A brief summary from an new contributor.
Child sex abuse and trafficking is as horrific as it is unbelievable, which is one reason why the criminals involved are able to go undetected and unpunished. If the crime defies understanding, then there is no crime. To a normal person, contemplating, let alone engaging in, sex acts with children is incomprehensible. Normal people do not want to think too hard about Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and his admittedly odd relationship with the real-life Alice.
Normal people do not want to think about sex abuse that child actors endure on and off the set. Some former child stars have come forward, but their claims are ignored or worse, laughed at, because, well, because the mental process of normal people cannot fathom that an adult who professionally spends a lot of time with children will use them to satisfy their sick desires.
The claims of one-time child actors receive little attention from the popular press, never trend on Twitter, and are often coded as sour grapes by an actor who could not successfully transition to adult roles or treated as the incoherent ramblings of a drug addict. If you were forced into sex acts as a youngster not of your own free will, and your parent or guardian was powerless to protect you, would you not also be tempted to turn to drugs or drink?
While what happens in Hollywood may not fit the definition of “child sex trafficking” it is an example of fully grown adults having it on with children: “Took and like-minded men salivated and masturbated over the fantasy of raping, punishing, hurting and ultimately killing little girls.” The documentary An Open Secret is free and on line. It serves as Exhibit One that this behavior is not limited to pre-Christian Babylon.
Sex with children can be used as deliberate blackmail for those who aspire to or are in positions of power. Early in their careers, would-be politicians are set-up—and indebted to their handlers to vote or act in a specific way. The blackmailers can come from a different quarters, from different groups with different agendas. Rather than repent (and risk an early death) the compromised person remains yolked to his or her blackmailer, and has no incentive to give up the behavior that made them a target in the first place.
You might discount the blackmail theory. Think about it. How many time have you voted for a candidate who behaves and votes contrary to their campaign promises? A portion of this can be chalked up to the intractability and limits of the law, but the balance is likely due to the influence of someone or something outside of the voting public. They remember what they promised, so it’s not amnesia.
Why children? Since the mores of the West have fallen off the proverbial cliff many behaviors are not nearly as shocking as they once were and have lost currency as a blackmailable offenses. Even the standard homosexual encounter has lost its potency. Love wins.
What could people be induced or enticed to do that would still be shameful or carry a stigma? Ah, yes, illegal contact with minors. This love is not as winning (yet), and begs the question of what depravity is next on the blackmailer’s list.
The modern person can look with bemusement with the horrific situation of Tommy Robinson in the UK, who as a citizen reporter, one minute was covering the trial of the men who groomed girls to pass on to men and perhaps women in “power,” and the next minute was taken into custody and almost immediately sentenced and jailed. Mr. Robinson likely won’t be popular in the cells. If you are the praying sort, he needs a mention.
The UK is not a singular example. Cast your mind back to June 29, 1989 when the Washington Times splashed a headline: Homosexual prostitution inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush: ‘Call boys’ took a midnight tour of the White House. The “Franklin case”—involving the trafficking of children to Omaha community leaders and DC politicians—grew out of an investigation and prosecution of of embezzlement of a credit union in Nebraska. Nearly from the beginning, despite stellar reporting, exhaustive documentation, and compelling testimony from the victims the case was quickly relegated to the dustbin of conspiracy theories. Or, in the vernacular, it was covered up. For those who are interested, there is a documentary that was slated to air in 1994 but was pulled at the last minute: Conspiracy of Silence. Warning: Content may not be suitable for all audiences.
Let’s fast-forward to the lawsuits stemming from the sex abuse cases in various Catholic dioceses in the United States. Let’s also consider the legion of teachers, male and female, who have been charged with indecency with a minor. There is not a similar cry to tear down the public school system as there is to take down the church—but there should be.
The Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State was shocking, and likely involved standard sex-trafficking, but people forget and go back to their lives. The female gymnasts who were abused by the team doctor at Michigan State riveted the public for about five minutes but is now largely forgotten.
Child sex abuse and trafficking are routine. And if you have been paying attention with your eyes half-closed, you have to know that something nefarious is up. In the US, 2000 children go missing every day. Some are because of custody tug-of-war skirmishes or runaways (especially worrisome; the young people are left in a state where they can more easily accept the advances of a predator), but what of the rest? Where are they? Does anyone care? Is anyone paying attention?
Child sex abuse and trafficking is uniquely horrific and unbelievable. And it is happening today.
Editor’s note: pic above from Vice’s “Photos of the Fabulous Kids of RuPaul’s Drag Convention“.