Most parents certainly have an awareness of the threats of children being online, where they can easily fall victim of their own naiveté. We may even feel fully informed of the dangers that lurk within the bandwidth, as shows like “To Catch a Predator” gain popularity and stories of internet predators become common place within the news wires. But these stories only scratch the surface — parents might be surprised to learn that pedophiles, in their desperate attempts to be close to children and prey on their vulnerability, are using the anonymity of the internet to organize themselves in a united front and are now attempting to infiltrate parenting sites and blogs. They cloak and misrepresent themselves in order to gain trust so that they can plead their cases in effort to influence society’s reaction to child molestation; their goal is to normalize and mainstream pedophilia. Although presumably a civilized society would never accept such behavior as status quo, pedophiles honestly believe that they are doing nothing wrong and that it all boils down to societal perceptions.
They frequently post on various non-related sites, pretending to be parents themselves or “experts” (always with a arsenal of flawed statistics), lawyers, or very commonly, victims of sexual abuse. The child abuse survivor persona is the one that is the most insulting — their common story is that their view was changed when they realized they enjoyed the abuse, and that it felt natural to them. It is unclear whether their stories are true or not (many pedophiles have indeed been sexually molested as children), but if so it is generally thought that their survival mechanism caused this kind of brain damage in which the cycle of abuse continues because they cannot bear the shame and lack the skills to separate themselves from the wrongdoing. In other cases, their only motive is to try to normalize the behavior through repetitive brainwashing. They have studied up on these techniques, which they also use on young children. Most also believe that they are simply misunderstood and harmless and that the desire to have sex with small children is only frowned upon by intolerant people and bigots.
Although pedophiles are easily outwitted by the courageous barrage of volunteers who scour the internet for both overt and stealth attempts of pedophiles to normalize, rationalize and further victimize children, the experience to spot one may not be developed by the unsuspecting individual or parent who might easily be tricked into giving an anonymous commenter the benefit of the doubt.
There is a large network of pedophiles on the web, where they exchange photos of children taken with telephoto lenses that include details such as the time and place to view that child. They may give out information about your child’s schedule and where and when they might be walking home from school. As we go on with our mundane errands, kids in tow and looming homework to tackle, pedophiles are scouring the internet and driving down streets, taking dogs for walks, parking in front of schools, visiting public bathrooms, all in an effort to victimize children. It’s a fact of life that is so frightening, so disturbing to think about, that most parents don’t want to address the issue head on. These predators are counting on that fact. You can imagine the horror, the outrage, the violation that parents would feel if they stumbled upon their child’s photo on some boy- or girl-love site.
According to a study by the New York Times, the online pedophile community’s outreach is even more sophisticated that most people thought, including "Internet radio stations run by and for pedophiles; a putative charity that raised money to send Eastern European children to a camp where they were apparently visited by pedophiles; and an online jewelry company that markets pendants proclaiming the wearer as being sexually attracted to children, allowing anyone in the know to recognize them."
Pedophiles rely heavily on these support groups, which are formed according to a particular predator’s tastes, such as sites devoted to men that like prepubescent boys or toddler girls. It’s a place where they can exchange stories about their lust for children and encourage each other’s dark, indecent and criminal desires. They have organized to the point where they have come up with a common goal within various internet communities – to make themselves out to be the victims, with parents and law enforcement as the villains. It’s reasoning almost impossible for most of us to fully understand — these pedophiles are delusional to the point where they believe that babies, toddlers and small children are born sexual beings that enjoy and aspire to have sex with adults. Not only do they enjoy it, pedophiles think, they proactively seek it out. They believe that children as young as infants flirt with them and find the most innocuous child-play a form of seductive manipulation. They truly believe small children, when swinging or playing hopscotch at the playground is really engaged in a sexual frolic; a signal to other pedophiles that they want to have sex with them. They see a baby crying as coy, sexual flirtation. It is a gross defect of monumental proportions, one without emotional or intellectual boundaries. It’s a classic case of “blame the victim”, but these victims cannot even fight or defend themselves.
And, as if you didn’t have enough to worry about already, this behavior is far from being an occasional kink — pedophiles are so consumed with their sexual addiction that it encompasses their entire being and their day-to-day lives. They are calculating and patient in the steps they will take to obtain the resources that will eventually lead them to opportunities to be around children. If they have the ability, it is not uncommon for them to become educated in a field that has direct contact with children like daycares, camp counselors, teachers, children’s clothing stores, even doctors.
From the same New York Times study:
[Pedophiles] individual jobs were described as being a disc jockey at parties ("a high concentration of gorgeous" children, a man claiming to hold the job said); a pediatric nurse ("lots of looking but no touching"); a piano teacher ("I could tell you stories that would make you …well… I’ll be good"); an employee at a water theme park ("bathing suits upon bathing suits!!!!!"); and a pediatrician specializing in gynecology ("No need to add anything more, I feel").
The most frequent job mentioned, however, was schoolteacher. A number of self-described teachers shared detailed observations about children in their classes, including events they considered sexual, like a second-grade boy holding his crotch during class.
The man relating that story held up that action as an expression of sexuality; he was not dissuaded when another participant in the conversation suggested that the boy might have just needed to go to the bathroom.
There is even a movement afoot to do away with the term "pedophile". The preferred moniker these days is "child lovers". These so-called "child lovers" even call the accusation of being a pedophile libelous (although a small group do flaunt that label, citing that there’s nothing wrong with it), yet they embrace this new term. Their philosophy is such that they love children so much and are so willing to do anything to make children happy that they sacrifice for them, claiming that sex is a way to honor them.
Nowadays, pedophiles show up on various parenting blogs and forums — often under the guise of being another mother or father — making their case in subtle ways, although always with a very uncomfortable cloud of oddness that leaves you second-guessing yourself. Could this person be somebody entirely different, you might ask yourself? Because their language often contradicts itself, it’s difficult for pedophiles to carry on very long without other parents becoming suspicious, especially when they represent themselves as child advocates yet suggest that child molestation is really not a big deal.
Almost all of them use a number of alternate handles and screen names, creating entire blogs with each of their many personas. One such blog created an identity of a woman who had an affair with a pedophile when "she" was only 8 years old and fondly recalled memories from it. The writer scolded what they call "antis" — an anti being a volunteer who attempts to scrub the internet of pedophilia propaganda. The blog made outrageously offensive comparisons to the slaughtered Jews in WWII, insisting that pedophiles are merely misunderstood and persecuted for loving children too much and how they wished people were more tolerant and loving.
Even an e-book has recently become widely available to pedophiles to promote their agenda: to lower the age of consent and to convince parents that pedophiles are simply trying to give children what they want, and the real abuse, they contend, is when parents get in the way of allowing their children the opportunity to “play” with them.
Unless you mistakenly stumble upon their forums, the extent of their deception, dishonesty and trickery would likely fool the best of them. Posts created about how the 4-year-old neighbor boy keeps trying to “come on” to him, will be tagged with “child abuse” or “laws to protect children”. Their wish is that a well intended search lands upon their defective reasoning. Their world is so consumed with lies and deceit, it’s no wonder their inability to decipher right from wrong gets so muddled in their alternate reality. Pedophiles even have literature that they’ve started passing out to children on how natural it is to want to have sex with grown-ups.
So can anything be done about this menace? The smarter predators use cyber-cloaking devices and services that masks their identity and bounces their internet connection to servers around the globe so they can’t be tracked. As proud as they are of their perversion, they are also incredibly paranoid and try to remain as anonymous as possible. Because as much as they try to push the envelope into their absolutely outrageous line of reasoning, deep down they are nothing more than cowards; afraid of grown-ups, afraid of face-to-face confrontation and afraid of being caught.
There is hope however — there are people on the other side, that genuinely do have the best interest of our children at heart. Heroes who continuously contribute hours of their time every day to protect kids from online predators. These crusaders are more powerful than law enforcement in many ways, as they dedicate their resources to one cause: preventing child abuse, victimization, and child pornography.
Read the entire series:
- The Predator’s Web – Child predators find safe haven and support online.
- Cyber Warriors – A new breed of superheroes battle online child predators.
- Chris Hansen – The famous face of the To Catch a Predator series talks about his motivation, his new book, and the most disturbing thing he’s witnessed during production.