This case study is an analysis of a covert pro-paedophilia organisation operating as a Child Protection Charity. The organisation known as Prostasia claims to adopt an alternative approach to the combating of child sexual abuse. Analysis of their website, video content, points of advocacy, lack of transparency and organisational structure as well as specific and general semantic messaging prove this is not true. The semantics adopted by Prostasia’s language forms to foster a pro-paedophilia message as a victim-oppressor narrative that identifies paedophiles as victims of an oppressive social structure (society in general) that attaches an unfair stigma to paedophiles. It also promotes paedophilia as a legitimate and innate form of human sexuality. An analysis will explain how the organisation uses propaganda and physiological aversion techniques to link itself with an underdog position of historic struggles and that paints critics in the colours of radicals of extreme or alt-right persuasions. The organisation seeks to normalize child sexual abuse materials as a form of “therapy” and that they do not support “conversion therapy” thereby using the “affirming” approach. Analysis provides an insight into how the organisation seeks to augment semantics by transmutation of terminologies such as “paedophile” into “minor attracted person” as a strategy that seeks to soften public opinion on deviancy. A comparison of Prostasia and B4U Act is made. It discusses, in addition, how areas in academia and certain “academics” act as enablers and as mouthpieces for paedophilia related propaganda.
Keywords: academic propaganda, paedophilia, pedophilia, child safety, child protection
The organisation known as Prostasia was not well known before 2021. At this point, it rapidly acquired infamy after the hosting of Allyn Walker, assistant professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Old Dominion University who defended paedophilia as a form of sexuality in her book, “A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and their pursuit of dignity.”
Walker and Prostasia share a similar goal and, after an interview with her on their YouTube channel, there was a massive public backlash. In reality, Walker had already defended the legitimacy of paedophilia as early as 2017 in a co-authored paper.
"Minor attraction: A queer criminological issue” where she states that “there exists evidence that minor attraction is a sexual orientation, and the parallels between the treatment of MAPs and LGBT populations are striking."
Her work and her claim that she is not advocating paedophilia contradict each other. Her “research” work shows advocacy of pro-paedophilia and defence of individuals that includes those that have “not yet” offended as well as child rapists can be seen in that she states;
"Hatred is more widespread for those MAPs who have illegally acted on their attractions. Sex offenders are arguable one of the most hated folk devils of our time, scapegoated for many ills beyond their actual crimes, and subject to aggressive campaigns of surveillance that exceed those related to other crime types, including crimes with higher risks of recidivism."
She further states;
"Even among prison inmates, those who have committed a sexual offense against a child are vilified".
This pattern occurs through the history of Walker’s work and a form of paedophilia auxilium passivum is consistent with more brazen observations showing a clear view of acceptio paedophilia ut naturales. The same forms of paedophilia auxilium passivum and acceptio paedophilia ut naturales are noted in Prostasia linguistic patterns. There is a constant undercurrent constituting a conflation of natural with normal.
Prostasia lacks the transparency of the identities of “professionals” or “experts”. The team page does not list any professionals with child protection expertise. The “experts” are activist students in the main as well as the core founders of the organisation. Previously, the team included two convicted paedophiles. The document entitled “Concept Note: A Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Internet Platforms, Sexual Content, and Child Protection, October 24, 2018” published by Prostasia, lists convicted child rapist Jeff White as a research associate (his victim was under the age of 13):
"Jeff White is Prostasia's Research Associate. He is a social science major (U-MN Morris) who assists with research, social media tasks, and is a liaison between Prostasia and its stakeholders communities. He focuses on the sociological and psychological science behind why sexual miconduct happens so we can put better policies in place."
The same document states that the “charity” would have paid White $39,000.000 US per year for his service if the funding for it could be recieved. Guy Hamilton-Smith was another person convicted of possession of child sexual abuse materials and was a volunteer for Prostasia. One of the founders of Prostasia, Noah Berlatsky has been outspoken for several years in his support for paedophiles.
Figure 1: Comment by Noah Berlatsky in support of paedophiles and decrying their "stigmatised" social position (Twitter).
Another founder, Jeremy Malcom, has been highly critical of any adverse commentary on the Prostasia Foundation. He makes the ‘no-true-scotsman’ logic fallacy repeatedly when he claims that traditional charities have failed in their task of child abuse prevention and that Prostasia will somehow accomplish what these charities could not. He makes similar arguments against any research and findings that counter the claims of the Prostasia Foundation.
Figure 2: Comment by Jeremy Malcolm relating to Prostasia's critique of recognised child protection groups (Twitter).
2. Research Methods
A variety of texts and video materials available online were analysed as part of this study. The semantically encoded messaging in the forms of grammar, rhetoric and vocabulary were decoded. Decoded semantics were cross-compared where possible with linguistic patterns on Social Media accounts or streaming platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook in order to facilitate a better understanding of individual language use and beliefs. Claims of individuals and the Prostasia organisation were compared to available literature and with the texts created by individual paedophiles found on the forum. Claims made by the organisation were compared to literature on the subject and organisations that share the ideology of Prostasia.
In general, the non-paedophile population views sexual contact of any type involving a child or attraction to children as a deviancy. This is part of the natural instinctive reaction of older humans as protection of younger children from predation (Kringelbach, 2008) that extends to sexual predation. If a person with a genuine aversion to paedophilic impulses begins to experience such a deviant inclination in him/herself, their course of action is to seek help from a mental health professional, typically a qualified clinical psychologist who will provide assistance via counselling and/or medical intervention. Such individuals deduce this tendency to be a serious abnormality in themselves. They do not attempt to justify this tendency, nor do they advocate it. They avoid all situations or locations that might stimulate or augment their mental illness and they also avoid all places frequented and used by children. Clinical psychologists are well equipped to deal with such mental and/or sexual disorders.
Paedophiles in the movement of self-styled “MAP (Minor Attracted Person= Paedophile)” and “NOMAP (Non-offending Minor Attracted Person =Paedophile)” groups who claim to belong to the afore mentioned category do not, for several reasons. The MAP movement is an ideology. While claiming that they have no wish to harm children, MAP and NOMAP groups have a self-deceiving and self-justifying ideology that claims paedophilia to be a valid and innate sexual orientation and that not offending implies morality. These paedophiles tend, in addition, to support the consumption of child abuse material that are “artistic” thus diminishing the offending nature of child abuse material or sex dolls. This is counterproductive to the treatment of paedophilia and preventing sexual crimes against children. Capra et al. (2014) show that the attitudes and perceptions of paedophiles play a significant role in response to therapy and the danger presented to children. The aim of organisations such as Prostasia to destigmatise the deviant nature of paedophilia, regardless of claimed intention, further serves to embolden certain groups of sex offenders. (See Prostasia’s Rejection of Non-favourable Scientific Findings)
Figure 3: Paedophiles on the Prostasia Forum make it clear that they do not desire a cure. (Prostasia Forum)
Paedophiles consistently display extreme narcissism either blaming their victims or otherwise failing to take responsibility for their behaviour. Paedophiles often promote their “pure intentions” as attempts to justify their actions and downplay their deviancy as merely “wanting companionship” or “seeking to understand children’s needs” (Conrad, 2020). This lack of remorse and accountability are common traits found in research results. Paedophiles are often found to be very effective in the manipulation children and adults which creates an environment in which abuse goes unnoticed or ignored (Mulhaya, 2019).
Figure 4: Prostasia propaganda designed using infomercial marketing techniques (Twitter)
Prostasia claims to be a child protection organisation and they attempt to reflect these attributes in their messaging. The concept that a stigma attached to child sexual abuse is a consequence of “hype” is inconsistent with rational thought and available evidence, and is linked to the next semantic segment which calls it “virtue-signalling” and “victim blaming” in a propagandist attempt via stipulated definition. Stipulated definitions are arbitrary redefinitions to solidify an otherwise unsupported claim. Redefinition is a tactic used in propaganda to induce doubt in individuals and thus doubt their own understanding of a subject. This was used both in the USSR (Kampf, 1987) and Nazi Germany to normalise aberrations in behaviour. In reality, an emphasis on the innocence of the victim is a semantic pattern which relieves such a victim of the responsibility of said action towards the said victim. Innocence is a valid concept because inn this context the action, child abuse, is always the full responsibility of the abuser, hence, it is apt that the innocence, that is to say, complete lack of guilt on the part of the child is emphasised due to a child’s inability to consent on both cognitive and legal grounds. In this context, the action, which is child abuse, is always the full responsibility of the abuser. Hence, it is apt that the innocence, that is to say, complete lack of guilt, on the part of the child, is emphasised due to a child’s inability to consent on both cognitive and legal grounds. This is emphasis, not hype, which would denote an exaggeration of fact or a bending thereof.
Prostasia makes extensive use of commercially constructed marketing methods along with E-commerce techniques that break down large sections of information into reductive digestible portions. This is a highly effective form of propaganda that generates click-bait. This redirects searchers to its website.
4. Prostasia’s Rejection Of Non-favourable Scientific Findings
The Prostasia organisation rejects scientific findings that are neither complimentary of nor affirming of their views. The organisation focuses directly on a very specific group of “academics” to be found in “queer criminology”. This is a pseudo-academic field comprised of radical advocates for such things as prison abolition and decriminalisation of various crimes. The field is growing in popularity. These views are not recognised by scholars outside of this niche ideological group. Prostasia advocates the use of child sex dolls and imagery of child sex abuse in the form of cartoon characters or computer-generated imagery as “therapy”. No evidence of efficacy is provided, it is merely asserted. Prostasia also asserts paedophilia to be an immutable sexual orientation which, thus far, to the contrary, is not demonstrated in any literature. Tozan et al (2018) found that claiming paedophilia was immutable had a negative effect on the ability of paedophiles to direct their sexual interest away from children, hence any assertion that paedophilia is immutable encourages it and puts children at increased risk.
Contrary to the paedophilia apologist researchers’ assertions that the practice of perversions as an outlet led to a reduction of sexual crimes against children, Schmucker and Lösel (2017) investigated “27 studies containing 29 eligible comparisons of a treated group and a control group, containing data for 4,939 treated and 5,448 untreated sexual offenders” and found that the most effective treatment was personalised cognitive-behavioural programs; however, the study was limited by the heterogeneity of the groups.
Other researchers such as Ratkoceri (2017) have shown that one of the most effective methods of inhibiting potential abuse in high-risk individuals or recurrence of abuse by paedophiles is the use of chemical castration using medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and cyproterone acetate (CPA). Chemical castration has proven to be highly effective in reducing the rate of recidivism ranging from 5% to 14.8%, depending on the studies consulted (Zhuang, 2018). Unfortunately, chemical castration is not a permanent solution and medication must be taken at intervals. Surgical castration also holds promise, it provides a significant reduction in paedophilic desires and studies have found that 70% of those who were surgically castrated viewed it as having positively affected their lives (McMillan, 2014). This serves to contradict the narrative of sex-positive affirmative “therapy” presented by Prostasia. McMillan is not alone in his assertions. Other scholars such as Bašić (2020) even recommend the screening of paedophiles who have not yet offended, strictly limiting any access to children (for both their own and the children’s benefit), and well as voluntary castration. The foregoing shows that the entire pretence of “substitution theory” pushed by the Prostasia agenda is erroneous.
Figure 5: Paedophiles vigorously defend virtual child sex abuse material (Prostasia Forum)
Prostasia and many on the forum argue that “virtual child pornography” (virtual child sex abuse material) is an “outlet” that keeps children safe. Findings contradict these claims. It was;
"noted that peadephiles might use the materials to encourage or "groom" children to engage in sexual activity or might be encouraged by the virtual media to engage in the creation, distribution, and possession of child pornography involving real children," and, "not only can it be used to engage children in sexual activity, but it can be created by virtually editing images or likenesses of real children to make it look like they are engaging in sexual activity. This has the potential to create severe psychological damage to children who, even if not forced to engage in sexual activity for the purposes of producing child pornograhpy, have to live with the knowledge that images of them doing so are accessible online and possessed across the world." (Schroeder, 2015)
The study by Meridan et al (2013) found that far from being harmless, that even virtual child sex abuse materials increased the escalation of deviancy in the individuals studied, and that such materials may actually cause paedophilic attraction:
For the majority of offenders amongst all subgroups (n=13), CP consumption was based on their sexual attraction to minors: "my sexual attraction was only towards children at the time" (Case 5101)."
Progression from legal material. For nine participants, their CP (Child pornography) [sic] offending appeared to be the result of prolonged exposure and potential desensitizing to legal pornography. Some participants provided fairly detailed responses of their journey: The gradual escalation from normal adult material to more extreme material (dehumanizing) after first accessing the Internet, that I used it to cope with emotional and stressful situations. Followed by viewing younger and younger women, girls, and preteen, i.e. child modelling [sic] and cartoons showing extreme adult and other abusive subject matter. (Case 5164)" (2013)
This also agrees with the findings of Insoll et al (2021) that showed such material caused an increased desire for contact with real children.
of respondents have felt afraid that viewing CSAM might lead to sexual acts against a child.
of respondents said that viewing CSAM made them think about seeking direct contact with children.
of respondents have sought direct contact with children after viewing CSAM.
Figure 6: Insoll et al findings concerning viewing of CSAM (Child Sex Abuse Materials)
Furthermore, Gee et al. (2006) found a strong link between fantasies and sexual assault as well as general aggression. They state, “sexual fantasy plays an integral role in the development and maintenance of sexually aberrant behaviour.” Researchers were able to create the Sexual Fantasy Structural Properties Model (SFSPM) to analyse the process of how fantasies developed into behaviour up to the point where the perpetrator carried out the offence. Prostasia’s stance that fantasies are not linked to actions is further debunked by Jones and Wilson (2012) which determined the opposite to what Prostasia claims. Hazelwood (2016) also draws the connection between fantasy and pornography in sexual crimes and how these influence offenders to carry out their crimes.
Figure 7: Child sex doll propaganda by Prostasia (Facebook)
The link between child sex dolls and child sex abuse material (CSAM) is also strong,
"Law enforcement agents have said that purchase of child sex dolls can indicate a history of offenses against children. In fact, of the 128 dolls seized in the UK, 85% of the men who imported them were also found in possession of child pornography. Additionally, psychologists and researchers believe that these dolls reinforce, normalize, and encourage paedophilic behavior, potentially putting more children at risk to harm." (US GOV, 2017)
Of 128 buyers of these dolls, 109 (85.15%) were also consumers of child sex abuse materials — an overwhelming majority. This provides a sound correlation implying that the causal link between the consumption of CSAM and the purchase of such dolls must be further analysed. Prostasia has specifically appealed against the government decision to ban child sex dolls in the letter addressed to the government; “Letter to Senators: Experts oppose the CREEPER Act of 2017 – H. R. 4655 (June 15, 2018).” The “experts” referred to in Prostasia would therefore belong to a very specific ideological persuasion and not mainstream clinical psychologists. This may be one of the reasons the organisation is highly critical of clinical psychologists.
Figure 8: Prostasia propaganda downplaying seriousness of sex trafficking problem
In order to downplay the gravity of crimes, Prostasia consistently posts false information that can be proven to be unsubstantiated when verified against readily available statistics. One such example is the report organised by UNICEF which quotes such statistics specifically related to child sex trafficking;
"According to the U.S. Department of State, 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, 77 percent of trafficking victims are exploited within their country of residence."
"National Human Trafficking Hotline statistics show a 25 percent jump in human trafficking cases from 2017 to 2018. This includes sex and labor trafficking. Of the more than 23,500 runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2018, 1 in 7 were likely victims of sex trafficking."
"Many people assume the majority of trafficking victims in the U.S. are undocumented immigrants. In reality, most domestic trafficking victims are U.S. citizens." (UNICEF USA, 2021)
The semantics of Prostasia replaces “raped” with “forced to do anything against their will”. This serves two purposes:
- It diminishes the grievous nature of sexual assault and rape.
- It serves as an attempt to bolster the ideological paedophilic position implying that a paedophile should not be forced to change. Outright falsehood is also used, as can be noted from the UNICEF report. UNICEF itself is recognised and well respected as an international children’s charity. Overall, of 302 analysed posts by Prostasia on Twitter and Facebook, 289 were found to be either partially or completely incorrect.
5. Inverted Victim-Oppressor, Blaming An “Unaccepting” Society
A distinct victim-oppressor linguistic pattern underlies the entire organisational agenda. This attitude is consistent with the findings of Blaloch and Bourke (2020) “The dominance of these justifications suggests self-proclaimed paedophiles in both studies did not consider sexual activity with children to be wrong; rather, they believed it was merely viewed negatively by society.” Prostasia reasons that not all paedophiles have acted on their urge and hence attaching a stigma is wrong. It projects blame onto society for not accepting paedophiles and thus coercing them to offend. This follows the usual projection by paedophiles of responsibility away from themselves toward the victim or society, a pattern that hinders attempts at rehabilitation. Using the same logic from Prostasia, rapists offend because society has applied a stigma to rapists, or that murderers commit murder due to the stigma that society has applied to murderers.
The forum shows numerous examples of how paedophiles view the stigma against them as somehow being unfair or unwarranted, tantamount to a violation of their human rights. One individual proudly explained that “paedophilia” is Greek for “love of children” and that “normal people” did not know the proper definitions of words. Self-justification with a condescending attitude can be seen in comments across the forum.
Figure 9: Conflation of human rights laws with valid stigma against paedophiles (Prostasia Forum)
On the Prostasia forum, as with other platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, Human Rights are conflated with the stigma attached to paedophilia. The paedophilic argument runs; “stigma is a violation of human rights and therefore (the) stigma should be removed”. Arguments of morality are also challenged. The comment above calls for the removal of stipulations in law restricted by morality. The underlying assertion that morality is never objective is incorrect and assumes morality in only a religious context. There are scientific views of morality based on empirical observations. For example, violent pornography precedes dehumanization and sexual aggression (Zhou et al, 2021), therefore legislation designed and based even on a purely moralistic or ethical science foundation would also limit the spread of harmful materials that have negative impacts upon the wider society, whether it be physical or psychological. The argument put forward by paedophiles encapsulates an oxymoron in that it relies on human rights laws which are themselves based on both a form of morality and a value of human life, while at the same time claiming morality does not exist.
Figure 10: Paedophile compares paedophilic suffering with the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust. (Prostasia Forum)
In developing its arguments, paedophilic ideology makes extensive use of false equivalences in an attempt to normalise an otherwise abnormal position. In the above post, a paedophile uses one form of psychological projection that is associated with blame projection, (Hotchkiss, 2003) in addition to an irrational belief they are victims in need of empathy (Sykes, 2003). A false comparison of paedophiles and the plight of Jews in the Third Reich is made by a certain paedophile, Ralph. He states that the “truths” (which is to say any truth that does not support the paedophilic self-notion of truth), is in itself not a truth, equating the study of Jews in Nazi Germany with the study of paedophilia. He identifies a false equivalence of the plight of the Jews who were exterminated for being Jewish with the faux-plight of paedophiles. There has never been a historic or collective genocide or extermination program targeting paedophiles, nor have paedophiles as a group ever experienced the abuses suffered by Jews as a group. Such a comparison is not only a false equivalence but carries, in addition, an anti-Semitic undertone.
Prostasia regularly compares itself with Jews, claiming that being anti-paedophilia is being anti-Semitic because “anti-paedophiles attribute paedophilia with Jews.” This claim sits alongside the claim that criticism of Prostasia is an activity of Far Right and Alt-Right groups (Prostasia, 2021), thus attempting to make an equivalence between critique, political affiliation and ethnic identity. Analysis of available posts criticising Prostasia on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube found a relatively even distribution of critical content from across the political spectrum and, while some comments were from individuals associated with the far-right, an equal number were found from accounts with a far-left ideology. The majority of comments, however, were in the range of centre-left and centre-right with language patterns amongst these groups being almost identical. Prostasia’s stance on social media was only accepted by extreme fringe groups. This attempt at redefining paedophiles is currently unsuccessful but when combined with academic interests may eventually find itself being mainstreamed as a sub-section of “Queer Theory”.
Prostasia does not support paedophiles who are afraid they may be at risk of offending. By Prostasia’s content, they concede they are an advocacy and activist group. Three different occasions have been noted where paedophiles asking for assistance to avoid offending were turned away. Their website states,
"Prosasia's priority is on using law, technology, and social intervention to prevent CSA before it happens, rather than merely tracking down and punishing those who have already offended - at which point our society has failed the victim. We do this through four actions: Facilitating research - Campaigning for effective laws - Consulting to platforms and agencies - Defending the innocent."
As seen from this text, a part of Prostasia’s victimhood ideology creation lies in activism associated with appealing for favourable laws and appealing those that are unfavourable. The foundation repeatedly advocates either against tracking down paedophiles or punishing them. At the least it advocates sentence reduction. Once again, psychological or guilt projection is used by Prostasia — it is society that has failed the victim, not the paedophile that is responsible for the rape of a child. The semantics of the four “actions” mentioned by Prostasia are of special interest, as is the order which denotes importance. In this case, research is viewed as being of utmost importance and defending the innocent is mentioned yet seems to be an afterthought in its general syntax as per the four actions listed. The semantics of the word innocent here is also vague, and may not refer to children at all but possibly to paedophiles.
6. Linguistic Normalization Of Deviancy, Prostasia’s Ideology And Links To Other Organisations
In her PhD dissertation Walker, then named Allyson, put forward the idea that child abuse material may be used as “therapy” and later arguments put forward by proponents claim this refers to “art work” which depicts child abuse. The dissertation does not, however, state this and merely quotes other studies suggesting a form of unspoken approval.
Figure 11: Section from Walker's thesis
Appeasement of paedophilic desires is downplayed by this selection of vocabulary. As previously stated, researchers have found that this would exacerbate deviancy (Meridan et all, 2003). While the argument can be made that Walker is only quoting other studies, there are no other indications from the surrounding context that she has made a critique of these or has an objective stance (Prostasia Foundation, 2021). Her pervious publications also show similar argumentation. The views Walker holds do not exist in a vacuum, nor was she the originator of the concept; she can in part be considered a symptomatic manifestation of a growing and disturbing trend in the normalisation of paedophilia, and may have been used as a social guinea-pig to assess public response to the idea. The control of semantics for the influence of entire populations is a well-documented practice that had its modern development in Goebbels and further applied within the USSR (Naude, 2021). Similar linguistic propagandistic methods are present in the pro-paedophilia movement.
During a parapraxic moment in an interview with Prostasia, Allyn Walker's chosen terminology indicated which other organisations share a common interest in destigmatising paedophilia. Her usage of “minor attracted person” links to B4U-Act, another paedophile advocacy group with connections to academia.
"...I think it's important to use terminology for groups that members of that group want to use for them." She goes on to state that "MAP advocacy gruops like B4U-Act have advocated for use of the term, and they've advocated for it primarily because it's less stigmatizing than other terms like paedophile".
Here we find the replacement of terms to satisfy the sensitivity of paedophiles but in the pursuit of harm reduction, the internal logic is highly erroneous. Employing Walker’s logic, it would be necessary to appease hyper-violent extremist groups such as neo-Nazis using by using their self declared, destigmatised, titles and appellations such as “the Superior White Race” or to extremist Islamic groups like ISIS as “Only true messengers of God.” It is important to know more about the background of B4U-Act and how such ideology relates to a common theme seen in Prostasia’s views. B4U-Act also views paedophilia as being normal, its FAQ for MAPS states:
"If I seek mental health services, does that mean I'm saying that my attraction to minors is a sickness?
No. We are trying to make services available to minor-attracted people who want to work through issues unrelated to their sexuality, to deal with society's response to their sexual feelings, or to develop satisfying and productive lives while within the law. We are not advocating treatment to change sexual feelings."
Again, a victim and oppressor trope can be found. It also contradicts a common consensus in the scientific community that paedophilia is a mental disorder, at least in some cases. (DSM5, 2013) B4U-ACT also has a guide entitled “PRINCIPLES AND PERSPECTIVES OF PRACTICE” aimed at mental health workers which is designed to reduce stigmatization and normalise perceptions of paedophilia. This is designed to turn academics into paedophilia activists;
"Stigma reduction. We recognize the severe stigma directed against minor-attracted people by the media, politicians, law enforcement officials, and some mental health professionals. We oppose the perpetuation of false stereotypes and the use of language that instills fear in the public, fails to promote understanding, and ignores the humanity of minor-attracted people. We realize that stigma and stereotypes force minor-attracted people to remain in hiding and prevent those who could benefit from mental health services from receiving them. We do not believe this serves the interests of children, minor-attracted people, or society in general. Therefore, providers have an obligation within their profession and community to speak up and confront sterotype-perpetuating statements made by professional colleagues, family members, friends, and the media. Providers used to educate professionals and the larger community regarding persons sexually attracted to children or adolescents."
This view is concurrent with the auspices under which its founder, the multi-child rapist Michael Melsheimer (Hare, 2003), created the group. Melsheimer was a member of NAMBLA, the infamous paedophile group, an advocate for the legalisation of child rape. When confronted by NAMBLA members who accused him of directing members away from their deviancy, he denied it. The following is an archive of the conversation (Full conversation is found in Appendix B, “bl” refers to being a pederast, the conversation was obtained by Absolute Zero, a paedophile monitoring group that monitored paedophiles on the “Boylove” website, where it still exists);
“mvanhouten: I ultimately want to undermine the labels "child" and "adult" so that people will eventually see a relationship between a 9 and a 29-year-old with at least the same lack of concern as a relationship between a 39 and a 69 year old.
Michael Melsheimer: I think that you are right. We do have to go slow and not take on a radical agenda. We could all learn well by what happened to NAMBLA.
As it relates to building bridges, you are right again. There is nothing more important for our community to do. It is the only way we are ever going to be able to get any possible acceptance in the larger community for who we are as human being and what we feel is right for children.
Michael Melsheimer: My organization is not going to say to offend. I am a BL without regret and will always be a BL without regret. My life as a bl has been terrific. No one could ever make me say otherwise. This is even considering that I spent time in prison. Our line in the sand has historically defeated us. We need to think about a new one.
Michael Melsheimer: We need to come together as a community. But there is another choir we need to preach to. That choir is the larger community, and it can help make all our dreams come true. Our problem is that they aren't singing our song. The major job in front of us is to get them to sing it."
Organisations such as B4U-Act are specifically designed to confer a “respectable” front to a deviant cause in order to desensitize the public and validate paedophilia within the public consciousness. Not ironically, this is an extension of the grooming practices used on children to gradually desensitize them to the advances of paedophilic predators. According to Winters and Jeglic such grooming is;
"a process by which a person prepares a child, significant others, and the environment for the abuse of this child. Specific goals include gaining acess to the child's compliance, and maintaining the child's secrecy to avoid disclosure. This process serves to strengthen the offender's abusive patterns, as it may be used as a means of justifying or denying their actions." (2017)
This form of pro-paedophilic social conditioning promoted by Prostasia as sexual orientation propaganda to prepare the sociocultural environment for perpetrators to act out their deviancy unimpeded.
There are other uncanny parallels between language patterns and beliefs of Prostasia and B4U-Act.
- Both believe that paedophilia is a sexual orientation.
- Both believe that some form of child abuse material should be available to appease paedophiles.
- Both extol the human rights of paedophiles above those of victims (children).
- Both work towards the destigmatising of paedophilia.
- Both finance pro-paedophilic “research”.
- Both seek to influence academics to accept their ideology.
- Both can be classified as activist organisations.
Arguments between paedophiles on the forums show disagreement on how the public face of Prostasia should be put forward. It is clear numerous paedophiles on the site have experience with both organisations. The site lacks the moderation required for a site that claims to provide child protection, as both adults and children are able to access the forum. There is no clear policy as to how to deal with paedophiles who are in favour of child molestation. Not ironically, instead of using “in favour of child rape” the crime is downplayed as “pro-contact” as if it were simply a personal stance. The paedophiles themselves appeared confused as to the B4U-Act and Prostasia link.
Figure 12: Proper moderation on the Prostasia Forum is non-existent (Prostasia Forum)
Figure 13: A claim that Prostasia and B4U-Act are different in goals (Prostasia Forum)
The individual using the name “hodidasklos” is said to be a linguistics professor; “hodidasklos” means, literally, “the teacher” in Greek. The language patterns used are indicative of an individual, who is highly educated and with higher-than-average intelligence. He appears to have abused children from the comments he has made.
Figure 14: Comments by paedophile "Hodidaskalos,” likely an academic (Prostasia Forum)
He includes himself as amongst those who have experience on “Boy Chat” a paedophile network, claiming to have “real-world grit” and “lived experience,” - a reference to pederasty.
Figure 15: Testimony regarding the views of Kramer and Melsheimer and basis of B4U Act foundation (Prostasia Forum)
The user “hodidasklos” refers to the now infamous paedophiles Kramer and Melsheimer, and alludes to the deviant nature of the ideology that he claims is shared by Boy Lovers and B4U-ACT by allusions to; “boil boys to make soup”; they were often “deceiving themselves and attempting to deceive society.” Currently, he downplays its gravity by stating that humour alone is needed to look past “the ridiculousness of moral protestations,” thus calling any moral stance into question. His comments, however, do act as a third-party verification pertaining to the online conversations Melsheimer had with NAMBLA members concerning the true nature of the B4U-Act organisation.
7. In-Group Dialect Vocabulary Formation
Certain individuals on the forum displayed linguistic patterns that portrayed aversion to or disdain for non-paedophiles. A term used in this manner was “normies,” an abbreviation of “normal people.” Ironically, it draws attention to the fact that attraction to children is in fact not normal, a self-contradiction on the general idea of the forum and the Prostasia organisation. The application of the term MAP is vague as it is used to refer both to those who have committed child abuse and those who claim to have not yet committed such abuse. “Normies” other appellations are used in a derogatory manner to describe non-paedophiles, illustrated in the following example.
Figure 16: "Pearl-clutchers" (Prostasia Forum)
Figure 17: Witch and peasant comparison (Prostasia Forum)
The term “anti” is used to refer to people who oppose paedophilia or paedophiles and this is used in numerous contexts. Pearl-clutcher is a form of sexist expression that denotes a woman who is easily offended by “things the person perceives as vulgar, in bad taste, or morally wrong”. The use of this term would signify a less than favourable view of women, especially those who take strict stances on issues of morality, inferring that they are (needlessly) easy to offend.
One user refers to paedophiles as witches in an attempt to draw a comparison between the unfair treatment of people witches in the middle-ages with the self-identified victim group of paedophiles. Non-paedophiles are described as peasants, not only as a comparison with witches, but as peasants having an existence deemed somewhat less worthy than the passionate life of a witch — as emphasised by an expression of disdain (for) stupid peasants. In addition, the use of this term implies a lack of understanding or intelligence on the part of those deemed “stupid peasants.” By creating derogatory appellations for out-group persons (non-paedophiles) the in-group (paedophiles) create a prejudice against out-group persons, thus arriving at a quasi-logical fallacy, seeking to be destigmatised yet striving to stigmatise others (Carnaghi & Bianchi, 2017). This codification of language, apparently unknown to the in-group, creates an in-group moral code of what is deemed acceptable (Imada et al, 2021). Such an in-group moral dynamic could probably make it more difficult for potential offenders to seek the assistance from a clinical psychologist, and this would serve to interfere with early intervention thus resulting in an increased risk of children being harmed.
8. Analysis of Founders’ Linguistic Patterns
The linguistic patterns of the organisations’ founders give a deeper insight into the true orientation of the organisation itself. Claims of a desire to care for the safety of children are contradicted by other comments by the founders.
Figure 18: Downplay of paedophilia (Twitter)
Berlatsky uses a classic downplay of the serious nature of offences and replaces the word “children” with “young people,” a term generally used for those of college age. “Trade sex” is used instead of “prostituted” or “human trafficked.” Faux-empathy for victims is used to mask the true intent of complaining that “paedophiles are loathed”. Here, mentioning the victim, is a tool used to distract and, in fact, the victim’s suffering is irrelevant when compared to the proposed “suffering of paedophiles caused by (an) unfair social stigma.” This is disturbing, but not unexpected as he had promoted similar ideas, in 2016, he had repeatedly referred to “underage sex workers” (Berlatsky, 2016). A “child sex worker” does not exist because children are always victims and not workers, in no way are they able to consent. The entire idea of a “child sex worker” is an oxymoron and invalid on both legal and ethical grounds. Berlatsky goes on to say that police pose a greater danger to children exploited for sex than pimps who exploit children.
None of the “experts” listed on the Prostasia website possessed child protection expertise, and the forum itself was not moderated nor did it have a psychologist present to address questions. The only “help” provided was to direct individuals to a Forum called “Map Support Club” which accepts members as young as 13 years of age, thus putting children at direct risk of grooming. Although it is claimed that children and adults are not able to direct private chat, a child could be tracked down by adult members with computer expertise on certain types of personal information such as avatars or chat handles which are used on other social media networks. This is a serious infringement of child safety.
9. The Role Of Academia In Destigmatising And Normalising Paedophilia And The Invalidity Of Free Speech Arguments
North American academia has a long history of being afflicted by the presence of paedophiles and its apologists. In short, academia has a paedophile problem. Each ideology feeds on its predecessors, lays a new pseudo-academic foundation, supported by a religious fervour and devotion from its adherents.
The origins of this problem are in the work of Alfred Kinsey, the father of the sexual liberation movement. Gender ideology and pro-paedophilia are inextricably linked by way of sharing the same origins and are influencing the work of John Money. Kinsey conducted the most unspeakable, obscene and unethical human experimentation on children with the help of other paedophiles including Nazi War criminals.
"...the 317 children whose laboratory molestations formed the basis of much of Kinsey's research into "child sexuality" for his books."
"In a 1990 interview on the "Donahue" show, C.A. Tripp, Kinsey colleague and photographer, said Kinsey would "listen only to paedophiles who were very careful, used stopwatches, knew how to record their thing." (Kinsey Report, 1990)
Kinsey’s book described preadolescent victims observed as laboratory specimens, “sobbing...sometimes with an abundance of tears (especially among younger children),” and afflicted with “extreme trembling, collapse, and sometimes fainting.” Kinsey also wrote that the molested children “enjoy the experience,” although many “fight away from the partner.” (Kinsey, 1948) We note the paedophilic tendency of self-justification, a constant feature in 98% of 352 profiles reviewed on Facebook and Twitter that could be clearly identified as “MAP” paedophilic ideology.
John William Money was the academic who coined the terms gender identity, gender role, sexual orientation and others. He also popularised the term paraphilia. Money’s work was based largely on an elaborate fraud, itself based on human experimentation on two young boys. Testimony given by the victims of Money’s experimentation, David and Brian Reimer, show that he not only forced them to view pornography, but also forced them to simulate sexual acts on each other. Money defended paedophilia as being acceptable and claimed that children could consent, even creating what he termed “affectional paedophilia” which he claimed was a true manifestation of love: “If I were to see the case of a boy aged ten or eleven who's intensely erotically attracted toward a man in his twenties or thirties, if the relationship is totally mutual, and the bonding is genuinely totally mutual [...] then I would not call it pathological in any way.” (Money & Ehrhardt, 1991). The consequences of Money’s experiments led to the suicide of both his victims in adulthood.
Money’s fabrication was an outright failure in proving that gender is separate from sex and yet still serves as the foundation for modern gender ideology. An intervention was undertaken by Milton Diamond, another academic in the same field who published medical guidelines that prevented surgeons from following Money’s pseudo-science and thus saving any children in potentially similar situations (Diamond & Sigmundson, 1997).
A later ideology brought forth by Money was adopted by the next generation of deviants. Tom Reeves (now deceased), was a Professor at Roxbury Community College and a spokesman for NAMBLA - one of the most infamous pro-paedophilia groups, that sought to remove Age of Consent laws to satisfy their debauched desires. NAMBLA states;
"From 1976 to 2001, Reeves taught at Boston's historically black Roxbury Community College, where he became a full professor of social sciences and director of the school's Caribbean Focus program." It goes on to state, "Tom organized a conference on December 2, 1978, on the issue of ages of consent. At that conference, a group later known as the North American Man/Boy Love. Association was formed by a caucus of several dozen in attendance. Tom strove over many years to convey the message that sex was something to celebrate, not fear."
NAMBLA was eventually broken up by the FBI. The paedophile group refers here to “the issue of the age of consent” which essentially means, they took issue with the age of consent existing, something they had sought to abolish by the use of advocacy and activism.
From the foregoing, there is a historical precedent that shows how unethical and socially damaging, deviant ideologies have been implemented as highly damaging tools when at the disposal of academia. The basic methods used by such individuals and groups mimic the NAZI-USSR models of creating fields of pseudoscience that gradually build prestige and come to be considered to be accurate or standard science through the projection of faux-scientific consensus. Examples from Nazi Social Darwinism (Mostert, 2002) and the USSR’s Lysenkoism have parallels with Kinsey, Money and post-modern pseudo-sciences in which a step-by-step process is purposely designed to eventually influence recognition of a pseudoscience by wider society as being a true science even when the foundations are built on fraud or forgery. Such pseudo-academic fields evolve over a number of steps:
Step 1: Formulation of an idea or hypothesis to be proved correct (as opposed to scientific method which searches for the validity or invalidity of a hypothesis). Academics or activists enter universities and/or scientific institutions.
Step 2: Establishment of basic propaganda using a counterfeit “corpus of knowledge.” During this step papers and books are presented that play with concepts to test the receptions to the hypotheses. Mutual verification of finding among similarly minded ideologues. Propagandist academics act as gatekeepers and construct an Orthodoxy.
Step 3: Increase counterfeit body of knowledge. Propaganda begins to gain more recognition in academia, more funding and establishment of schools takes place. More academics join cause.
Step 4: Established schools become outlets for self-verifying propaganda.
Step 5: Academics and proponents in the field gain sufficient influence over the legal and social systems. Metastasis into wider society via lower education systems then takes place.
Given the current academic situation and sponsorship of “research” by Prostasia and B4U-Act, it can be estimated that Step 1 has been completed. A body of propaganda is being created as in Step 2 and likely progressing to Step 3, and the Walker incident may have been a test of the metaphorical waters. Given the possible gravity of events and if no measures are taken to prevent this, the hypothetical projected results as based on historic precedence is as follows: De-stigmatisation is the catalyst paedophiles desire for normalising their behaviour. Once de-stigmatisation occurs a gradual normalisation will take place. This will be followed by acceptance or an embrace of what is now normalised, leading to validation as a sexual orientation followed by legal protection, leading to a disastrous impact on the human rights of children.
Figure 19: Process of social infiltration via academic propaganda
It should be expected that legal recourse and punishment for crimes will continue to be decreased. Prostasia already advocates “restorative justice” and lesser penalties for paedophilic rapists.
10. Symbolic Systems Of Paedophiles
Most highly organised groups use Symbolism and Symbolic methods to set social rank or communicate messages and this behaviour is found in paedophile groups. The FBI has documented and declassified symbolism that is connected to paedophilic communication. These Symbolic methods are used in principle to convey victim preferences to other paedophiles.
“(U) The BoyLover logo (BLogo) is a small blue spiral-shaped triangle surrounded by a larger triangle, whereby the small triangle represents a small boy and the larger triangle represents an adult man. A variation of the BLogo is the Little Boy Lover logo (LBLogo), which also embodies a small spiral-shaped triangle within a larger triangle; however, the corners of the LBLogo are rounded to resemble a scribbling by a young child.”
“(U) The GirlLover logo (GLogo) depicted below is a small heart surrounded by a larger heart, which symbolizes a relationship between an adult male or female and minor girl.” (FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 2007)
The Symbolic Systems as described and documented by law enforcement agencies can be correlated with the Symbolic Systems of the paedophile pride flag which features encoded colours using the same pattern.
Figure 20: Paedophilia Pride flag based on colours of symbols used to indicated victim preference amongst paedophiles
Wierzbicka (2006) demonstrates that the use of colours in semantics are dependent, in the main, upon the culture or group that decrypts the encoded semantic meaning. Hence, understanding can be limited to those who are in-group. We find the same pattern of colour semantics in meta-language used by the paedophile sub-culture indicative of a highly organised group. This aligns with the findings of Choo (2008) which shows that like other criminal networks, paedophiles are highly organised. Certain members on the Prostasia Forum had profiles containing such symbols however these were more common on Twitter and Facebook.
Findings show that claims of non-offence are not supported by a large number of posts, with Twitter having the most active groups of paedophiles with little or no censorship, it also had the boldest paedophiles. Only accounts such as the following which posted explicit contents were addressed and banned after numerous reports from the wider Twitter community.
Figure 21: "non-offending" paedophiles discussing their desire to lower "consent" education ages or removing the age of consent altogether. Children are not mentally or emotionally able to consent. (Twitter)
Males were not the only paedophiles present. User “Katelyn” openly wrote about her sexual desire for young girls and justified it as a legitimate attraction. We find the stereotypical “Love is love” often employed by paedophile movements. Numerous profiles that attempt to show a more academic feeling, use AI generated faces; these accounts were especially active in paedophilic propaganda claiming amongst their posts that the average paedophile has a higher Intelligence Quotient than the general population and that child sex abuse is not harmful to children but that they enjoy it, reminiscent of claims by Kinsey who was often quoted.
Figure 22: User "Katelyn" with CG avatar, "love is love" pro-paedophilia propaganda, profiles uses smiley to denote target victims rather than colours (Twitter)
The linguistic patterns of this particular user indicate the user is female. Several accounts researched on Twitter appear to use female linguistic patterns. This supports previous research which indicates women play active and, at times, leading roles in international child trafficking in organised crime syndicates (Siegel & De Blank, 2010). Interestingly, some profiles did not use the paedophilic colours but instead used emoticons in a combination of adult woman or man with target child’s sex represented by the smaller figure of a boy or girl in the emoticon. A small symbol of a map (geography) was also used to represent MAP paedophiles.
Figure 23: User Katelyn attempting to refuse the axiom that children cannot consent. (Twitter)
The linguistics patterns “Katelyn” uses suggests that she may have already sexually abused a child and as a minimum, she should be considered extremely high risk. Her account is filled with a number of posts that advocate for the change of age of consent laws and that her “love” is justified. Prognosis for such individuals is poor, however multiple accounts were found with similar or more explicit contents concerning open expressions of a desire to abuse children. A number of these accounts were identified but were more difficult to locate based only on their main thumbnail as there were no obvious indicators as to desires.
After the incident with Allyn Walker, an increase in pro-paedophilia accounts was seen during November. About 60% of these were linked to each other, denoting an organised effort to raise support on Twitter. Twitter was preferred, probably because of its poor enforcement of child protection policies.
Figure 24: User name showing zoophilia and paedophilia symbols, paedophilic colours in avatar (Twitter)
A number of accounts openly professed to be Zoophiles and other extreme deviant paraphilia’s. Both paedophiles and zoophiles used Greek letters to identify each other on the Twitter platform. Paedophiles used “μ” the Greek letter Mu, to denote “Maps” with zoophiles using “ζ” Zeta. The two groups seem to show overlap fringe elements and at least 32 profiles contained both symbols.
11. Problematic Classification As A Child Protection Organisation
Prostasia’s website claims;
"We are a child protection organisation that combines our zero tolerance of child sexual abuse with our commitment to human and civil rights sex positivity."
It is difficult to reconcile the validity of statements such as these from Prostasia with other statements on their website which contradict the intent of child protection.
"Protecting children by upholding the rights and freedoms of all."
This statement is at the centre of Prostasia’s movement message and it claims that children can only be protected by protecting the “rights” of paedophiles.
"Protecting children from sexual abuse is a cause that everyone can unite behind. Often, however, the measures we take to combat child sexual abuse (CSA) are less effective than they should be, because they are driven by emotion rather than evidence. In striving to protect children from abuse, we may end up harming them and others."
Prostasia Foundation addresses this problem by...
- helping to fund sound scientific research on CSA prevention.
- engaging with diverse stakeholders whose voices are not normally heard.
- addressing the human rights impacts of child protection laws and policies.
- communicating the results of our research and engagement to policymakers, platforms, and the public.
This uniquely balanced, rights-respecting and evidence-based approach to CSA prevention allows us not only to protect children from abuse, but also to reduce the seperate harms caused to children and others by our society's predominantly reactive child protection agenda."
Prostasia repeatedly asserts that recognised child protection charities are emotionally fuelled and therefore their approaches to child protection are invalid. This is the notion that emotion clouds judgement. In reality, such charities often work within very strict legal frameworks and in concert with law enforcement agencies. It thus attempts to create a monopoly with itself as the only “true” child abuse prevention NGO.
The research funding is aimed at finding results that affirm Prostasia’s predefined hierarchy of beliefs and so, cannot be considered to follow the scientific method. Prostasia has been vocal in the legalisation of child sex dolls, not simply unbiased research to find presence or absence of efficacy but advocacy against laws that restrict such dolls even in the face of research that shows these to be harmful. The language patterns used that inform on concealed semantic truths also lead the unsuspecting reader to draw incorrect conclusions as to who is identifiable by specific terminology. The point “engaging with diverse stakeholders whose voices are not normally heard” refers to paedophiles, not to the voiceless victims; further, “addressing the human rights impacts of child protection laws and policies” refers to paedophiles’ rights rather than those of victims. Prostasia’s pseudo-moralistic stance and tone is encompassed in the statement, “uniquely balanced, rights-respecting and evidence-based approach” once again emphasising the propaganda that only they are fit to carry out such “research.” Further, the inclusion of "evidence-based" is a false signal to an internationally established and authoritative methodological approach.
Prostasia writers also deny basic biology and semantic understanding by using statements as follows;
"it relies on the false assumption that male-on-male abusers are homosexual. This is not necessarily the case! First of all, sexual acts do not dictate sexual orientation, only people can dictate their sexual orientation. We cannot know the sexual orientations of the adult male abusers if they tell us." (Kassel, 2020)
By definition, a person who has sexual relations with a person of the same sex is homosexual. This redefinition goes against the dictionary definition that defines homosexuality as “"of or relating to sexual desire or behaviour directed toward people of one's own sex or gender".
Prostasia has written extensively on what it feels is the “unfair” crackdown on paedophiles in social networks including Twitter although, as previously shown, Twitter had hundreds of openly paedophilic accounts, indicating that such measures had been largely ineffective. Prostasia’s stance and semantic messaging via linguistic and behaviour patterns mean that it should be considered an activist rather than a charity or research organisation. The entire organisational structure is geared toward the de-stigmatisation of paedophilia and creating legal protections for paedophiles which are aimed at normalisation and recognition of paedophilia. Examples of this motivation are seen in its recruitment propaganda which calls for individuals classed as “US activists” and “International Activists”. In both instances, activists are designed to infiltrate legal frameworks and policy making processes in order to create an environment that favours paedophiles.
“4.1.3. U.S. activist: As U.S. Activist, you are responsible for working with our management team to identify opportunities for advocacy and lobbying in support of Prostasia’s goals, and for developing persuasive campaigns that are directed at the right external audiences to achieve those goals. Campaign activities may include social media actions, submissions, petitions, open letters, and face to face or virtual meetings with decision makers and influencers. Apply here.”
“4.1.4. International activist: Our international activist carries responsibility for global (non-U.S.) advocacy activities. They monitor news sources and engage with local activists, groups, and experts to bring international developments to the team’s attention for action. Working with these local representatives, they develop, promote, and translate local advocacy campaigns and join relevant coalition efforts. Upcoming suggested international campaigns include:
- Addressing the unconstitutional French censorship of art websites under authority reserved for censorship of CSAM.
- Helping local activists to have Germany’s sex doll law declared unconstitutional.
- Responding to Europe’s upcoming new legislation on fighting child sexual abuse: detection, removal and reporting of illegal content online.
- Responding to the UK’s Draft Online Safety Bill.
- Responding to Canada’s proposed approach to address harmful content online.”(Prostasia Forum, 2021)
Prostasia’s actions are likely to put children at direct risk of grooming as their affiliated networks allow interaction between paedophiles and children thus creating opportunities for interaction that may not otherwise exist via the Map Support Club.
"Prostasia Foundation supports initiatives that can reduce child sexual abuse, and experts believe that peer support for stigmatized populations is one of them. MAP Support Club (MSC) is a safe, chat-based peer-support network for minor attracted people age 13 and older. Since the average age of which minor attracted people discover their attractions is 14 years old and since a large proportion of CSA is committed by adolescents against younger minors, this is an important endeavor in helping teenagers come to terms with their attractions in a harm-free and law-abiding way." (MAP Support Club, 2021)
Prostasia’s actions are likely to put children at direct risk of grooming as their affiliated networks allow interaction between paedophiles and children, giving opportunities for interaction that may not otherwise exist via the Map Support Club.
“Prostasia Foundation supports initiatives that can reduce child sexual abuse, and experts believe that peer support for stigmatized populations is one of them. MAP Support Club (MSC) is a safe, chat-based peer-support network for minor attracted people age 13 and older. Since the average age at which minor attracted people discover their attractions is 14 years old and since a large proportion of CSA is committed by adolescents against younger minors, this is an important endeavour in helping teenagers come to terms with their attractions in a harm-free and law-abiding way.” (MAP Support Club, 2021)
Such a support group could be considered equal to an unmoderated alcoholics anonymous meeting being held at a local pub while members discuss how alcoholism is really just a normal and intrinsic trait. It also ignores the fundamentally different psychological cognitive-behavioural therapies used to treat adults and children. Assuming that children are just small adults — an idea that is supported neither by professional psychological nor medical communities. Such forums may prevent individuals from receiving help because it causes cognitive distortion;
“Being in contact with other users can exacerbate the problem. Users might justify each other’s behaviour, thus perpetuating the cognitive distortion that CSAM use is acceptable” (Insollet al, 2021), a phenomenon seen on the Prostasia forum where all members viewed “virtual” CSAM as being acceptable. The same study quoted previously noted that 3,313 (64.06%) of CSAM consuming respondents out of 5171 said that they did not need any help. Suojellaan Lapsia, the research foundation that conducted this study made a public statement denouncing the pseudo-scientific argument that computer-generated (virtual) CSAM could prevent attacks against children stating “Our findings show that offering computer-generated CSAM is absolutely not an option. CSAM users themselves have said that viewing CSAM leads them to further offending against children. We need to fully #ProtectChildren”.
Positions adopted by Prostasia put children at risk and do not assist in prevention of child abuse and/or grooming, by enabling paedophiles both physically — by means of forums, and psychologically— via pro-paedophilic propaganda. It is recommended that legislation is tightened to prevent harmful organisations such as this from registering as charities or NGOs under the false premise of child protection, thereby subverting funds, via donations, which should be used by legitimate child protection groups.
12. Further Discussion
12.1 Self-Diagnosis Fallacy
The consistent fallacy of self-diagnosis can be noted among the paedophiles on the Prostasia forum.
In this context, self-diagnosis is an assumption by individuals that they have accurately evaluated their own threat level and that which they pose to children. Such evaluations, however, require the expertise of a qualified psychologist and self-diagnosis is unlikely to be accurate even when the person in question is actually telling the truth (First and Halon, 2008).
Regarding paedophile behaviour and psychodynamics, some psychologists argue that the majority demonstrate a range of psychopathic traits, not limited to but including: pathological lying, cunning and manipulation, lack of remorse or guilt, shallow effect, callousness, lack of empathy, poor behavioural controls and promiscuous sexual behaviour. Paedophilia may, in fact, be in a subset of psychopathic conditions and, in the case of paedophilia, possess a strong predatory element (Dorr et al, 1998).
Given that, “Paedophiles commonly fail to take either responsibility for their actions or hold them-selves accountable. Instead, the perpetrator uses deceitfulness, chronic lies, half-lies, excuses, and denial to discredit the child/youth victim who is trying to tell and trying to have someone listen to their victimization ordeals. Additionally, paedophiles cast doubt on the child/youth’s creditability by claiming the child/youth victim misinterpreted the events, is exaggerating, is telling lies, or is confused about cultural behaviours.” (Sarson & MacDonald, 2002), it is illogical to believe that self-diagnosis is possible.
12.2 The De-stigmatisation Argument
In order to validate Prostasia’s claims that removal of paedophilia stigma in society would decrease child sex abuse, it is only necessary to study a society where paedophilia is not stigmatized or has very low levels of stigma and the results of this can be analysed. The results can then be compared with evidence that either confirms or denies such claims.
Afghanistan has a well-documented history of normalised paedophilia which is considered a part of a regional “culture”. Bacha bāzī (Persian: بچه بازی, lit. "boy play"- from بچه bacha, "boy", بازی bazi "play, game") is practiced in Afghanistan and North Western Pakistan (although has been more actively eradicated in Pakistan), where paedophilia is a cultural norm. Although illegal, the normalisation of paedophilia has meant that the rape of boys has become an endemic practice in the region. Poor boys are purchased and enslaved, forced to cross-dress and take up “feminine movements and resemblances”. Rather than paedophilia being stigmatised it is the victims that are stigmatised against (Borile, 2019). Despite its illegality, the proliferation of paedophilia and paedophilic practice as a normalised element of society has meant that laws have had little to no effect. On the contrary evidence suggests it has consistently increased (Essar et al, 2021) until the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021.
A naturalistic cultural experiment on the de-stigmatisation of paedophilia, that would never have gained ethical approval due to the harm inflicted on victims, has been conducted in Afghanistan. The results have not led to a decrease in child abuse, rather the contrary has been true, an increase in sexual crimes against children was recorded. Badinelli states “the Afghan government has been known to prosecute the victims of bacha bazi as opposed to the abusers, while government officials exploit the boys sexually.” (2019)
The prevalence of this practice is seen by it being“so common in Afghanistan that there are estimates that fifty percent of the men in the Pashtun tribal areas of Afghanistan take on boy lovers.” (Badinelli, 2019)
"Together with a history of a number of harmful traditional practices, such as marrying off daugthers to other families to pay for family debt or the use of boys as sex slaves for older men, the severe health and emotional consequences for women and children is unquestionable."
They futher noted;
There is a set of behaviors that has been clustered as harmful traditional practices - most specifically, exchanging a daughter to pay family debt, older men forcing a boy to have sex (bacha bazi), and marrying a child before he or she is born. These were rejected by nearly all adolescents (≥98.1%) and parents (≥96.3%) surveyed. Disapprovals by adolescents for all practices did not vary by material or paternal education (P > .05). However, despite opposition to these practices, about 20% of adolescents and parents both said that it would be appropriate for an adult to threaten a young person if be or she reports experiencing or witnessing any of these practices" (2018).
This suggests that although wider society expresses some degree of disapproval towards such degrading practices, its acceptance is wide enough to prevent any actual steps being taken to prevent it. Children are not permitted a voice in societies that condone paedophilia.
That de-stigmatisation of paedophilia is a progressive step to a more tolerant society is illogical and contrary to evidence. In reality, de-stigmatisation of paedophilia is regressive and only accepted in a true rape culture and hyper-violent societies.
From the findings of this study, a conclusion can be drawn that Prostasia is a pro-Paedophilia organisation that registered as a child protection NGO and that it has links to academics whose work is supportive of paedophiles and paedophilia. Further, it serves to proliferate Child abuse by undermining the work of legitimate child protection services by spreading pro-paedophilia propaganda and erroneous content via social media platforms, as well as its own website. It directly endangers children by putting them into contact with paedophiles via the so-called Map Support Club, as well as normalising paedophilia by promoting it as a legitimate sexual orientation. Prostasia therefore gives insight into the mental processes that paedophiles take in order to justify cultivation of deviant desires, and the classification of semantics, in attempts to destigmatize themselves in society, using methods that are similar to those used in grooming children. This study is just one aspect of publicly available data from which to make a linguistic analysis, however it would benefit from follow-up studies that concentrate on dark web activities.
14. Study Limitations
The study was limited to information freely available on social media. The researcher was further limited in not having law enforcement clearance and thus did not enter dark web sections that had the potential to lead to questionable or compromising legal situations. This study would benefit from expansion in considering dark web domains.
Thanks to all those who supported this project with their valuable insight, public support has been overwhelming. Special thanks to Ethan Pitcher, Sigitas A. Groblys, David McNeil, Christina Christofoletti, Neil Swann and Daniel Lenick.
Funding was procured using a reverse method. Expenses for research were covered by the researcher and then a public call for financial support was made after all work was completed. This method helps to prevent any funding bias in findings. Funding was provided by members of the public who wished to support the project. This analysis is therefore entirely independent.
17. Competing Interests
There are no competing interests in this study.
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Appendix A- Conversation between founder of B4U-Act and other Paedophile Ring Leaders
Michael Melsheimer: B4U-ACT is doing great. I recently spoke with a person that had something to do with the starting of NAMBLA. He thought it looked good.
mvanhouten: Does Maryland know you show your webpage to old NAMBLA founders for approval? Does everyone who goes to LifeLine know that your goal for them is to 'eliminate offending?' Or is it your goal? And if it isn't, does Maryland know that too? Oh what a tangled web we weave...
mvanhouten: What exactly DID you accomplish? Your website still states your goal as 'eliminating offending'? How much offending do you think you eliminated (with the gracious help of this unnamed NAMBLA founder)?
Michael Melsheimer: Your website still states your goal as 'eliminating offending'? It certainly does not. The term child molester is not in the B4U-ACT lexicon. We do have in our lexicon the term minor attracted person. B4U-ACT wants to work with any minor attracted person that seeks us out.
mvanhouten: It's right on your site! Here is a sentence from your report to Baltimore Mental Health Systems (22 June 2007)describing B4U-ACT's purposes: "The report describes how improved communication would contribute to the prevention of offending, the prevention of harm to minor-attracted adults and adolescents, increased understanding by mental health professionals, and more effective and just policies."But the question now is: why not just say it here too? Why deny it so adamently here at BoyChat? Because it's a lie you made to BMHS? Or, because you don't wish your potential clients here to know that is your goal?
Michael Melsheimer: The report was dated 2007. It is part of our history, but the passage that offends you is no longer relevant to our site today. I can't change what is in our history and would be dishonest to try. It would be like BC editing their archives. Our site changed in December 2008 because of the statement you quoted. Be assured you will find no current reference to prevention of offending. You can take that to the bank.
mvanhouten: Why don't you post here and now that neither you nor B4U-ACT take a position on the appropriateness or inappropriateness of adult/minor intimacy? Why not state that it is now NOT the goal of B4U-ACT to 'eliminate offending'?
Michael Melsheimer: People sometimes say too much and destroy what they really want to do. I have already said a lot and don't want to say anymore.
mvanhouten: Do you personally believe that any and all adult/minor sexual interaction qualifies as 'offending' and requires elimination? Why can't you give straight answers to simple questions? It seems almost a pathology with you.
Michael Melsheimer: People sometimes say too much and destroy what they really want to do. I have already said a lot and don't want to say anymore.
Fame: There is something called "politics", it a game which MM must play. As things progress the politics change. Soon the word "offending" won't be used at all in b4uacts rhetoric. Further, sexual activity with minors is illegal. It is irrelevant (to this discussion) whether it should be legal or not, the bottom line is that it is and b4uact must work within that framework. Neither b4uact nor the psychological community not the BL community at large wishes BLs to commit crimes for which they may go to jail. You need to understand this.....as well as rhetoric and politics.
Fame: If MM declared a position on the appropriateness of sexual acts here it may alienate those he works with since he has now taken on an agenda which is not a part of his organization.
mvanhouten: What state agency would knowingly give someone money if they knew the effort he was putting into Lifeline/BoyChat?
Michael Melsheimer: It is important for the MAA community to have contacts in organizations like Stop it Now. They have great influence on the legislative process, and we need to know them and they need to know us. Some of the people that work for these organizations are not anti MAA. It serves our community well to find, know, and work with them.
mvanhouten: I am all for advocating people break the law, especially when it comes to mutually agreeable activities.
Michael Melsheimer: I was on the Sally Jesse Raphael show years ago with a NAMBLA person..... He influenced my life tremendously. NAMBLA made a lot of mistakes, but they supported BL's almost before there was anything else. Tom O' Carroll, PIE fame, is also one of my heroes. His book, Paedophilia - The Radical Case, certainly opened my eyes up to a lot of things, just as my travels to SE Asia did.
mvanhouten: I ultimatley want to undermine the labels "child" and "adult" so that people will evenutally see a relationship between a 9 and a 29 year old with at least the same lack of concern as a relationship betwen a 39 and a 69 year old.
Michael Melsheimer: I think that you are right. We do have to go slow and not take on a radical agenda. We could all learn well by what happened to NAMBLA. As it relates to building bridges, you are right again. There is nothing more important for our community to do. It is the only way we are ever going to be able to get any possible acceptance in the larger community for who we are as human being and what we feel is right for children.
Michael Melsheimer: My organization is not going to say to offend. I am a BL without regret and will always be a BL without regret. My life as a bl has been terrific. No one could ever make me say otherwise. This is even considering that I spent time in prison. Our line in the sand has historically defeated us. We need to think about a new one.
Michael Melsheimer: We need to come together as a community. But there is another choir we need to preach to. That choir is the larger community, and it can help make all our dreams come true. Our problem is that they aren't singing our song . The major job in front of us is to get them to sing it. We have to be very careful at first as to what we say and do, so we can say do and say more down the road. We need to build bridges and coalitions. This means that we might have to cool it for the moment. Please note that I said for the moment.
Will Robinson: I am continually amazed at the political skills (evasiveness?) of this B4U-Act organization.
Michael Melsheimer has my vote as one of the smoothest operators I've ever beheld. Is he a great leader or the new "Tricky Dick" of pedo-politics?
Richard Kramer: As you may know, B4U-Act is promoting communication between minor-attracted people and mental health professionals. The purpose of these services is NOT to "cure" us of our attraction to minors--we do NOT believe we are sick.