Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Christopher Nagle

A much more serious plague …

As I listened to Tim Minchin’s ‘paean’ ( HERE ) to Cardinal Pell, I was reminded of a scene of an alpha vulture daring enough to start ripping the gizzards out of a still living, but dying animal, no longer able to offer resistance.

It is not that I want to deny my feelings of schadenfreude, or my shameless pleasure at watching a public killing. I am just as fond of watching torture and the spilling of blood as the next guy.

And it just couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke … a typical ecclesiastical careerist and administrative tough guy in the corporatist mould. He suffered the little children to come to him, but insufficiently (not to say glacially) moved against the sublunary shenanigans of his errant priests, because he was more interested in protecting the church than the child victims of its agents. And like his corporate mates, when caught in a nasty ‘situation’, he resorted to plausible deniability.

But after all that there is only silence. All this does nothing to unravel the mystery of why virtually all institutions, whether secular or sacerdotal, singularly failed to deal with child sexual molestation, until the lack of incentive to confront it and the blocks that choked off public discussion of such a delicate subject were addressed and removed.

And it hasn’t been just been traditional institutions that have been laid bare. Whether it were Bill Cosby, Rolf Harris, or any of the other high profile media characters who have been (or are being) held to account for predatory sexual crimes against children, that they have been committing for decades, it is only now that it is all coming to light. And even the dear old BBC is now copping some serious flack for allowing Jimmy Savile to get away with egregious abuse of children, while everyone looked the other way.

Why did it take so long? The consumer cultural implant of shamelessly indulgent in-your-face-no-holds-barred sexistential volupturism is well into its third generation. Something more is at work than just the removal of taboos.

And why hasn’t the rock ‘n roll industry not come onto the radar, when so many of its leading and not so leading lights have predated on countless troops of conspicuously under-age groupies to tune up their instruments and bang their drums, back stage … since the 1950s?

Is it just that the industry isn’t traditional enough to attract attention? Is it that rock musicians aren’t regarded as responsible adults, or expected to be? Or is it that in that context, we are so in denial about the idea of sexually aggressive adolescent girls who have acquired a taste for older males, that we do not appear to have a word for them, because we are still pretending that we have not thrust large slabs of autonomous agency at them, and that the defacto ‘age-of-consent’ is completely out of whack with the legal one.

Some years ago I was a limo driver and had to do a near midnight pick-up of a kid from a police-organized under-age Blue Light disco in Melbourne’s Southbank. As an older man, I had to avert my eyes because the 12-13 year old nymphets were wearing clothing that was so revealing they would make a St Kilda street walker blush. If they bent over at all, one could see that they were wearing G strings! And some of them were jumping into cars with young men who plainly were not under-aged, or walking into the city to kick on. The signs of parental abdication were everywhere….

At a larger level, I struggle to understand why none of the interest groups that have been responsible for prematurely sexualizing children and bestowing quasi-adult status and rights on them; who deliberately unpicked and destroyed the screen between the world of adults and children, and the parental authority/mentoring/role templating that underpinned that; who put it about that if it feels good then it is good; who persuaded us that giving into temptation was the highest social virtue; who constructed morality, social discipline and its enforcement as ‘authoritarian’, ‘repressive’ and ‘abusive’; and who deconstructed adulthood as a cultural goal in favour of adolescence; why aren’t they in this picture and carrying some of the responsibility for it?

I have been around long enough to have been personally impressed by the number of sexual interference cases in families I have been personally acquainted with, that have produced a tangle of drug abuse, chaotic and unconscionable behaviour, depression, breakdown, suicide and very messy divorces. Blended families seem to be especially vulnerable, where there is a non-blood related older male, whose parental role is weak and poorly defined, and who doesn’t have the integrity to be an unambiguously responsible adult character in his dealings with a sexually active and negligibly disciplined adolescent daughter of his partner.

Mum might suspect, but doesn’t dare say boo because if she makes a fuss, the daughter just might take off and disappear with their mutual man. And when the young lady has had enough of him, there is always the possibility of a little blackmail to keep her quiet about ‘the sexual abuse’, which might not be exactly ‘justice’, but comeuppance will do …

Does the suggestion of permanently immature adolescent older males, lack of clear familial roles, role modelling and expectations, and out-of-control adolescence full of its rights sound familiar …? We are living in an environment where the social infrastructure is disintegrating. So should we all be acting all shocked and surprised that seriously nasty stuff is coming onto the main menu?

“That’s dynamite, isn’t it children?” “Yes Miss”.

‘Deprived’ of normal disciplines and routines of education or productive, interdependent and honest income4effort, ‘disadvantaged’ long-term welfare dependent communities get the above in spades, because individuals and familial arrangements across those communities have become just so unstable, ‘at risk’ and deprived of even the most basic moral potty training. The ordinary templates for a coherent life have vanished. That is what you get after three generations (sometimes in the same house) and 60-70 years of laissez-faire social deregulation and degoverenancing in favour of market indulgence.

Anyone who has bothered to read the 2007 Northern Territory ‘Little Children Are Sacred’ report will appreciate what can happen to welfare communities that have become morally and existentially chaotic because their system of socialization has been smashed to pieces by a culture that has replaced discipline and responsibility with disinhibition posing as liberty and indulgence posing as rights; i.e., life without boundaries.

It is quite reasonably arguable to suggest that the timing of the hideously revealing sexual molestation tell-alls that we have heard particularly since the beginning of this century, about the heinous mismanagement of paedophilia by traditional institutions, has been as much about diverting attention from the enormous problems coming out of the libertarian ‘sexual revolution’, for which social libertarians have been prime movers, as the relaxation of traditional taboos to publicly revealing all. It smacks of the same kind of melange of motivation that inspired the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission inquiry into ‘The Stolen Generation’, to divert attention and blame shift onto the traditional white racist paternalists, the crippling mess that half-cocked human rightsie libertarianism has caused in aboriginal communities since the 1970s. (See Chapter 21 of The Secular Fundamentalist: Racism, Imperialism and Sorryspeak. http://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/866716 )

Besides making the old order traditionalists fall guys for laissez-faire governance problems emerging out of the libertarian consumer revolution, there is also the incentive to use that to delegitimize them completely in order to cement the dominance of the libertarchic administration of the social order, in the welfare, educational and legal/political system. Guys like Pell and the Catholic Church represent a continuing if attenuating barrier to that dominance. And if one can stick it on them that the ‘repressive’ character of their moral code actually ‘encourages’ the very things it is meant to stop, then it is a really ‘gotcha’ moment; an opportunity too good to miss. The fact that the people running that argument represent the baleful consequences of consumer capitalism’s ‘all you can eat’ indulgence agenda, will be easily ignored or forgotten.

I am of the view that the whole area of discourse has become a rat’s nest of obfuscation, denial and the most revolting hypocrisy, all round. What is really difficult to abide is the breath taking cheek of guys like Minchin, who represents a libertarian culture that is literally shredding our social commons. And he has the nerve to heap all the disgrace and discredit for that on one institution, as personified by the awful Cardinal Pell.

From the late sixties through to 1980, there were around 3800 Catholic priests either in parishes or orders and one submission to the current Royal Commission estimated the rate of paedophile offending amongst that cohort at between one in fifteen to twenty. That sounds like a lot until one starts to do a bit of research to find what is going on in the larger culture. Statistical analysis is extremely difficult because of the extent of under-reporting, but Bravehearts Inc reports an almost eye-popping prevalence of sexual interference with minors across society.

What is particularly difficult for Pell and his like was that not getting rid of rampant re-offenders like Father Gerald Ridsdale meant an ever-widening trail of destruction that went on for decades and left behind hundreds of victims. Not all of the perpetrators were as egregious in their offending. And for some, the old process of confession, repentance, penance and forgiveness may have been enough to stop them.

We will never really know.

But from what I can glean, that problem of lack of reporting is writ large. There seems to be a chronic unwillingness to report such crimes across society. So many of the offenders are spouses, relatives and old friends-of-the-family. The family priest is just one of many in that circle of trust who gets ‘access’ to children. And if they are suspected of ‘inappropriate behaviour’, that closeness and aura of trust makes it hard not to trigger disbelief, give benefit of the doubt, or ‘chances’.

It is really hard to go to the police and make it a criminal matter, even if absolutely certain that the worst has happened, because the family becomes so totally publicly exposed and loses all control of what comes out in the process. And then there are the potential for tough and bitter recriminations about how gullible and lacking in judgment others in the family were for not seeing the troubling signals much earlier. Or worse, it might come out, or be suggested that the evil practice was tolerated. Silence…..

No one is suggesting that the overwhelmingly main body of people working in the Catholic Church were anything but decently conscientious Christians committed to doing right, according to their lights, just as everyone is averting their eyes from the very large consequences of turning our system of social reproduction into a desert of dysfunctional and chaotic behaviour, because the only governance that is left, or allowed, are market forces.

Church celibacy and repressed Catholic sexuality are just part and parcel of the weft and weave of a much more serious plague.

The intersection of the axes of the end of cultural silence about traditional sexual abuse on the one hand and that of the rise of a culture of disinhibited abuse of the social commons on the other, is not explained merely by the end of sexual repression and shame, any more than it is by the emerging loss of social and moral compass that the consumer revolution has brought in its wake. Both sides trade in silence and silencing. Ideological correctness and moral commandism isn’t anybody’s monopoly.

Repression of sexual feeling is only ever partial, no matter how vigorously that is prosecuted. But equally, to pretend that a sexual free-for-all is going to lead to honest virtue, beauty and light, is the worst kind of self-serving blather.

What is lacking here is perspective. These days it is almost impossible to explain why in our immediate past, across the board, dealing with awkward questions about very perverse sexual behaviour has been so difficult.

As the nineteenth century moved towards its mid-point, Charles Dickens wrote passionately about the poverty and abuse of children as the industrial revolution unfolded a generation before, but of sexual abuse he was silent. It was not just that his bourgeois readers would have found such a subject too hard to countenance, but the society had very strict rules of engagement with children that robustly kept them out of the world of adults at any level. Children were told nothing about sex until they were ready to marry. Even then, they were only informed of as much as was necessary to perpetuate the species.

I remember my own father’s attempt to explain to me the ‘facts of life’ in the early 1960s. He told me the mechanical details and that was it. Some years later, he observed that my attitude to women was ‘a bit mechanical’, but it would never have occurred to him to nuance the very difficult and complex politics of men and women. Perhaps he couldn’t.

And without denying that there was a deeply subterranean and shadowy underbelly to bourgeois respectability, reinforced by a good measure of hypocrisy to conceal it, sex as a subject and concern had nothing like the preposterously over-inflated sexistentialist aura of indulgence and public interest that it does now.

Sexual repression, inhibition and guilt were everything they were cracked up to be, as were the dramatic social repercussions for scandalous behaviour, as was the shocked anger that drove them. A great deal of social effort was expended in suppressing the unwanted ‘side effects’ of sexual feeling and practice, because they were seen to be a threat to good moral governance.

To put it in Freudian terms, the super ego (armed with nothing more than consequential reason) was considered to be necessarily in charge of our behaviour, egoism was discouraged as threatening to other regarding behaviours and the id (that has all the powerful hormonal juices in its care) was considered to be a monstrous and dangerous grotesque that needed to be chained and locked in the cellar of our being, at all times, except for legitimate nuptials as part of evolving family life, by populating it with children.

There were no excuses or mercy for those who failed to curb their non-legitimate sexual appetites, because everyone understood the necessity for moral compliance, no matter what it cost; i.e., the personal struggle that everyone endured to meet the standard expected of them. Celibacy outside marriage and continence within it were non-negotiable bottom lines, and, if discovered, failure to observe that would bring deep and enduring social disgrace both to the offending individual and their entire family.

Sex outside marriage was considered heinously unconscionable behaviour. Interfering with children would have been off the map. It would have been treated with the same shock and incredulity as displayed by Queen Victoria when told about lesbianism. Children were regarded as a gift from God that could be painfully easily removed by Him. On average between a quarter and a half would be taken before they reached adulthood. Christians on the whole tried to give them the same God-fearing virtues that their own parents had tried to drum into them, because it might make the deity merciful. And while life for children could be pretty tough, it was stable and run by adults who seemed to know what they were doing and for the most part, certain about what they stood for.

But like any places on the margins, orphanages and places for the destitute would be work faces that would test the rectitude of those ran them. Few of the normal familial and community checks and balances would be available there. Anyone who was an abuser would get opportunities that they would find nowhere else. And of course, in retrospect we can now see that this would likely attract predators.

The predator would be working in an environment that even under the most favourable circumstances, it would be hard to articulate dissent or distress. There was no language of sexual discourse that was not too highly charged to be of any use. It would be as excruciatingly difficult for child victims of sexual interference to describe what had happened to them as it would be for those who had to listen to their terrible tales. It would be a kind of metaphorical flaying on all sides. And how much more hopeless would be if the matter did go to court and the child had to go over the hideous business in an incredibly intimidating public place, only this time face cross-examination by a defence lawyer?

And then, even worse, they would have to go back into the institution and be forever a marked person to be sniggered at and ridiculed for something that was too difficult to deal with for others and left them with the blame. And the institution itself would share that same odium in the public realm, no matter what they had or hadn’t done.

And because the only sexual display and conversation that occurred (and probably not very often even there) was in the marital bedroom, no-one except prostitutes and courtesans showed any trace of their sexuality in the public realm. People had to be very careful in public not to give anyone ‘the wrong impression’. Everyone subscribed to the dominant morality. And they went to church on Sunday, with all the expected sanctimony and appropriate sentiments. So it was always going to be really hard to believe something completely mortifyingly at variance with that, unless the source of information was ‘reliable’, or they were caught in the act. And how reliable would a child witness be considered to be and what sort of standing compared with an adult would they have? Not very and not much.

What if the child had ‘imagined’ it or was making it up? How would the accused person ever recover their reputation with even a hint of a suggestion of improper behaviour attributed to them? Even if found not guilty of any crime, they would still have to leave their community and very possibly emigrate to foreign parts, because their social reputation and that of their family would be damaged beyond recovery.

To confront an institution with an accusation of sexual interference with a minor by one of its servants was like walking into a room with a live grenade, minus the safety pin and the time delay fuse. Everyone would be in line for a spray of shrapnel, burns and blast injury, no matter what they had done or not done. If even a hint of such a scandal ever surfaced, it would spell ruin. So it should be no surprise that everyone would be diving for cover and trying not to vomit during the subsequent panic attack.

Such an extremely compromising and explosive accusation that came out of a place in human character that the society was trying really hard to keep contained in the subterranean netherworld, was bound to end in silence, because there were no mechanisms that had any hope of dealing with it without enormous collateral damage and trauma. So the overwhelming administrative response would be to flick pass the problem to someone or somewhere else.

In the case of the Church, there was also the problem protecting the privacy of the confessional, the hope of repentance and the prospect of divine forgiveness. No one had done the research on just how intractable sexual offending can be, even amongst people who really do believe in the wrath of God and the inevitability of facing eternal damnation for their sins. Even if their offending caused them terrible anguish and guilt, it was not enough to stop all too many of them repeat offending, over and over again.

The kind of supervisory regime that will deal realistically with sexual offenders has only very recently been put in place, mainly this century. And at least in part, this has come about because the sexual politics of our age have become such a mess and the opportunities for malfeasance so extensive and inviting, that intensive indefinite supervision is the only answer. Dealing with criminal sexual deviance can now mean a life sentence, both in and out of jail, until death.

We have only now given institutions permission to deal with sexual issues openly by providing them with pro-active, secure and legitimate procedures that will insulate them from collateral damage, as long as they act in an appropriate and timely fashion. They get motivated to report by being given credit for vigilance. Children now can feel confident that they will be taken seriously, treated with respect, care and kindness; that their privacy will be protected as much as possible and the entire affected community will support and cherish them.

But above all, the larger affected community can have some reason to have confidence that despite the emergence of a rent in the social continuum, there is a safe containment system to deal with it and move on with minimum distress and disruption.

And we need all that because we are now saddled with a global paedophile industry through the internet, which despite intensive policing, seems to be evergreen, despite vigorous international efforts to break up the rings. We live in a world drowning in pornography of every type you can imagine, and then all the stuff you haven’t. When paedophile rings are broken up, it is remarkable how socially diverse the accused parties are; many of them apparently reputable and respectable people.

Such supportive and carefully crafted infrastructure was not available in the traditional world. It would be altogether too much to suggest that it largely didn’t need it, because the industrial revolution displaced millions out of very long-standing and secure village infrastructure that ‘looked after its own’, and thrust them into much less secure urban environments, which had to scramble to assemble often very ad-hoc responses to the enormous displacements that rapid urbanization caused. And whether it were dealing with toxic water-borne health problems, the grinding poverty of wage earners, the inadequacy of traditional charitable services, the explosion of prostitution and venereal disease, demands for better education for industry or orphanages and workhouses for children with no family or adults with no job prospects, it was an enormous experiment that had to be dealt with as it went along.

But nothing could prepare anyone for the sexual revolution that came in the wake of the emergence of indulgence capitalism after World War 11. All institutions were vulnerable to it as they struggled to come to grips with a world where all the traditional norms where being pulled to bits. And it wasn’t just the incoming external pressures, but internal shifts to try and accommodate the new realities. The Second Vatican Council under the aegis of Pope John XX111 tried to institute a more flexible and open system, but its effects were traumatic and weakened the administrative structure by loosening the grip of its defence systems. Indulgence capitalism thrives on weakness and celibacy was just bound to be a leading edge.

Celibacy has always been a ‘challenge’ for Catholic clerics. During periods of institutional decline, as in the late medieval period, sexual malfeasance in the Church had become commonplace. That contributed to the emergence of the Reformation and once it was underway, the Counter-Reformation brought in its wake a very thoroughgoing clean-up and shake-out to ensure that what territory had not fallen to Protestantism was kept in the fold. And that tradition carried through the nineteenth and into the twentieth century; very strict.

The effects of that tradition were very noticeable, even as late as the 1960s. I got to know Catholic young men as a result of being a neighbour of theirs next to my family’s holiday house. They particularly enjoyed subjecting women to ‘black acts’, which were practical jokes designed to humiliate them. The Christian Brothers who had taught them at school had done such a thorough job of making sexuality an object of guilt and shame that they just couldn’t deal with women in a normal fashion. And in the 1960s, instead of good little Catholic virgins to contend with that they would have had to marry to get to first base with, they were surrounded by an environment dripping with forbidden fruit.

They had even less idea how to deal with that than I did.

And slightly earlier, during a cadet military training camp, I got a taste of the terror and distress of a Catholic boy who had been subjected to nothing more than a homosexual ‘pass’. I thought at the time it was a bit over-the-top, but then I had no idea of just how pervasive the use of guilt and fear of damnation was in the Catholic system.

And at this level, the failure of Pell and his fellow bishops to really come down fast and hard on deviants within their own ranks, takes on a special significance. I doubt that if a priest had sodomized me I would have been as permanently scarred in quite the same way the Catholic kids were, because for me, sex just didn’t have quite that negative compulsive and repressed significance that it did for them. And priests never had much influence on me. But if I had been interfered with by someone of enormous ‘divine’ authority that I absolutely trusted and who had taught me that disgusting homosexual sex meant hellfire and damnation, and I totally believed that, there is no language that could describe the kind of catastrophe that that would represent. Every time a coconut; maximum damage that would totally destroy the victim’s existential infrastructure. It was a bit like murder, except that the victim wasn’t dead.

But no-one was prepared for the sexual revolution that started to hit in the middle twentieth century. Two world wars and a depression had already caused tectonic shifts in social behaviour, but the rise of pleasure and satisfaction as the apotheosis of a good life just cut the heart out of boring self-denial. I felt that as a young man in the late sixties and early seventies, and so did some of the men of my generation, who went into the Catholic Church. With the pill and abortion-on-demand, rapid sexual satisfaction became a non-negotiable bottom line, because if one met resistance with one date, there would always be someone else, who would deliver … And for Catholic priests who had the same attitude, they were like foxes in a chicken coup.

The excuses by Pell and his like for inaction seem weak and pusillanimous now because we live in a sexuality saturated world with mechanisms for dealing with some of its worst effects. Their enemies have used the opportunities created by that inaction to reputationally ruin them in exactly the same kind of way that traditional society would have done, if matters had come out when they should have, and in ways that would tar and feather all the good works that an entire generation of religiously-motivated people tried to give to their fellows and their community.

And worst of all, this has been twisted and mythologized to look as if there was rampant sexual interference with children because celibacy and repressed sexuality are an open invitation to abuse, and by implication, the sexual free-for-all now in ‘progress’ will ‘solve’ all these problems.

Guys like Minchen aren’t just hypocrites, but delusionists of a very modern kind, as if the pot can possibly call the kettle black, and expect to get away with it for long.

And as to Pell, may his soul acid burn in hell …

David Marr, Guardian: George Pell wasn’t much interested in stories of abuse by priests. Which was lucky for his career … Had Pell made a big fuss about the abuse going on all around him as a young priest, he would not be at the Vatican. But as he told the royal commission, he stayed clear of such ‘sad stories’

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  1. Lynne Newington

    March 12, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Yes Peter, it is a bit of a nuisance.. I hardly ever send links, but when I’m passionate about something I pull out all stops…..
    Poor Lindsay……

  2. Peter Bright

    March 12, 2016 at 10:53 am

    #55 Lynne Newington – the best I can do is to offer readers this link ..


    … where the editorial to which you refer in the second dead link at your #43 may currently be found by scrolling down four items, but in clicking it on Gordon Moyes’ site I get red malware warnings from Avira (which I don’t have) but which my Trend (which we both have) ignores.

    I suspect the graphic content referred to within the above link is what jams the works and sets the alarm bells off.

    The Internet has becoming a damnable place loaded with increasingly serious problems, but when it works well it’s fantastic.

    Even so, life was so much simpler when I was a kid!

  3. Lynne Newington

    March 12, 2016 at 8:23 am

    #52. Not sure what the problem is Peter I’m fully protected by Tend Micro Maximum Security and there’s nothing found there. It appears to be spasmodic and everything goes through Junk Mail so I can screen what I receive before opening.
    I have no problems this end.

  4. Lynne Newington

    March 9, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    $41. Lyndal I saw it too, by accident and was going to send a link to TT for this article, thanks for your inclusion. I had connections years ago with children unable to hear and speak and it broke my heart seeing what had been done to those depicted in the documentary and the difficulty for them even as adults to get their message across…..

  5. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    March 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Isla, parenting manuals are a long way down track. Parenting has been nobbled at all sorts of levels.

    See the link below:


  6. Peter Bright

    March 9, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Thankyou, Lynne.

    In trying to correct your second faulty link at #43 I was rapidly scared off with bright red warnings about malware.

  7. Isla MacGregor

    March 9, 2016 at 10:11 am

    #42 I could not agree more with your statement Christopher [i]Sexual malfeasance and the drug trade are emblematic of a society that has lost control of itself because it has deliberately eliminated inhibition and converted individuals into narcissistic egos, that are incapable of seeing anything but themselves. [/i].

    I was interested to hear Hugh McKay speak on radio a couple of years ago about the problems associated with the parenting skills of the baby boomer generation. He said words to the effect that the mistake many parents made was wanting their children to develop [i]self confidence[/i] but forgot the need to instil and develop [b]self control[/b]. Hence your elimination of inhibition and rampant narcissism. That the ability to [b]self control[/b] was more necessary in learning social skills and developing strong relationships. This was a problem for people of my generation and many have experienced the consequences – even ourselves or with our children.

    We now have the benefit of being able to analyse trends in parenting methodology but it seems that there is insufficient reading material readily available or promoted through family planning, doctors surgeries, hospitals and schools. This sort of parenting manual needs to be simply written and accessible to all.

    Practically speaking – how can we do this sooner than later?

  8. Lynne Newington

    March 9, 2016 at 6:51 am

    49 @ Peter Bright.

    Thank you Peter it’s been a difficult transaction….

  9. Peter Bright

    March 8, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    The content of the link offered at #43 but reported at #45 and #46 as non-functional may be accessed here ..


  10. Lynne Newington

    March 8, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Mandatory reporting and the damning facades of the professed are well and truly expressed in the articles I have submitted if you read them.

  11. Simon Warriner

    March 8, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Lynne, I have seen my fair share of dysfunction over my lifetime, and am skeptical enough of religious organisations to look for it behind the facades. In this case there was no facade that i could spot, and I was not given the “carefully guided tour” during my many contacts over 2 1/2 years. The difference was a genuine preparedness to consider and inquire about other experiences from those within that community.

    It is about values, professed and expressed. The two need to be a true reflection of each other. Its like recognising serial liars. the two sides of their faces are never a mirror image.

  12. Lynne Newington

    March 8, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    45. @Christopher. A pity the link didn’t work the content worth reading and relevant to thoughts on mandatory reporting.
    Looking up the lead headings would take you to articles, a bit of a nuisance I quess.

    *SMH National: Churchs-clinic-shielded-paedophiles.
    *Gordon Moyes: What to do with serial paedophiles.

    An interesting sentiment of your grandson, reminding me of my youngest son as a four yr old when advised not to do something and when not heeded causing a negative result, turning on his heels stating “now look what you made me did”….Priceless aren’t they.

  13. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    March 8, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks Lynne. Your first link (43) doesn’t work but the second one does. It was good to see the latest stuff as it is some years since I have read up on mandatory reporting.

    It is obviously the only way forward, but it comes fraught with its own problems. And the necessity for it comes with a society that has completely torn up its social and existential templating, other than what is necessary to produce production drones and shop troops.

    When traditional social norms were given the boot, the market took over and now we are confronted with the enormous task of recapitalizing our reproductive commons with new traditions, regulatory mechanisms, training, accounting and auditing, and enforcement.

    We just cannot expect that after getting rid of the patriarchy, laissez-faire re-organization was going to sustainably restructure domestic arrangements. It hasn’t. We need new reproductive partnering and parenting templates that will reliably deliver desired outcomes on an intergenerational basis.

    And if we don’t do it, we will end up the same way as the Great Barrier Reef; screwed. One cannot expect to deregulate any commons, whether ecological or social, indefinitely, because eventually it collapses.

    In a humorous vein, but one that illustrates the potential for deregulatory hazard (sort of) my three and a half year old grandson was accompanying his mother to the supermarket and while there was refused a bar of chocolate. He started to cry, turned his mother and sobbed, “Mummy…..you have ruined my life….”

  14. Lynne Newington

    March 7, 2016 at 3:05 pm

  15. Lynne Newington

    March 7, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    37 @ Christopher, a couple of thoughts on mandatory reporting…. ….http://www.smh.com.au/national/churchs-clinic-shielded-paedophiles-20121122-29sx4.


  16. Christopher Nagle

    March 7, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Lyndall, there is no easy way out of this problem. It is always going to be extremely messy no matter how we cut it.

    The nature of the agenda is always going to be explosive and it will always cause enormous collateral damage beyond the perpetrator and victim. And it doesn’t matter whether we are talking institutions or families.

    A strong compulsory reporting regime may help, but it may also produce a new class of victims who become accessories to a very serious crime if they hesitate to report out of very human fear and uncertainty. Did one imagine it? Is one in a position to absorb the damage when it all comes out? And what if the ‘victim’ turns on her mother and threatens to expose her for tolerating the mutual boyfriend? The politics can be extremely brutal…

    But beyond all those really hard questions are the much larger ones about a society where indulgence, pleasures temptation and giving into it are the primary markers of a mature consumer society. What do we do about a society that can’t deliver even the most basic moral potty training anymore?

    Sexual malfeasance and the drug trade are emblematic of a society that has lost control of itself because it has deliberately eliminated inhibition and converted individuals into narcissistic egos, that are incapable of seeing anything but themselves.

    We are looking straight down the barrel of a general loss of social governance as a result of now almost completely deconstructed social infrastructure in favor of market signals.

    Pell and the perpetrators he protected are just emblematic of a society in general that is falling to pieces. And in the end, the only way to fix it will be something really draconian like Sharia Law, or similar. And we can be guaranteed, even at this range, that whatever it is that is brought to bear on these issues, it isn’t going to be exactly a fun exercise.

    If nothing changes to head that off, that is where we will be going because there won’t be any choice.

    And what if you are wrong and allowed paranoia to do the thinking, or perhaps malice…. ?

    At another level, what does all this stuff do to normal interactions between adults and children? We all have to start being a lot more careful with them in case someone gets the wrong idea. Open friendliness and expressions of tenderness towards them has now become dangerous.

  17. Lyndall Rowley

    March 6, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    To all participating in this particular forum,

    I’ve no answers for what we need to do as a society to address paedophilia. However, I’m certain that its practice is a criminal act, and that those in authority who stand by and effectively enable paedophiles should also be subject to the law.

    I watched an ABC2 TV ‘Sunday Best’ show last night called Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa. For those that missed it and have good internet service it can be seen on iView http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/sunday-best-silence-in-the-house-of-god-mea-maxima-culpa/ZX9431A001S00

    The show demonstrated the institutional protection of paedophile priests and their superiors in possession of that knowledge (or rumours thereof). It also demonstrated an alarming but familiar pattern of denial by all, as well as shifting priests around and eventual cushy retirement due to illness, almost exactly the same as that revealed in our own Royal Commission.

    So I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a waste of time expecting the Catholic Church to clean up its own act, even after this latest disgusting and unforgivable Pell expose.

    The only other approach is to make it more broadly mandatory to report to the appropriate authority* if anyone has any knowledge or suspicion of child abuse, including inappropriate behaviour towards children let alone actual sexual acts. People like Pell must be clearly obligated by civil law to hold paramount the protection of children above any church law or concerns for negative consequences to their organisation or work colleagues. Harsh penalties for non-reporting must also apply. (*There are different authorities for each state & territory. Perhaps it might be easier to report if a 000 call could be made to the police, or even a national hotline?, who then are obligated to put people in touch with, or pass on the details to, the appropriate authority for investigation).

    In addition, I’ve learned that there is no consistency between the Australian states and territories regarding legislation covering ‘Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect’. There is even a separate federal legislation on the subject. In some states, it would appear that there is no explicit legal obligation for a religious leader to report child abuse!

    According to the Australian Government’s Child Family Community Australia website: “The main differences concern who has to report, and what types of abuse and neglect have to be reported. There are also other differences, such as the state of mind that activates the reporting duty (i.e., having a concern, suspicion or belief on reasonable grounds – see Table 1) and the destination of the report.”


    So, apart from some of the excellent suggestions in the comments within this forum, I think it would also be useful for there to be consistent state and federal legislation with mandatory reporting (with non-compliance harsh penalties) to include religious leaders and church volunteers, and scouting organisations etc etc – that is anyone in any institution/organisation that involves children. No-one and no organisation should be exempt.

  18. Christopher Nagle

    March 5, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Isla, the decriminalization of dangerous and disabling vices is the standard mantra for a consumer society that is only interested in its pleasures, regardless of how disruptive and disempowering they are. Consumer societies are about satisfaction of demands, regardless of what they are or do to us. If it feels good, it is good, and if it turns a dollar, it is just another form of ‘value adding’.

    The use of the terms ‘abuse’, ‘violence’ and ‘victim’ have really reached their use-by date. They have become ideological cliches. They assume a completely one way active-to-passive process, when in fact they are highly dynamic feedback loops. Counter-intuitively It is our nature to cleave to powerful experiences, even if paradoxically they are unpleasant ones

    The problem with these terms is that they are turned into excuses that suspend moral judgment, as if there were no fundamental touchstones of right and wrong; or if you like, safe and hazardous.

    If we are to get out of a pattern of intergenerationally repeated vice, we have to set some bottom lines that we vigorously defend against all comers, regardless of what has happened to them.

    One cannot break a cycle or a habit unless one is prepared to break something. Smashing existential ‘pottery’ into powder, wetting it back into moldable clay and rebuilding a new vessel is sometimes the only way change can happen. Sometimes repairs are just not enough.

    I like to use the word ‘interference’ rather than ‘abuse’ because one is crude battering whereas the other is transformational. ‘Violence’ implies only blows, denies the importance and/or relevance of agenda context and how that mediates the way they are absorbed. ‘Victims’ aren’t merely passives. They too have powerful agendas. That is why the relationships between oppressors, victims and rescuers are so fluid and interchangeable. I have worked as counselor and I have been there.

    I am totally with you in standing fast against the Amnesty push to decriminalize prostitution. Commercializing our reproductive instincts is never OK because it corrupts them, damages the commons and undermines the politics of life giving. And we go after the customers of this trade with the same alacrity as the suppliers, only more; perhaps a tattoo on the cheek with a female symbol superimposed on a dollar sign. A few of those on the streets of Melbourne would really focus the collective mind.

    Sharia is a bit too old fashioned for me, but an updated and secular version would be excellent. To hell with the utilitarians.


    Having said that and meant it, there was an experiment some years ago with apes, training them to understand the use of exchangeable token currency. It had to be stopped because some of the females started to trade tokens for sex…

  19. Lynne Newington

    March 4, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    @35 Simon I quietly shudder when reading of the glowing reports on off the track christian communities many exhibiting the external signs mentioned in your 3rd paragraph.
    Catholicism has it’s fair share and it’s not until you scratch the surface and caught up with them it’s true colours come through then it’s a hell of a job to shake off their influence.
    I’ve known more than one who still carry the scars causing division within families and spiritual upheavel and no accountability without fear of those who have done the damage.

  20. Simon Warriner

    March 4, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Christopher, you might find some refuge/pleasure/solace/support/inspiration in the writings of John Michael Greer, starting at his blog here: http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com.au/

    His take on the value of religion is very much yours, as far as I understand you both.

    He has a great deal to say about the future and what it might look like, and what we need to do to make sure it is worth sticking around for. Unfortunately he is a bloke, but so is roughly half humanity. He is also a druid, archdruid actually, but don’t let that put you off. His writing is well worth the effort, both commentary and fiction.

    It is interesting that the Rocky Cape group were so readily accepted by the Circular Head community, and I suspect the reason is because that community can see the value of the model being used and appreciates it being so openly displayed.

    Until we can address the problem with our current political leadership I see no hope of progress, and can only suggest preparing for what comes next as best one can. Greer has much to say on that topic )preparing for what comes next), and it is not what most would expect.

    I have in the past suggested a strategy for improving the quality of political leadership, but as yet it does not seem to float high enough in the tide of refuse that is political ideas to be seen as useful. Ultimately what is required is a critical mass of individuals to yell “enough” and create a nucleus of action on to which others can attach. Unfortunately it seems part of the human condition that the vast bulk are followers, and not able to self direct.

  21. Christopher Nagle

    March 4, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Simon, I am of the same view as you; a secular admirer of religious communities that are in good shape and delivering the existential security services that all beings need.

    Atheists tend to see religion as an almost exclusively ideological package about cosmological beliefs that create an impression of a magical relationship with an invisible force that actively influences the fortunes of history.

    And because these religious beliefs are represented by pre-modern institutional structures with ‘traditional’ values and practices, their secular utilitarian opponents are keen to politicise the failings that inevitably appear as they are overwhelmed by the most powerful consciousness reducing machinery ever to curse our species.

    Disinhibition and indulgence are infinitely more effective and disabling weaponry than the crude terror of the traditional political autarkies.

    Mao only managed to reverse the role of adults and children for a decade, but was forced to retreat from that because of the chaos he caused. In the west, the ‘children’s revolution’ goes on, like an infantile plague that mystified dorkasaur parents have no idea how to deal with because they have no idea how their political overthrow happened, or that they were even overthrown.

    And if they resist, it isn’t the local Red Guard chapter that visits to rough them up. They are simply turned into clowns and fools who are their own worst enemies; a very nice, supremely elegant, absolutely devastatingly and thoroughly apolitical evisceration of their standing as adults. I’d take the beating anytime…

    Religious communities inevitably feed the myth that religion is about Godbothering. The reality is Deities and magical stuff at the bottom of the proverbial garden is a much smaller piece of the action than it appears.

    What religion delivers, when it is working properly and not under siege by voluptuarism, the pleasure principle and the impossibly naked egoism and inconsequentiality that accompanies it, is goodness, virtue, integrity, selflessness, authority and powerful infrastructure to resist the inevitable temptations to undermine those things.

    And the best of them are very careful to build that into their children so that they become similarly robust characters who can carry the good messages forward and minimize the bad ones. And they do it in a community setting where they are not alone to wrestle with their beast-in-the-basement, that can sometimes overwhelm even the best of them. No one is immune to weakness. And they have mechanisms to try and recover their weaker members through ownership of the problem, repentance, punishment and forgiveness.

    I would assert that the main reason fundamentalist religion has made such a spectacular comeback from the garbage bin of history is that consumer societies are going existentially and socially bankrupt. And if we seculars want a piece of the twenty-first century post-modern action, we need to start building some suitably robust vehicles that can weather the storm and rescue millions of existential desperadoes in need of salvation.

    When the flow of games and distractions provided by the proud sponsors start to dry up, it will start to dawn on the average punters just how profoundly broke they really are….

    If we seculars do not get up to speed in time, my best guess is that Islam will clean up. I have taken the trouble to start reading the Qur’an. It is militant and detailed in its prescriptiveness for every aspect of life. It offers order and security in a world descending into chaos.

    The Nazarene passivist tended to speak in general principles that he left for his followers to tease out later and add a bit of Roman legionary militance to facilitate an imperial ideological expansion program while they were at it. It isn’t as streamlined as Islam. And the only reason Christian armies prevailed over Islamic ones was the advent of modern systems and technology. As the modern period starts to implode, that advantage will disappear. It is already starting to.

  22. Isla MacGregor

    March 4, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    #12 Thanks Christopher. It is of interest that between 65% and 95% of prostituted people have been sexually abused as children. Yet too few people make the connection between male entitlement to purchase mainly women for sex and the circumstances which effectively provide the pre conditioning for mainly women entering the sex trade: being sexually abused as children, mental health problems, poverty,drug addiction, homelessness and sex discrimination. The neo-liberal push for deriminalsiation of the sex trade does nothing to address the issues around child abuse of prostituted people. Nor, for instance,the fact that many women enter the sex trade at the age of 14. This is child abuse! Nor has legalisation decreased the stigma for women in the trade but the taking of tranquillisers, to endure the harms, has increased as has the incidence of PTSD. There is a continuum operating here across the full spectrum of issues and ongoing harms around child sex abuse be it in the Churches, families or the sex trade. So it is timely to look at the issues of social degovernancing and the need for a new system of social authority to regrow a healthy social commons post the environmental apocalypse we are heading for. And I consider that in this new system there will be no place for a sex trade.

    #33 When working with the Tasmanian Coalition for Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse – CICSA – in 2003 we made it abundantly clear that we wanted a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse across the board. Not only in the Churches. This really would have provided an opportunity to work on some of your suggestions for action Ruth. What we now have unfortunately is a piecemeal approach to the issues. Most instances of child sexual abuse occur in families and many of the perpetrators were abused as children themselves.

  23. Simon Warriner

    March 3, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Bravo, Christopher Nagle, Bravo.

    You have described the present state of society well. The real question is how we get the reins back from the wreckers and turn things around.

    I have had the privilege of observing the christian community at Rocky Cape over a few years, and it seems to me that they embody the sort of values and structures you describe. The quality of thought and conversation I shared with members of that community were first rate, all members of that community were valued, well cared for and contributing, and they had a peace and confidence about them that was a pleasure to be around.

    I don’t subscribe to their religious beliefs, but those aside their way of living had much to commend it, and their children were really capable individuals in a way most children I know are definitely not.

  24. Lynne Newington

    March 3, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    You’re absolutely right Peter and your sensitivity is to be commended in relation to “what it means to be a man” on either side.

    And as far as the rule of law “Don’t mess with children”, they keep clergy at least separate I’m told, they call it being “wired” when they get their hands on them.

  25. Ruth

    March 3, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Unfortunately , paedophiles are very good at targeting vulnerable children , so l will make the point , again , that l think the solution has to start at the parental level . How about this idea ? What if schools have a parenting course , compulsory for both genders – perhaps over the course of a year , teaching both physical and emotional aspects of raising secure and well-adjusted children.. ?

    Also , children will be taught what to do in the face of an approach by a predator – even if that predator is a figure of trusted authority .

    We have to start somewhere – if paedophiles are faced with well-adjusted children armed with a security in knowing other adults will support and believe them , then maybe this will reduce the problem. We can talk about this for weeks or months , but let’s , in the process , put our heads together to start solving it.

  26. Pete Godfrey

    March 3, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Christopher, you are obviously a well educated person, unfortunately I am a bear of little brain.
    I cannot read what you write without my head going into a spin.
    The way I see it the church and the other institutions that have allowed paedophilia to flourish in their ranks have let down the whole of society.
    As a man I feel really upset and angry when I think of what they have done. The have degraded what it means to be a man, they have lied to all and used their positions of power to shield those in their ranks who should have been brought to justice.
    Worse they have used the trust their positions give them to damage children, to destroy their innocence and the trust they have that they will be cared for and protected by adults.
    Having worked in prisons for a short time, I can tell you that there are two rules that are sacrosanct there. 1. Don’t Dob. 2 Don’t mess with Children.
    Children have a right to feel protected and cared for by adults, all adults that is. We have let them down.

  27. Christopher Nagle

    March 3, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    The kind of indulgent laissez-faire social libertarianism that has so corrupted political discourse since the end of World War 2 needs be dumped, as does The totalitarian system of sales and marketing used by laissez-faire libertarian indulgence capitalism to shrink down mass consciousness to the level of contractor drones and shop troops.

    People who have what it takes to rebuild robust versions of social power and authority will need the courage and conviction to call the bluff of constituencies that have become so intellectually and morally blunted they can no longer tell the difference between rights and entitlement, toleration and indulgence, liberty and licence, discipline and repression, toughness and abuse, chastisement and battery, fairness and special pleading, justice and sectional interest, equality and creative equivalencing, just cause and excuse making, compassion and a soft touch, flexibility and weakness, individualism and egoism.

    Social authoritarians assume that there is a balance between individuals and their social commons, but because the latter has been so badly mauled, its reconstruction will require a shift of attention and resources to that sector. The utilitarians are just going to have to take a rain check until we can be confident that there is a sufficient balance to guarantee responsible agency; i.e., that liberties are properly underpinned by the responsibilities and obligations that make sense of them and a social commons that can enforce them.

    Everything costs. There are no ideological freebies. You have to qualify for adult rights by doing the training, meeting a standard of mature judgment, being subject to regular auditing and accountability, and if not up to scratch, get some rehab or lose them.

    Social Authoritarianism means no more privatization of the ecological, economic, social or existential commons. We are going to be spending perhaps the next millennium rebuilding them. Social authority cannot function properly without such a reconstruction effort and is vulnerable to collapsing into warlord/gangsterism if there isn’t a powerful body of custom, precedent and an authoritative constituency to mediate its power.

    The modern period is probably coming to a rather sticky and violent end. And when that happens, we are going to find out just how motherless broke we really are, at all levels. People are going to ask themselves why our generation couldn’t see the ramifications. They won’t understand the lack of preparation. They are going to condemn the blindness of yesterday’s apparently otherwise intelligent people; people like the wretched Cardinal Pell today.

    The rebuilding of social authority and its commons will be as key to our well being as rebuilding what is left of our equally ruined ecological hinterlands.

    Regards, Christopher

  28. Christopher Nagle

    March 3, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    OK Isla…authority…authoritarianism…power…Here goes…

    Part of the problem of discussing the subject is that the language has been so debased by turning key terms into badly worn cliches that substitute themselves for properly articulated discourse ‘Authoritarian’ has been turned into a boogey word which just ends conversation. And that is what the intention is.

    Authoritarian simply means the exercise of social authority in the same way that ‘judgmental’ means the exercise of judgment, or ‘prejudice’ which means the ordinary articulation of beliefs and values that ground ideas by providing our intellectual modeling with its fundamental parameters without which thought would be impossible.

    Power is the capacity to coerce through the use of force. Any social instrumentality that cannot enforce its edicts is a paper tiger whose fiat and authoritative standing is worthless. Authority is the legitimate face of power, which is designed to transform coercion into governance with a rules based system that can gain the consent, respect and collaboration of the governed, and be replicated from the top down to the grassroots.

    This notion of social authority has been rendered obsolescent by devolving it into an opaque system of control that seems spontaneous and self activating. It spreads through social and commercial propaganda machinery that seeds ideas and practices through public relations and marketing strategies using peer groups, media mouthpieces and iconographic imaging . It is one of the most completely totalitarian mechanisms ever invented because its subjects have almost no idea how deeply they have been colonized.

    Libertarians have contributed to this process by systematically demolishing and discrediting systems of social authority, discipline and control that obstruct or slow down the market penetration of goods and services, and challenge the process of social degovernancing and disinhibition in favor of markets, the privatization of the social commons and a culture of indulgence parading as rights and entitlement.

    I am suggesting this system of social management is so narrow in its intent, it leaves vast territories of human sensibility in a state of decay, that over a 60-70 year period has turned the city of the imagination into a chaotic existential slum in the grip of profound chaos and dereliction of all the most fundamental things that make life valuable and worth living.

    One can be surrounded by all the glittering prizes of the market place, but still live in the valley of the shadow of marginalization, in the most degrading and desperate poverty.

    In this context, ‘authority’ takes on a special significance as an escape route that enables communities to regroup, re-establish their own internal coherence, repel market pressures, redesign, recapitalize and re-regulate their social and reproductive commons, establish new rules of conduct, benchmark their standards, account and audit performance and enforce bottom lines by whatever means are reliable and sufficient unto the day.

    And the goal of the procedures and process that produce and justify this mechanism of authority is to ensure a system of social reproduction, which represents around half our collective net wealth, that can consistently produce intergenerational product that is secure, robust and informed by top quality sociophilic values.

    Individuals will be valued not because they are vessels invested with rights but because they are invested with all the attributes that that make sense of those rights and the integrity of the social commons that underpins them.

    This will be a system where people have embedded in them the qualities of personal authority, integrity and stature; what the Romans called auctoritas, dignitas and gravitas.

    When a child sees a parent whose character is populated with these qualities, they will see a figure that is larger than life, absolutely reliable, consistent and having emotions that are iconic to the childish imagination, whether they be embracing love or wrath; i.e., a figure who will rule their imagination and mentor them right into their adulthood, so that they can deliver the same high standard of service to their children, when their time comes.

    For me, authority and authoritarian systems represent the first move to get the merchants and money changers out of the temple of life. They have attacked not just its ecological foundations, but its existential infrastructure as well. And if we are to accomplish anything in this regard, we will need to have the utmost discipline, unity of purpose and a robust command systems. The reconstruction of social authority will be an absolutely necessary project to get this done and fixed.

    cont …

  29. Isla MacGregor

    March 3, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    #26 You might be interested to read about the work of people – men and women – in the National Organisation of Men Against Sexism in the US – nomas:


  30. Isla MacGregor

    March 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    #26 You make some valid points Ruth.

  31. Lynne Newington

    March 3, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Going over David Marr’s article on Cardinal Pell and reflecting on the responses to questioning and his claims of having the backing of the pope, it reminded me of then Cardinal Bergoglio, twice invoking his right under Argentine law to appear in an open court in relation to his role during the dictatorship and when he did, accused by the attending attorney, of being evasive and more concerned with the image of the church.

    It all sounds so familiar to me anyway…..Cardinal Pell has now bent the knee and Cardinal Bergoglio became pope.

  32. Ruth

    March 3, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    To Simone , Isla and others , while l agree that men are responsible for the majority of sex-crimes , it is up to all of us , both men and women , to come up with the solution .

    This is about how our society portrays violence and subjugation , and how we as individuals feel inside about ourselves .. It is about parenting and education , and learning how to control ourselves.

    It is about the individual , both male and female ,feeling so good inside that the very idea of harming another never enters our minds . It is a complex problem that needs to be addressed by both genders , and needs to start at the parental level .

    Let’s please try to understand what’s happening in the minds of perpetrators , then we can begin to see how to fix it .

  33. Isla MacGregor

    March 3, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Christopher, in your vision of the [i][b]not[/b] brave new world[/i] of the hoped for future, as a self confessed [i]authoritarian[/i], how and who do you envisage will determine how a healthy social commons will function? And – who will be the [i]enforcers[/i] – beyond the Churches, our current deficient educational and flawed adversarial health, legal and parliamentary systems?

  34. Mike Bolan

    March 3, 2016 at 12:21 am

    #22 Thanks Christopher. I base my critique here on a particular understanding of human organisations, how they work and what creates dysfunction and collapsing standards.

    I understand what you are saying and I do not hold to moral relativism (negotiable morality? optional ethics?) and I do not accept that raping children (or whatever) can be socially acceptable; or that an organisation that represents itself as some mouthpiece to God and that issues moralistic edicts (no sperm wasted) to the rest of us can ‘negotiate’ its standards to include criminality and the destruction of children’s personalities and lives.

    While I can understand that the Church may find it difficult, I don’t care – I believe they have a duty to live by the same rules that they hold for the rest of us. I hold the same standards for judges and so on (I realise some of the problems here John H)

    The nazis were full of explanations, expiations and excuses for their various inhuman pogroms in the 30s and 40s. It cuts no ice with me I’m afraid.

    In a social system, a standard for one should be a standard for all. The church and many governments have breached social trust and accepted norms. If the Pope wished to atone for this criminal sleaze, he’d immediately reinstate human standards by comprehensively rejecting pedophilia and criminal behaviour from the church – permanently. The alternative is to accept a continuously declining standard likely to lead to ever greater degradations in a downward spiral of decay.

    #23 Perhaps you’re right. I don’t know what other people’s response to shite is, but mine is to keep flushing until its gone!

  35. Simon Warriner

    March 2, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Mike, 19. I think the problem is not a toilet full of shite, but more a receptacle that has been presenting itself as the finest of fine china, full of the best of food, which has now been revealed to be little more than a chamber pot, and yes, it is full of shite.

  36. Christopher Nagle

    March 2, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Mike, one of the points I was trying to make was that the Catholic church has not been able to insulate itself from the the laissez-faire libertarianism and sexistentialist free-for-all that has cursed consumer societies since the 1960s.

    Even if the stats that 1 in 15 to 1 in 20 Catholic priests has been involved in variously ‘inappropriate’ sexual behavior with children, this has to be contextualized in relation to the rest of society of which they form a part.

    This whole area is plagued, right across the board, with under reporting and a culture of silence, because the issues are just so hard and the ordinary inhibitors that may have once caused adults to hesitate a bit more before embarking on such crimes, are so undermined.

    And during the period when much of the offending is being examined, the puritanical counter reformational strictness of the church was clearly wilting under the new pressures, which were causing tectonic stresses underneath its moral infrastructure that literally irrupted through its face.

    The rest of society has been analogously affected. And what is so devastating about it is that the crime is so catastrophic, yet it perversely appears in places of maximum child access and community trust; spouses, relatives, friends of the family and yes, the family priest.

    It would be easy to deal with if only most of it were stranger danger. But most of it isn’t. The overwhelming offending is done by people who already know the victim well. So it has this terrible propensity to not only damage the child victims, but blows up the social infrastructure that is supposed to protect them into the bargain. The perpetrator has mined it. Inform the police and up she goes….

    The silence difficult to fathom until you probe the kind of dynamics driving it. The silence of the Catholic church is par for the course and for exactly the same reasons.

    Gerald bloody Ridsdale and his awful little mates knew they had the church by the proverbials…

  37. John Wade

    March 2, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    “I doubt that if a priest had sodomized me I would have been as permanently scarred in quite the same way the Catholic kids were, because for me, sex just didn’t have quite that negative compulsive and repressed significance that it did for them. And priests never had much influence on me. But if I had been interfered with by someone of enormous ‘divine’ authority that I absolutely trusted and who had taught me that disgusting homosexual sex meant hellfire and damnation, and I totally believed that, there is no language that could describe the kind of catastrophe that that would represent …”

    This narrative explains itself perfectly well, I am confused as to how it could be misread.

    And, oh yes, the nuns did have their moments. I clearly recall …

  38. Lynne Newington

    March 2, 2016 at 11:42 am

    @2 davies; I concur a thought provoking article written by Christopher whom I have to admit I haven’t come across before and kudos to Tassie Times for printing it.
    And David Marr…..he can always be counted on.

  39. Mike Bolan

    March 2, 2016 at 11:42 am

    I must admit that I don’t understand the standards that are being applied to pedophiles and others by the churches (or the governments). For the church to become a haven for pedophiles repudiates their very reason for existence, it is the reverse of what the church should be about according to their own teachings. Yet the systems within the church have allowed eduring networks of pedophiles to destroy the lives of children and others over decades. These are the people telling us how to bring up our children and how to live our lives!!?

    How can we ever trust anyone in the Church as long as it continues to protect these vile individuals and their foul desires? Why has/is the church tolerating these people in its midst? God might be merciful, but I don’t recall a tolerance for deception, rape and pedophilia in biblical teachings.

    As long as the church wishes to be seen as a ‘sacred institution’ then it must cleanse itself entirely of this plague, and reform its structures and systems to assure that it can never again be a haven for the evil foulness that it has spawned. With the pimping out of an underage state ward in Tasmania, the role of governments and authorities also comes into serious question, particularly given the government’s muted response.

    To me, until there’s serious and complete housecleaning by the organisations involved, most of the supposed discussion is flummery, evasion and justification.

    When the toilet is filled with sewerage it needs to be flushed completely.

  40. Christopher Nagle

    March 2, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Look Annette, I have no interest in trading insults with you. I am looking for an argument that teases out our disagreements.

    And if you are into accusing me of making unsubstantiated claims, you might care to close the issues off by doing the very thing you suggest I should be doing.

    Make your case, because as far as I can see, all you have managed so far is raise prejudicial reasoning (something I know you must abhor in others) and the stereotyping ideological cliches that come with it…sexist (discredit by sexual status/association), racist (discredit by my skin color) anti western (discredit by cultural association), classist (discredit by socio-economic status) and oh we could throw in ageist, because I am 68 and obviously too much of an old relic to take seriously.

    I think we have here all the bases covered for common or garden bigotry, but more than that there is the intellectual laziness that that involves, because it saves on having to mount a real argument or think about the hypocrisy involved in what you have just tried to do to me.

    I am sure you have plenty of excuses and authoritative sounding rationalizations.

    You are obviously used to getting away with that which isn’t brazen cheek so much as the magnificent assumption that you have already won the verdict of history. Ipso facto, everyone else is either in league with dark forces and/or an incorrigible fool.

    I am totally gobsmacked than anyone could be possessed of such hubris. Andrew Bolt might be able to match you out, but only just. Give the issues we are wrestling with here some respect by putting up a decent argument that takes us somewhere, instead making this into just another crummy little ideological spat.

    Thank and thank you again for your magnificent support against a silence that would have warned most editors away.

  41. davies

    March 2, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Quite happy to have degrees of separation from you Mr Nagle. I don’t agree with you on a number of issues but nevertheless I was impressed with your very interesting article.

    I think you will find that others brought up climate change first. I know how it upsets them to think that the world is going to end because we refuse to modify our emissions of plant food (C02). So I wanted to allay their fears.

    The study I mentioned has Michael Mann as a co-author. You know, the guy that invented the hockey stick graph. I am fairly certain he could not be accused of taking money from oil interests etc. In fact, he would probably sue you for inferring it since suing people is one of his all-time favourite hobbies.

    Perhaps you are unaware of Gillard’s time as an organiser at the Socialist Forum. A group set up by communists, Bernie Taft one of the key players and from memory a National Secretary of the Communist Party. Gillard spent 10 years with the Socialist Forum and her past was well known in the Labor Party.

    So yes Gillard was a communist.

    Progressives have been targeting the family unit for decades. Please do not call them social libertarians. They are authoritarian little bullies with no knowledge or understanding of libertarian principles.

    I fail to see how marketers (are you meaning those that favour a free market economy?!) have targeted the traditional family unit. Libertarians talk about individual and family rights over State rights. And with these rights come responsibilities not indulgences.

    As for Thomas Sowell (don’t worry he is black so he is allowed to talk about stats involving black people), I was illustrating what happens when governments try to take over the parenting role. I will make myself clearer next time.

    I believe we are now formally separated…

  42. Christopher Nagle

    March 1, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Andrea…You quite correctly draw attention to the way I advocate both openness and control, liberty and discipline, freedom and responsible agency….I bewail how indulgence capitalism has so successfully chopped off the second bits as part of turning us all into vulnerably egoistic voluptuaries.

    The only way women are going to get a sniff at equality is if the boys get the necessarily robust training that ensures they know for absolute certain that they are not the center of the universe and that they have to negotiate and service the reasonable needs and ambitions of their women folk, without having to be asked, chivvied and fought with to get them recognized and done, in a timely fashion…or else. I am an unabashed authoritarian. Bottom lines plus enforcement equals results.

    And no, when it comes to dressing, women currently display their sexuality and men display their power. I want much less sexual display and a lot more male power sharing. It is much easier to take women seriously when there is no temptation to ogle them. And they have a lot to gain by dressing for power instead. It is possible to do both, but the politics are tricky.

    Sexistentiality is a bogus rip off ideology which says ‘I am my sexuality’. Sexuality is a subset of gender which is a subset of character. It is not unimportant, but sex and sexuality have been grossly inflated cultural objects because they service consumer indulgence capitalism. It is the ultimate expression of false consciousness, self indulgent and sloppy behavior, and it is ideological blather of the very worst kind.

    Gender is a thousand times more important than sexuality. And character is a thousand times more important than gender. If your character development is right, the beast in the basement will do as it is told…most of the time. A well trained character thinks of others first, waits to be fed last and always tries to do right, even when under fire.

    Pell is not a strong character.

    The ‘sexual revolution’ was a diversionary squib to screw women literally and metaphorically by forcing them into sex on demand by playing them off against each other, using their sexuality as an icon of a mindlessly vacuous consumerism and doubling their workload by keeping them on at home while getting them into the workforce as well. The feminists were done like a dog’s dinner.

    No Andrea, the fox and chickens analogy was strictly in reference to priests who had had enough of the nasty old ‘repressive’ counter-reformationary strictness eroded out of them in the 1960s and given enough prompts to ‘relax’ a bit by the well meaning Pope John XXIII, to become dangerous when left alone with children, ‘given’ to them by parents who had an almost childish trust in their sacred office.

    Now I know you might think that there is a bit of pontificating going on here. And I am totally shameless. We need heaps more of it.

  43. Christopher Nagle

    March 1, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Andrea, I am not an expert on Freud, but your claims about his treatment of infantile sexual interference with particularly women in relation to their fathers, is a matter of ongoing debate. You speak of the matter as if it were settled. It clearly isn’t.

    Secondly, my lack of ‘a coherent understanding of structural power relations between the sexes- namely the top-down , male over female reality’ is in the context of an article that has been as much about homosexual child molestation as anything else. All the priestly offenders in the teaching orders were working in all boys schools or orphanages.

    And from what I can glean, a lot of the Diocesan offenders who did stuff in the privacy of the confessional and presbyteries weren’t that fussy about which sex it was. They were into children generally. The 2004 Jay report in the US indicated that 81% of the victims were boys.

    But, the abuse of children by nuns has been something of ‘a sleeper’. There are lots of reasons for this, but my researches tell me that so far there has been a lot of under-reporting of sadistic sexual behavior by nuns inside schools, but particularly orphanages.

    To suggest that I have tried to ‘blame the victims’ for being turned into objects of pornographic attention is fanciful. Nor was my description of the Blue Light disc nymphets even remotely ‘lascivious’.

    On the contrary, While I deeply resented being sexually jerked around by 12-14 year olds dressed like prostitutes, I have more than made it plain that they have been manipulated into that by much larger forces who have used adolescent consciousness as a leading edge for a culture of disinhibition and indulgence, which is a necessary precondition for the administration of an all out consumer society.

    What I was witnessing was the disgusting and disempowering cultural expression of consumer capitalism and the systematic destruction of the capacity of our biologically generated system of social reproduction, to lead and mentor its falsely puffed up adolescent progeny.

    My point about catholic boys, their sexuality and their attitude to homosexuality, in the context of a sexual revolution that hit them from stage left, was that they had no preparation to deal with it on any level. They were full of sin, guilt, hellfire and damnation, but surrounded by forbidden fruit. And if a bloody priest got to them the trauma was going to be double double.

    It is not that being sodomized as a child wouldn’t be traumatic in any event, but for the catholic kids, it wasn’t just humiliation, pain and anguish, but an existential/religious catastrophe into the bargain!

    To be continued next post…

  44. Christopher Nagle

    March 1, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Pell’s lack of interest at ‘a sad story’ derives from the fact that the guy is a corporate careerist. And to a large extent, anyone who gets to the most senior level of a very large corporate entity has to be, whether it is a church or BHP.

    If Pell had taken the sort of interest that would have ‘made a difference’, he would never have become a prelate. There was so much invested in not dealing with the issue, that anyone who did was going to be marginalized. The Church establishment would have closed ranks against him.

    The reason for that state of affairs was that the issue of child molestation by priests was so appalling that any attempt to root it out would cause so much collateral damage it would been potentially every bit as ruinous then, as it is now.

    They knew that once they opened this can of worms there would be no end to it. And the risk might be that historical victims would start coming out of the woodwork, just like they are doing now.

    Cans of worms are like that. If you owe the bank a relatively small amount of money and you can’t pay, you are in trouble. It is only a can of worms for you. If a priest is found to be siphoning funds from the church poor box, well he is just a small beans bad apple; a mere petty thief who has to cope with all the consequences of that all by himself.

    If you owe the bank a huge amount of money and cannot pay, the bank is in trouble. And that can of worms won’t just be about not getting the money back and the effects of that on the bank’s balance sheet, but very awkward questions arising out of the management culture and history that ‘let this happen’.

    There is no place in hell hot enough for a priest who sexually molests children, and the heat from that is going to burn everyone who ever had anything to do with him, if it ever gets out. And if it does, it will very possibly ruin the only capital base that really matters; trust in the divine mission.

    For a careerist, Pell’s position on this was cast hopelessly between a rock and a hard place. If he had been an unworldly priest, he would have gladly sacrificed his life for the awful truth, as the saints of old did, but he would never have got past being a parish priest, or a humble teacher, somewhere extremely obscure and hot, like Somalia.

    You have to wonder how any of Pell’s vehement critics would have fared if they had been in his shoes….

  45. Annette Cauchi

    March 1, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Christopher, I think you have missed the point of Andrea’s comments. She was giving you feedback. Perhaps your own prejudices have prevented you from seeing this.

    Critical analysis of your article reveals that your arguments are filtered through a political position that you have not acknowledged, or possibly even realised. Have you considered the extent to which your status as a white (I am guessing), Western, middle-class (also a guess) male leads you to make unexamined assumptions, such as the assumption that other ‘right thinking’ people would ‘naturally’ agree with you? Or the influence that your privileged position at the centre of society has on your understanding of marginalised positions and the lived experiences and ‘truths’ of less privileged groups?

    What you have failed to grasp is that Andrea has stated her theoretical perspective and that this strengthens rather than weakens her argument. Thoughts, opinions and anecdotal observations do not make an argument, and the fact that someone disagrees with you does not make their position meaningless or make productive discourse impossible.

    Your article is full of unsubstantiated claims and this reveals an underlying assumption that your thoughts must be correct because they are your thoughts. Your careless assumptions about about the psychological effects of being sodomised by Catholic priests is offensive and ignorant. You may now claim that you were misunderstand but you have a responsibility when being published to make your arguments and context clear to the reader. Perhaps you could enlist the services of a competent editor to help you formulate, organise and express your opinions more coherently.

    It appears you cannot respond analytically to Andrea’s criticisms, and are instead relying on your fallback position of white, Western, male privilege to be dismissive and condescending.

    Mmm that sounds familar…

  46. Christopher Nagle

    March 1, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you Isla for your excellent work at expanding what I said into a more international perspective. It was something that I did not pay enough attention to.

    In particular, I also did not pay sufficient attention to the issues of sexual trafficking and enslavement, both domestically and internationally. It is close enough to the questions of child sexual exploitation to get aired.

  47. Christopher Nagle

    March 1, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Davies, we seem to have some agreement on some things but I would like to put a few degrees of separation between us on some of what you have to say.

    No, there is no good news on climate change, except stuff that has been manufactured by neo-conservative free market lobby groups paid for by the Koch Brothers, Exxon, The Eastern Coal Council et al. They do not represent the science and have a chronically bad track record of misrepresenting and distorting it. I’ll take my climate science from CSIRO and NASA if you don’t mind.

    I do not know why you introduced that one, unless you follow the Pell line on climate change.

    It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the history of Marxist Leninist movements. The ALP was never ‘a communist’ movement.

    Up until the nineteen seventies there were a few Marxists on the left of the party and in the union movement, but after Whitlam came to power, they were marginalized out. Jim Cairns had to become a neo-liberal to be treasurer. To suggest that Julia Gillard was a communist is FANCIFUL.

    And while the social libertarians within the welfare state have contributed to the smashing up of the reproductive commons, by far the largest element in that emanated from the assembly of the ‘consumer society’, which is an economic component of indulgence capitalism.

    The marketers have been the primary pushers of converting freedom into disinhibition and rights into indulgences. The social libertarians merely helped unpick and discredit socially generated forms of authority and disciplined behavior that might interrupt the processes of deregulation and privatization of the social and economic commons.

    I have no idea what I said that prompted your remarks about Afro-Americans, but what you have to say is so garbled, I do not know where to begin. Let us stick to the subject at hand and talk about that at another time, OK.

  48. Christopher Nagle

    March 1, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Andrea, I do want to give you some feedback, but I am struggling, because there seems to be such a large disjunct between your criticism and the object of that criticism.

    To be blunt, it seems to me that your prejudices; i.e., your underlying narratives, are so overwhelming that they effectively pre-filter what you are supposed to be looking at.

    For instance you completely misunderstood my comments about being sodomized by a priest. You both misrepresented what I actually said and missed what I was driving at, because you were not following the context.

    You are using me as grist for your mill. And the reason is that your own ideological software is cherry picking so that it will fit into an already set up scenario.

    Thus it doesn’t matter what I say, unless of course I completely agree with you.

    And the reason this is clear to me is that I am guilty of doing the same from time to time. It is poor practice and a bad habit that is difficult to get rid of completely. So I hope you take this in good part, as it is meant constructively.

    I will try and respond in more detail, if for no other reason than to clarify to other readers how much of what you said might be relevant to them.

  49. davies

    March 1, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    I think the ‘all men are bastards and all men are rapists’ line is a great starting position to work out some very complicated multi-generational societal issues! Must be why it is so hard to conceive that women can and do murder their husbands on occasions.

    The point I got from this article is that the sexualisation of and abuse of children is at least partly caused by the continual undermining of the traditional family unit, and yes that is father, mother and kids.

    Governments have for decades strived to replace the traditional family unit. The Safe Schools is just the latest example. The femi-marxist who helped design the program is quite open in saying the Safe Schools Program is designed to change society. As Gillard’s communist group stated so clearly in their posters around campus ‘marriage is rape’. Obama in his last campaign quite gleefully outlined that a woman having a child, out of wedlock, would be looked after by government welfare throughout her life. Isn’t that comforting knowing you can be on government welfare your whole life. No self-esteem issues there!

    Government, particularly when ruled by so-called progressives, wants to be THE parental figure in a person’s life. And hasn’t that been a spectacular success!

    Thomas Sowell points out that black people in the US are poorer than white people. But married black people are just as well off as white people. But sadly, there are a greater number of single parent families amongst blacks and that is why they are poorer. As an aside, he also points out that the unemployment rate amongst blacks was LOWER than whites all the way up to the introduction of the minimum wage. It has been higher, and considerably higher, ever since.

    And good news on global warming! A study out recently has confirmed a pause in global temperatures over the last 16 plus years. I know what your thinking but you would be wrong. One of the co-authors is Michel Mann…

    This is an interesting article that requires some thought and discussion. It will require people to think outside their comfort zones.

  50. Isla MacGregor

    February 29, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    George Pell when questioned in the Royal Commission today about his knowledge of the child sexual abuse said

    [b][i]It’s a sad story I just wasn’t interested.[/i][/b].

    This remains the prevailing view of most people across the globe to the issue of sexploitation of either children, women or men. It is not an acceptable view for Pell or anyone.

  51. simone

    February 29, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Indeed Isla. I can’t separate the sexual abuse and disregard of women and children (and some men), and environmental disaster from capitalist-patriarchy. I do not have all the answers but I firmly believe that single-issues such as this inquiry- while terribly important- need to be seen in the far bigger picture. I don’t think the author’s intent was hypocritical, but the unintended hypocrisy is sadly ironic.

  52. Isla MacGregor

    February 29, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    #3 Yes Simone – very correct in pointing out what I failed to name – the group of people from which the vast majority of the perpetrators come from – a group of people which constitute 49% of the world’s population. The group from which own 90% of the world’s wealth – the wealthy who control the market economies of the world, and remain silent about the global multi billion dollar pornography and sexploitation industry – the same who prevent us from tackling climate change. They also happen to constitute the majority of representatives in the world’s parliaments.

    You are right Simone – it is men. But this issue goes beyond what many will criticise us for – naming – men – but how are people going to join the dots between their passionate outcry’s about environmental destruction of our planet and the simultaneous rising incidence of sexual assault on children and women especially.

    In Tasmania it would appear for many to be a classic case of NIMBY. For others I speak to it is such a huge and horrific spectre they just shut down. How will we move from a shut down attitude if we are to stop this global abuse and violence after the historical blip of the Australian Royal Commission?


    February 29, 2016 at 6:08 pm


    of which
    do not

    out of
    to some
    the darkened
    of rooms


    of which
    do not

  54. andrea

    February 29, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Christopher- you seem unable to point out hypocrisy (which feminists are able to do) without managing an even modest insight into coherent structural power relations between the sexes- namely the top-down , male over female reality. While you are correct that social mores and conventions made the hiding of sexual abuse inbuilt into the societal fabric- it is common knowledge now, for example, that Freud believed his patients when they spoke of sexual abuse by their fathers but was persuaded to completely re-write his first revelations of this abuse and pervert it into the imaginings of penis-envying, unexpressed desires of the abused to be abused and *poof* suddenly it was all in their heads! Now, it was maintained by society which was underscored by patriarchy. It still is.

    You manage to acknowledge ever-increasing wide-spread pornography yet also place the blame onto the victims themselves. There is a word for the 12 year old girls you so lasciviously yet with open hostility described – ‘hyper-sexualised’, probably already sexually abused.. They are also children and they are also vulnerable. I don’t know how you manage to be so offensive- you appear to have no capability for self-reflexivity beyond that you’re ‘a bit mechanical’ with women.

    You even managed to miss the mark in describing the added dimension of shame and guilt the sexually abused Catholic boys endured by stating you would have been fine being sodomized really… what? Would you? And is this what male sexuality is really all about?

    You seem to acknowledge without wincing that society must be open and at the same time tightly controlled without stating that men are the problem. You state that “prostitutes and courtesans” displayed ‘traces of sexuality’ rather than indicating the men who used and still use them are displaying theirs!

    I think you see clearly that male sexuality is dangerous and sado-masochistic- and not just in the Church (I don’t think anyone but men could come up with the the worship of a naked, crucified man, or practices of bloody self-flagellation to’cleanse’ themselves of ‘sin’)-yet you manage to do that without seeing that women are secondary beings and claim we are simultaneously equally participating in repression and/or sexistentialism (great word- if only you were referring to SEXISM!)- as though there is no top-down,male over female structural oppression. Yes, I know you touch on it but so vaguely and even then you manage to contradict it within another paragraph.

    You name the pill and abortion rights for the sexual abuse women encountered in that poorly named “sexual revolution”- How you can can say “Foxes in the chicken coup” while putting it equally on the chickens is mind-boggling.

    Basically, you have some good points to make and second wave feminists have been making them more succinctly for about 5 decades. And without the vile, moral glee/almost ‘blue-balled’ insight sitting within some nicely, sometimes even beautifully written sentences.

    Nagle-gazing is not for the faint-hearted, and strong as I am in many ways, waking up to this made me feel ill.

    It didn’t take endless passages of pontificating to know the serious hypocritical authoritarianism of the left and the equally self-inflated authoritarianism of the right did it?

  55. simone

    February 29, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Great comment Isla, and who creates this demand? It’s men no?

  56. davies

    February 29, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    A very interesting and thought provoking read. Well done TT for putting it on your site.

  57. Isla MacGregor

    February 29, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Christopher, your critical analysis as ever draws our thinking on the Royal Commission to consider the historical cultural developments preceding the current global outing, not only in the Churches, of the sexual abuse of children and also adults.

    Minchin may well write his song about Pell but who in the arts industry is writing songs about the 26,000 girls who are trafficked out of the Sundabans into the big cities in India or the 15,000 girls and women who are trafficked out of Nepal every year into Cambodia, India and South Africa to be sexually abused – and some to be abused by sex tourists – from Australia? The numbers of trafficked children and women globally is truly horrific.

    In this post sexual revolution period in the 21C, with increasing reported instances of sexual abuse of children and women especially, some countries are attempting to tackle the issues at a cultural change level and others are not. Changes are sweeping through Europe that are causing the profiteers in sexual exploitation grave concerns and the backlash is everywhere to be seen in our media.

    It is all our communities as well as nation states which are taking no action on these issues whose reputations are in tatters for as long as they fail to act on stemming this tide of sexual abuse and pornstitutional abuse of children, women and men.

    Yes Christopher it is a much bigger picture, that starts with analysing the causes of the [i]demand[/i] side of abuse of children and adults
    and what cultural changes are needed to [i]stop demand[/i]. Then we might begin to see some progress as is now underway in nations such as Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Canada and in March and April with land mark legislation expected in France and Eire.

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