, cigarettes. Please note if the same Watfordian busybodies had simply pointed to and publicized the actual facts of paedophilia in Watford or in playgrounds – with the appropriate contextualizing information – I would have no problem.

  2. This seems like a less intrusive response to an actual predatory problem – given that you cannot identify perpetrators beforehand. I would still like to have seen the numbers of actual incidents that led to the introduction of the cameras.

  3. I’m sure that being a eunuch only makes one a “safe” paedophile. It’s a shame about Watford. I stayed there for about 3 weeks once. Seemed a nice place.

    Bernie, if the elders had pointed out actual paedophiles they likely would have quickly become ex-elders due to their inaction given the appearance that the parents living in Watford must be in agreement with their current position.

    The paedophilia phenomenon is interesting. I suppose it’s necessary to have a common enemy to unite the community. It helps if it (the stranger paedophile) is largely phantasmagorical. The real “justification” for excluding parental attendance a park play: you can do whatever you like to your little Johnny (and we will appropriately express our horror when, not IF, you are discovered) but I don’t want you near our darling Sally.

    Protecting their children from the Bogeyman would probably have sufficed but the parents of Watford didn’t want to be ridiculed.

  4. Briggs

    November 2, 2009 at 11:08 am

    DAV,

    You are now my current favorite for using the word phantasmagorical. Love it!

    Bernie,

    My guess is that confirmed incidents in parks for the last year is probably 0. Just a guess, of course. But if I had to make a bet…

  5. Matt:
    Well clearly their policy is working!!

  6. DAV:

    It is entirely unclear to me what a collective term such as the people or parents of Watford (or any location) actually means. Common usage surely means all, most or at a minimum a majority. The reality is that it probably means a handful of noisy or connected individuals. Recall there are no more peanuts on planes because of a miniscule % of passengers who are not smart enough to take precautions. These are all examples of the tyranny of the minority.

  7. Alan D. McIntire

    November 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    The season 6 episode of South Park, “No Child is Safe” is an excellent parody on the paedophile issue. My favorite section was the speech given by “The Ghost of Human Kindness” and the followup

    http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/153605/?tab=playlist

    – A. McIntire

  8. Briggs

    November 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Alan,

    Thanks, I hadn’t seen that one. There is no safe haven!

    Ari,

    Fast zombies are un-American.

  9. If you think the Watford example is silly, we can get sillier than that.

    Because the elderly are defined as ‘vulnerable’ as are children. then children visiting elderly people need background checks to protect those they are visiting, while, of course, the elderly people require checks to protect the children visiting them.

    All of this requires a large bureacracy as well as lots of police time and resources to administer, and once the bureaucracy is established, it is there forever and the ‘problem’ can only get worse* requiring more state intervention and a bigger bureacracy.

    (*If the problem ever got better, there would be no need to ‘fix’ it and the bureaucracy could be disbanded and that wouldn’t do at all.)

  10. This is a good place to plug someone (else’s) book:

    “The Liberal Mind, The Psychological Causes of Political Madness,” by Dr. Lyle Rossiter. He’s a forensic psychiatrist and he covers everything leading to the conclusion of the book’s title. The layperson can understand this.

    Check it out at: http://www.libertymind.com; for about $10 (US) a *.pdf copy can be downloaded.

  11. FWIW, a friend of my spent 6 months in England while his father, a psychology professor, was on sabbatical. Upon his return, I asked my friend’s father how he enjoyed the stay. He responded, “Nobody in that damn country can cook. And they’re all pedophiles as well!”

    I was 11. I didn’t even know what a pedophile was.

  12. If one assumes that for some reason play grounds provide pedophiles an opportunity to exploit children, then I would be much concerned about the Play Rangers than the average parent.
    Only a very small percentage of parents are pedophiles. On the other hand, the job of Play Ranger is likely to attract pedophiles if provides them the opportunity to exploit children. Some might be screened out, but inevitably some will pass the screening. It appears to me that the village has taken the supervision of children from parents who are very safe and handed it over to a much more riskly group, all in the name of protecting children, of course.

  13. From the article-
    “Play rangers patrol both parks – which are for children aged five to 15…”

    I’m going to make a confession. I was a pedophile. When I was 15, I had “occasional” impure thoughts about girls. I even tried to get some of them to let me touch them inappropriately. (went down in flames, every time) And every single one of them was under 18. Most, in fact, were under 16. I was a clear threat to society, and should never have been allowed contact with children. Yet, without the slightest vetting, I’d have been allowed into those playgrounds.

    I know what you’re all thinking. There’s no reason to worry about 15 year old boys, in general. I was an absurd outlier. One in a billion. Clearly, no other 15 year old boy could possibly pose any threat to the innocence of 15 year old girls. This is just projection. I’m just trying convince myself that some other 15 year olds might be as evil as I was, so I can feel better about myself. But this bit should stand your hair up:

    I wasn’t the only one.

    I had friends who also admitted to having impure thoughts about young girls. Some even acted on those thoughts. I won’t disgust you with the details, but I personally witnessed several instances of hand holding. And I have reason to believe that some succeeded, where I’d failed, in coercing those unsuspecting girls into even more inappropriate behavior. I even heard rumors of kissing.

    But here’s the most disturbing part. I even knew a few 15 year old GIRLS who had impure thoughts about young boys. I know it’s shocking. But the public needs to know how bad things really are.

    The children can never be safe, while pedophiles hide among their own ranks. The only solution is to insure that children never have contact with each other.

  14. Ted, it is OK – in England you can only become a paedophile after your 18th birthday. Until then you are an innocent child (unless mixing with vulnerable adults – in which case you may take advantage so need checking).

    There was an interesting story a few days ago about a young girl on a school sporting tour who, upon turning 18 midway through the tour, had to return home as she had not been checked and so could, overnight, have become a paedophile.

    Thankfully I have left the socialist backwater that is Britain with my children so that they can live their childhood without fear of rediculous quangos!

  15. Let zombies take care of all the pedophiles, including those adults who are responsible for most of the teenage pregnancies in the US.

  16. You have to see the Watford nonsense in context. It is now a legal requirement for all those who come into regular contact with children in the UK to have a Criminal Record Bureau check which contains details of any criminal prosecutions which is normally released to those with right of access. However there is another level restricted access which allows disclosure of unsuccessful prosecution and even unsubstantiated allegations.

    An individual who fails to get a check where required is given a criminal record and a fine of up to £5 000.

    You will need a check if you are a child-minder, teacher, play-group assistant, sport coach, etc. There is a grey area for people like plumbers, electricians, doctors, etc who might enter a house where there are children.

    As with all such schemes it is useless against those who may molest children but have never been caught/reported and those who do so after the check has been made. It is also possible to blight someone’s career by falsely accusing them – even anonymous reports are recorded.

    Those who have the most contact with children and who are responsible for 90% of all child abuse – parents and near relatives – are not required to have CRB checks.

    Another case which beggars belief was of a married man who wished to spend Christmas with his parents together with his wife and two small children. His parents had a long history of fostering children and the man had often shared his home with a foster brother or sister. His parents were fostering a child over the Christmas period in question, so their son and daughter in law were required to have CRB checks.

    1984.

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