As you may have read elsewhere on this site, here at the Blue Angel we have often observed that pedophilia (the sexual attraction toward pre-pubescent children) functions as a deviant sexual orientation. Of course, pedosexuality (performing sexual acts with children) isn’t necessarily linked to pedophilia nor indeed to any other orientation, but rather to other issues like incest, hypersexuality, a wish for domination or even merely favorable circumstances. » Read more
We publish here T’s new testimony, written six months after making contact with the Blue Angel Association for the first time. You can easily see how being listened to and supported positively impacted him. The needs T and thousands of others like him express are clear and our experience, like this testimony clearly shows, tells it’s possible to give an answer.
Six months after meeting with Latifa and the Blue Angel Association
I had already written on June 19th 2015, soon after meeting Latifa and starting to come off an addiction to child pornography. I had ended my story on a positive note and I was totally right as today my life has meaning again!! So I can say I’m happy with my current life. So I would like to write again to give hope to people who are addicted to child pornography and tell them that it’s possible to pull through and live a much healthier and happier life, with joy and serenity.
1: The contact with the Blue Angel Association and Latifa Bennari
So I can say that Latifa saved my life since without her I would have never been able to pull through. I think I’d still be hooked to those videos, photos and other child porn mangas. I say “saved my life” because I had piled on so much frustration, such an awful self-image, so much isolation and deep distress that I think I would have ended up killing myself, or perhaps even trying to enact what I saw on those images and videos I found and that I felt were so unhealthy and terrible but with which I “fed” my mind for hours each day.
So I contacted Latifa via e-mail and she answered a few hours later…
Her answer changed my life. I had felt totally isolated, thinking nobody could understand me. Thanks to her, I understood the only way out for me was coming off completely from those videos and images which were the main cause of my unhappiness. We exchanged some more e-mails, then had some phone calls which were a huge help.
I’ve also read Latifa’s last book and I could identify with some of the stories in there, and it also allowed me to understand how I had ended up like that, understand that I wasn’t a monster and that more importantly I had the possibility to pull through by myself.
I’ve also participated to a dialogue group organized by Latifa that allowed me to meet other people with my same profile and most of all to listen to the pain of ex-victims of sexual abuse during childhood. Seeing them in front of me, listening to their testimony about the pain they endured as children and the impact it had during their lives up to today was like an electroshock and it really opened my eyes.
Meeting with the Blue Angel was essential to my new life. I will never have enough words to thank Latifa and all the people I met with the Blue Angel.
2: Personal Development
Latifa had given me the keys to come off my addiction. Then I started looking for solutions, while I was weaning, to stand the impact and try and lead a fuller life, to replace the time I used to spend on my pc looking at child porn with something beneficial. I don’t like reading much, but I used to listen to podcasts and thanks to that I began listening to podcasts about personal development.
Afterwards I also read some books that helped me get more self-confident, less bashful and meet new people to get out of my loneliness.
Thanks to those podcasts and books about personal development I was able to work on myself in depth and understand some of my behaviors that blocked me in my everyday life, rooted also in my childhood. I could observe that my mental lockdown in that addiction was for a big part because of my huge bashfulness, since I preferred staying confined in a digital world raher than going out and trying to meet girls my age.
Personal development helped me get better a lot, it allowed me to better myself in many areas of life and I keep being interested in it everyday.
Meditation was very important to me too. I started practicing it in full conscience a little more than 3 months ago. The first month I didn’t feel much of an effect but with a regular practice of 10 to 20 minutes a day, I felt my anxiety, all my negative thoughts, the useless fears diminish. I got more serene, I could spot the moments when I would have been more vulnerable to a relapse. It also allowed me to understand a bit about the workings and the frailties of my mind.
To this day I practice every morning a guided meditation of about 20 minutes. I want to point out that I’m an atheist and therefore the meditations I practice are non-religious.
4: The psychologist
Since these six months I’ve been in therapy with a psychologist, and I bit the bullet and told her about my history of addiction to child pornography. I think she finds it difficult to put herself in my shoes because she doesn’t have the tools to understand. However she was still able to help me in other areas of life, which means I’m much better today. I couldn’t see her as much as I would have wanted since that would have cost too much money and she had a very full agenda anyway.
5: Final assessment since my encounter with Latifa Bennari and the Blue Angel Association
Today I’m happy to be alive. I keep fighting everyday, my life isn’t perfect, but I appreciate it how it is. I want to point out that during my weaning I relapsed three times, 3 evenings when I watched child pornography again, but I got back on track the day after. I hated myself a lot after the first time but the others, I took them as experiences and tried to understand why I had relapsed. Now I think that young and little girls have taken back their right place in my head: that of children and not that of objects of desire. Of course I still find them pretty and I love their spontaneity, but I see them differently than before meeting Latifa.
The way forward has been difficult for me, but compared to the agony that was my life before the 1st mail to Latifa, it’s like nothing. I’m just at the start, but thanks to the work I did on myself and most of all to the Blue Angel Association, I have no doubts anymore about the fact that I will forever stay an ABSTINENT pedophile. I hope I will soon find the future mother of my children, there’s still the rest of my life to live, and the pitfalls of life to be vigilant of!!
I hope my story will give some hope back to people who, like me, were at rock bottom. And I hope that there will be more people like at the Blue Angel Association, with a heart huge enough to be able to pierce our armor and give us back the joy of living and of being able to pull through.
We publish here a very representative example of the calls for help we receive on a daily basis. The author, T, wrote again six months later to show how much the chance of being listened to and guided helped him.
First off thanks for the cause you fight for with your association.
I followed you for some time I saw you on TV and heard you on the radio a few times, and I read your site.
I admire you for what you did and do.
So I want to be anonymous (I’m very paranoid about this, I’m so afraid my email will be intercepted) so this address is an account I opened just for this and I will not write my name.
Im 27, I’m a man, almost no social life, very few friends and girlfriends, I almost never go out, Im bashful, reserved, low self-esteem, too kind, hardworking, I’m very close to my family and I still live with my mother as loneliness is hard on me.
I’m contacting you because my life is a living hell more and more every day!
Since I was 17 I’m attracted to boys between 7 and 12, and I’m addicted to porn videos, photos and drawings you can see on ill reputed sites online.
I really know that what I do is very bad, that it’s horrible to all those innocent children but I can’t stay away from those images and videos, or I fantasize about them while I’m near a school or in the street.
I don’t know if it’s genetic, my granpa touched little girls, he acted out and my uncle he was a weirdo and he never had a girlfriend in his life.
I often want to say “stop”, I erase everything I have on my computer, I go to dating sites, I try to be normal but it never lasts I crack again I re download and spend sometimes the whole night looking at this porn files on my pc, my tablet or even the smartphone.
I feel terrible everytime I go on those sites, and when I download despite all my anonimity programs I’m never safe. If my family found out it would be horrible! Then my nephew who is 2, what 5 years from now? Will I be able to not do anything to him?
If people knew I couldn’t stand it, Id rather shoot myself in the head. Everyday I live in fear of seeing the cops coming for me, or finding a letter in the box.
I can’t look at myself in a mirror, I’m totally paranoid, I can’t stand myself anymore, I disgust me,I can’t sleep, my work is suffering from it I had enough, I want out, I’m a big addict.
I finally got that hiding from the truth and burying my head in sand didn’t do anything
And still people close to me all love me and tell me I’m full of qualities but they don’t know my dark side.
Please help me Mrs Bennari I don’t want to be this monster anymore, I don’t want to hurt anyone, Id like so much to be like evryone else, to have a healthy life full of love.
I didn’t find on your site an adress of a therapist near me.
So I hope you will answer. Today I wiped my hard drive again. I hope this will be the last time with your help.
Thank you in advance.
Following a support and dialogue group, a participant shares his thoughts. He was a child pornography user and a virtual predator who never sought direct contact with minors:
I wanted to say I’m sorry for the grim and harsh tones I had while telling my story during the meeting. I hope I didn’t have a negative impact on the others, victims and pedophiles both. Their stories had really shaken me. I felt dirty in comparison to the hopeless and condemned love of B the scriptwriter. Guilty before M who was exploited as a child to produce photos that I could have watched myself. Cowardly while listening to the two youths who are confronting early their addiction to child pornography. Responsible for showing to S and his mother the aberrations that can happen when you lock yourself up alone with your secrets. I felt the need to throw up my story like the horrific mess I perceive it to be. I put into it the anger and despair I thought I saw in the young woman who sat next to you and who had to leave early.
I’m becoming aware of all I still have to do to reconcile the two “me”s in myself and to speak of them as a whole. I’ve essentially only described the destructive process I had created and that lead me to become a “cyber rapist” of sorts. I still disgust myself to such a degree that I can’t express it, as it looks too much like self-pity. Despite the kind looks around me, I still have trouble accepting the good in me and letting it grow.
I have to learn to talk about my “day me”, like A does, the me who is the loving father of my two kids. Who has been my mother’s rock for so many years. And also to talk of the beautiful humanity of my wife who, despite the lies and horrors I committed, still tries to build with me and the kids a bright future for all of us.
Participating to the support and dialogue group is very beneficial to me. Listening to me and telling me all of your stories help me mesure my responsibility, question myself, share my emotions. And especially you, Latifa, your smile, your open arms and the love you irradiate really pull me toward a future filled with light.
I hope I didn’t damage the group or the individuals, and I’m very sorry I expressed myself so coldly. Since you gave me a hand up, I have the responsibility during the meetings to do the same for others and pull them up. I hope I didn’t crush anyone with the violence of my words, that’s not what I wanted.
I write all this to you here even though we will talk on the phone tomorrow because I don’t know in how weak a mental state I will be then.
Thank you a billion times for all you bring to us all.
Response and support from a participant to the same meeting, a pedophile ex-offender suffering from an inadequate reinsertion after his prison term:
Yours is a poignant testimony, R, and I can tell you that you are a great guy ! It may seem out of place coming from someone who was condemned for breaking the law, but you don’t deserve this suffering. Why do you say that you need to learn how to share? You expressed yourself with great honesty during the group with Latifa and the others, and never in any hurtful way. There are mistakes we may make sometimes in our lives. But a man (and a woman, just to not have all the Feminists on me, even though…) without faults does not exist. A friend of mine, a priest, told me one day while I was in prison: « A man is greater than his actions ».
First of all you have to become aware of the fact that you have a family who believes in you. A wife and kids. There aren’t two Rs, just one, and even though right now you have to face your errors, this cannot in any way keep you from going on SERENELY with your life. I didn’t feel any violence in your words. I talked about difficult topics myself, but I surely wasn’t there to hurt anyone or to lie to myself.
The groups Latifa organises don’t aim at self-flagellation. They are meetings that might seem to some “self-righteous” people an insult to the politically correct, just like obscurantism has always brought people to burn the witches and heretics of their century… N H wrote to me, while I was in prison: « The justice system cannot afford to understand people, because if it did it would not be able to judge them ». In quoting this thought from Robert Badinter, he wanted to tell me that life is not as simple as we might hope. Circumstances, prejudice, social or religious conventions bring us to believe right what is wrong and viceversa. I was condemned for one of the worst accusations there is, I know where the truth lies. Still, I have to bear that unfair sentence (as it didn’t just condemn me for what I actually did, but also for things I didn’t do) all my life.
Every day I believe I can see the sun coming up again, but the darkness falls again just a few hours later. I’m cold, I tremble and cry. My mistakes brought me in a land without any discernment nor JUSTICE. And there is nothing I can do about it. I know that every time I try to voice the truth, out of the mouths of all the people that believe their judgement was correct will come the word “denial”, like the blade of a modern inquisition.
I still try to go on living, especially, just as you say it yourself, R, thanks to Latifa, to her work, her courage, her determination, her convictions coming from her own suffering she managed to pull through. And as for you, your life isn’t at a close at all. Thanks to your family and your determination, it can work its way to happiness. Paul Boese said that forgiveness doesn’t erase the past, it broadens the future. So yours is now before you, wide open.
By the way, my best wishes to everyone I met during the group. All suffering, sometimes for reasons completely at the other end of the spectrum, but all managing to turn this unexpected meeting in a moment of exemplary humanism.
Thank you, dear Latifa.
Support from one of the victims participating to the group (male).
I didn’t feel any violence or horror in your sharing, I was just proud that we’re part of the same humanity, and thinking that if everyone had the same courage you have in bringing your inner monster out in the open, it would be destroyed since this monstruous part each of us has inside blossoms in the shadows, its natural habitat. So thank you for your beautiful and great courage. Thank you for your capacity to observe your two “me”s at a distance like an enthomologist. That distance shows you are already pulling free of them. You are traversing a valley of solitude, but we are all here, behind the scenes, to support you and help you when you feel you need it.
Victims (or at least victims who pulled or are pulling through) don’t need to hear “censored” speeches that keep them in their suposed frailty. They definitely don’t want to be “handled with care”. It is just the truth, as harsh and grim as it may be, that interests them. The truth, not to mend a prejudice, but for justice. Because I believe everything must be districated to avoid adding evil to evil as Camus said. I believe our true nature lies in solidarity, that we are at once the bricks and the mortar. And that victims who pulled through, just as much as offenders who pulled through, can be the best masons in the world.
Fare well, R, my brother in tears.
Below is a cry for help like many I receive every day. It shows perfectly the blatant lack of support and counseling for people in this kind of situation I found and denounced in the concerned professionals and institutions of most countries. I’m sharing this particular example with you to make you understand the complexity of the emergencies I deal with on a daily basis.
I’m taking care of this person and so the danger is averted for a while, but how long can I keep on going alone? This man needs to participate to our support and dialogue groups but he doesn’t have the means to travel. I ask to the politicians hiding behind their desks and their speeches, what am I to do?
I have been in psychiatric care for 15 years because of the secondary effects of a sickness nobody can cure. I’m a hephebophile but I never acted out on it… my solution being to lock myself up in my home, laying in bed without being able to sleep. So I go to support centers or centers for social/professional reinsertion, etc… all of this because of issues caused by my real problem: those I’m sexually and romantically attracted to are too young, they will never feel the same way and I can never be with them even if they consent to (I still have trouble wrapping my head around that)…
I have an addiction: I “vent” it thinking back to all those I loved as a teenager without ever telling them. I’m 38, still a virgin, and here I go acting like a post-adolescent obsessed with a first time that will never come. I’ve recently begun seearching for help and I was directed to a sexologist with whom I’m doing private sessions… he thinks I’m not a threat to young people… but the price is being a prisoner in myself! I’m dying of loneliness, of my idealized fantasies, etc… and the castration I tried for a while with meds just made me feel even worse…
I’ve been thinking about suicide since I was 15… I tried when I was 22 but I was too scared! I don’t want to see death coming. Going to sleep and never waking up: here is the solution. It’s possible in Belgium. That’s why I want to ask for your help and support in my asking for euthanasia, for everyone’s sake.
Thanking you in advance for your response.
Share and send to your friends:
Prevent and fight online sexual predation, to the attention of children/teenagers on the web and of their families
Many young teenagers between ages 11 and 16 and/or their distressed parents contacted me all in the same week to ask me what to do against the cyber-predators they had been victims of.
Times have changed and nowadays it’s not just about warning our children against strangers in the streets giving them candy. We are facing a new menace which is even more dangerous, as it doesn’t show its face, or at least it doesn’t expose it publically.
Children and teenagers of this generation use and master at a much better level than their elders the new technologies (smartphone, internet, forums or even dating sites that they visit more and more precociously). They thus become the prey of masked digital hunters who use many different identities and infiltrate all social networks visited by minors (children and teenagers of both genders).
These cyber-predators reach for their goals with seduction, adapting their language to the profile of every child they want to prey upon, borrowing words, ways of expression, pretending to share interests, carefully weaving their web to tighten their grip. This first phase is essential to the cyber-predator, as he or she (though they are generally male) needs to build up trust and entertain the possibility of a secret romance or, depending on the circumstances and the evolution of the exchange, he might apply pressure on his victim through blackmail or threats.
In the second phase, cyber-predators start to skillfully and cunningly ask their victims to show themselves naked (partially or totally) in front of their webcam, generally through communication programs like Skype. Most children end up cracking to the perverse demands of these predators, who can then threaten to publish online the naked pictures or videos they have of them if they don’t pose even more obscenely or even perform degrading sexual acts on camera.
It’s at this point that the victims, some of which may have still believed in good faith that there was affection or even a blossoming love story between them and the cyber-predator, become aware of the dire situation they’re in and fall into a phase of shame and guilt, regretting their actions. Filled with anguish, terrified and ashamed, they worry that the people close to them, and particularly their parents, might somehow “stumble” on those pictures and/or videos.
Sleepless nights and depressing thoughts feed on each other, mantaining the state of mental confusion of the victims, joined by a surge of self-hatred which sometimes causes aggressive behavior, senseless in the eyes of friends and family; whence the need to react promptly and appropriately.
What to do when faced with these situations?
Advice to minors or young adults on the Internet:
Never reveal your personal address nor that of your school nor your real name
Never take part in sexual relationships online
Never accept to get naked in front of a camera or webcam
Never share, send nor exchange personal photos/videos online with people you don’t know, especially if you appear in them naked (partially or totally) or in suggestive situations/poses
Advice to victims of cyber-predators:
Don’t panic and try to keep a cold head: take the time to assess your situation
Record and save most of your conversations/exchanges, even those who seem trivial
Don’t give in to blackmail of any type
Don’t submit to orders given to you anymore, even if threatened with the publication of your photos or videos
Try to not show any fear or hesitation to your persecutor and threaten to tell everything to your parents
Don’t be ashamed nor afraid to confide without delay in the people you trust the most, your mother, your father, your siblings… Whatever the relationship you have with them may be, even if you’re at each other’s throat, your parents and your family in general will almost always turn out to be your strongest, most reliable support
Know that the sooner you file a complaint, the greater the number of potential victims you will save, some of the more fragile of whom might even have ended up committing suicide
Finally, never hesitate to write or otherwise contact me in case of need or emergency, so that I may advice you, guide you and support you in your initiatives (see my contacts at the end of this message)
Advice to parents or people close to victims of cyber-predators:
If your child is involved:
Refrain from inflicting a moral judgement on your child/teenager, whatever you discover of him/her or about him/her; don’t forget that he/she is still young and feels ashamed enough already. You would risk setting him/her up against you and lose his/her trust
Put yourself in a position where you can listen to him/her and be his/her confidant. Be a role-model as an adult by keeping calm and reasonable
Do not give in to anger. It’s useless and can be even counter-productive
Show him/her that he/she can count on you to be protected
Collect as much information as you can on the cyber-predator and his actions. Don’t put your child to blame if it looks like he or she might have consented by him/herself to unhealthy activities, even anticipating their request: never forget that your child has been manipulated
Take your child to the closest police station to file a complaint. The charges will be filed by the authorities of the State depending on the qualification of the acts committed and the particular circumstances of each case
Avoid at all costs to inflict any reproach about the facts to your child: he/she suffered enough already
Once his/her status as a victim has been recognized, do everything in your power to help your child move past it: little by little, awaken his/her sense of responsibility and awareness of the dangers he/she may be in, gradually making him/her master of his/her actions
A video is in the making with the participation of many victims and their families to spread awareness among the internet community about the risks minors might be exposing themselves to on the web.
The President of the Blue Angel Association,
Mrs Latifa Bennari
A word from our president and founder
There is no better indication for the vitality of a country than the psychological state of its youth. It makes it possible for families, and therefore society, to exist in harmony. Protecting children from the scourge of sexual abuse, to which I was personally confronted, is a delicate and complex mission. My unhappy experience, forever engraved in my memory, has been a source of energy powering my will to fight against this often devastating phenomenon.
I worked in this field since the 70s and I observed during my investigations and interventions that pedophilia as a subject is difficult to broach, ambiguous and controversial.
Acting on the causes
Daring to talk about it means giving us a chance to treat and understand in full depth the problem of sexual abuse, all the better to fight it.
The awareness of the current lack of dialogue gave birth to the Blue Angel association that allowed me to better organise and structure my efforts.
Today I am an experienced, well-versed partner of institutions and other associations concerned with this problem.
The favor and support from representatives of the state as well as of prominent personalities in medicine, law and various social circles have reinforced my motivation to do the best I can.
The president of the Blue Angel Association,
Mrs Latifa Bennari
The Blue Angel’s approach to prevention
An unprecedented, informal methodology; dialogue groups where victims and pedophiles meet
Despite the launch in june 2014 of a “world alliance against child pornography online” between the USA and Europe, preventing the sexual abuse of children all over the world is still wishful thinking. Dealing with recidivism from sex offenders is an issue regularly brought to the attention of the public and debated upon over and over by the politicians and the medias, while the idea of preventative measures tackling the problem at the source, impeding or dissuading pedophiles (especially those who never broke the law) from ever acting out, is left untouched.
Between ages 6 and 14, I was myself the victim of a pedosexual, and since then I have wanted to understand this phenomenon to protect the children and bring them the support I had wished for at their age. I devoted myself to field work for thirty years before founding in France the “Ange Bleu” association in 1998, and I observed during my interventions and investigations that pedophilia as a subject is very difficult to broach, complex, ambiguous and controversial.
There are multiple definitions of pedophilia and they often mix together very different notions, causing much confusion and errors even in official statements.
Who does the term “pedophile” refers to?
To have a better understanding of the subject, it’s necessary to better define the term “pedophile”. First off, a pedophile isn’t necessarily a pedosexual and a pedosexual isn’t necessarily a pedophile: the term “pedosexual” refers to an adult who has sexual relationships with pre-pubescent children. He can be violent, non violent (seduction/manipulation) or “in good faith”, meaning sincerely unaware of posing any threat to the physical and/or mental integrity of the child.
The term “pedophile”, on the other hand, refers to a person (generally a man) who feels a mostly stable and defined sexual attraction for pre-pubescent children. We also sometimes refer to “hephebophiles”, who feel similarly attracted to young pubescent teenagers (around 13 to 18 years old).
We must therefore distinguish between pedophile offenders (pedosexuals) and “abstinent” pedophiles who feel this attraction and these fantasies but make the choice of never acting out on them. Furthermore, it’s important to avoid confusion with incest: incestuous pedosexuals aren’t necessarily pedophiles.
For some pedophiles, their deviant sexual orientation is an integral part of their personality and it doesn’t cause any feelings of shame or guilt. To others, on the other hand, it’s a torment, shameful and distressing. However, among medical professionals there are only a precious few who are able to tell the difference between a pedophile offender and an abstinent pedophile, prescribing to all of them the same treatments and therapies, uneffective at best.
What are those treatments? Often the same for everybody regardless of their profiles: antidepressants or chemical castration, and therein lies the problem.
It isn’t a rare occasion indeed when we treat the same way a serial rapist and a user of child pornography who never acted out in real life. So the sadist, the bashful neurotic, the pedophile psychopath, the pedophile naïvely in love, they are all put on the same level. Seen in this light, pedophiles are often subjected to insufficient and inappropriate treatments. Indeed, how could they take seriously or even give any credit to ill-advised professionals following juridical and/or therapeutical views that are often completely off the mark from the real situations of many pedophiles?
Pedophiles undergoing treatment told me many times how much they despise the complacency of these views that are so far from their actual personalities and desires, and that it’s often just to obey their sentence that they go “visit” a therapist. The situation then becomes grotesque: the therapist is engrossed in preventing recidivism to the point of forgetting the individuality and suffering of pedophile patients, who are not necessarily refractary to therapy.
So pedophiles most often find themselves facing a wall of anguish and shame, and many among them, misunderstood and ill-treated, commit suicide or start considering it as their only option. It’s surely easier to shut our eyes before this disturbing reality. But abandoning these abstinent pedophiles means turning our back on potential offenders.
Preventing recidivism doesn’t prevent the first acting out of a pedophile…
My association was born from the awareness of a blatant lack of listening, counseling and psychological support structures for pedophiles. How can we even start talking about prevention if we don’t take an interest in the people who are liable to act out on children, in their psychology, opinion and suffering?
In France and many other countries, the only form of prevention enacted is that of recidivism. Being limited to this approach is dangerous and an aberration. What does preventing recidivism imply? Waiting for some pedophiles to actually commit a sexual offense, for some of those to be reported to the police and for some of the offenders to be sentenced and forced to undergo a treatment. Apparently everybody concerned with taking charge of the pedophile offender is taking every appropriate measure: the legislators get a clean conscience by hardening the sanctions for recidivists, the justice system by imposing therapeutic follow-ups whenever judged necessary, finally the therapist by providing the treatment supposed to prevent further offenses. The pedophile is seen as inserted in the system and gets a clean conscience too by regularly sending the judge his certifications of attendance to therapy sessions. Society is reassured, at least for a while.
But as soon as any sex offender reoffends, we surmise he was a lost cause anyway and that the only solution is hardening repressive measures even more, some even demanding life sentences, for users of child pornography as well as serial child rapists. It’s very rare to hear anyone question the pertinence of the initial approach.
As for me, that’s what I do. I say that the kind of treatment imposed to some categories of sex offenders through legal action is an aberration and a grave mistake. Not only because the answer comes too late, but also because it’s often ineffective.
A proposition of a unique preventative method
I propose another form of prevention: profile study and personalized evaluation of control while in presence of children. Organisation of dialogue groups where victims and pedophiles with all kinds of different profiles (always chosen following compatibility criterias on a group by group basis) can meet in a convivial, respectful atmosphere and an absence of judgement. I experienced these groups for years on the field, seeing the reparation brought to the victims and the preventative effect on the pedophiles. I pioneered this informal methodology in Europe developping it as the core of my work, and it became a worldwide reference due to its effectiveness.
According to my extensive database, one does not become a pedophile all of a sudden at a mature age. It seems that the deviant pedophile orientation is built over the years most often since the start of puberty. I also have enough testimonies to say that a pedophile generally doesn’t act out before months and often years of living his sexual attraction for children solely in his fantasies. And I also know that many pedophiles fight against their desires to try and never have pedosexual relationships. While repressive measures are necessary, even paramount, they are not by themselves sufficient and I dare to say that in some cases they are even counterproductive. Alternative measures would be more useful and effective in many cases and they wouldn’t cost much if anything to the tax-payers.
What to do so that prevention can be more than a mere word, and stop exiting only in reassuring speeches that couldn’t be further from reality?
Canada is often considered as one of the pioneer countries in the matter of prevention of sexual abuse on children, but on a closer look it would seem that yet again their innovations concerns the prevention of recidivism and not of the first acting out, aiming at pedophiles always conceptualized as “aggressors” even if they never actually acted out. In recent years, the incarceration in Montreal of a pedophile arrested for downloading and exchanging child pornography shows in Canada the same problems in matters of prevention seen everywhere else.
Incorrect information about pedophilia sometimes causes psychosis or even hysteria in the public. As far as I’m concerned the only way to get even the first glimmer of a solution in matters of prevention is through opening a line of dialogue: breaking the silence victims and pedophiles themselves are locked into. Talking to them is already a form of prevention.
I consider that an isolated pedophile is a dangerous one, to others and himself, therefore the dialogue groups allows abstinent or ex-offender pedophiles and adults who were victims of sex abuse as children to meet, tell about their personal history and feelings, and help each other out. Indeed, the dialogue with victims allows for a true awareness of the potential damage an acting out or reoffense can inflict. A revolutionnary method with excellent results, providing a powerful moral barrier for thousands of pedophiles.
After a news report diffused in 2005 on Radio Canada that among other things presented the work of my association in France, I received many calls for help from pedophiles as well as professionals who wanted to know if my concept was going to be “exported” to Canada, given its pertinence and the absence of an equivalent there. I’m not saying that traditional therapy is useless, but that ideally it should be voluntary as much as possible, just as it is for pedophiles joining the dialogue groups of the Blue Angel: without any coercion or control from institutions or the justice system. I don’t try to provide therapy nor to substitute myself to doctors. But what is to me a key element is almost never taken into account in the medical world: the need for the pedophile to be heard and respected as a person. That is to me the essential condition necessary to eventually consider a therapy.
I also deal with a part of this problem that is still very neglected, meaning the aid to provide to the closest and dearest of pedophiles: how to accept that reality? I try to bring answers to parents with a pedophile son and overwhelmed by the catastrophic influence of most medias, or simply by the accusing eyes of neighbors. Pedophilia is a social and cultural taboo and sparks strong and often destructive reactions. But the monstruosity of the act must not make us forget that behind this deviancy there are human beings, who we have to take charge of.
The innovative action of the Blue Angel were once rejected because of its unique and unusual nature. Today thanks to some good medias and to my results, it gained the interest of institutions as well as of criminologists and profilers who want to have a better understanding of this deviancy.
Despite the promesses and the sponsoring of many representatives of state, the Blue Angel still to this day does not benefit from any subventions and the sheer scope of my action as well as of the expressed needs is beyond my current means.
I can only observe that despite my regular warnings and propositions for collaboration, no initiative, discussion or policy aiming at a better form of prevention of sexual abuse on children has been considered. In the face of the potential danger represented by a great number of fragile pedophiles whose needs are clearly stated, there has been no proposition to develop a national action similar to mine. Whereas preventing here means protecting our children, which should be a state prerogative!