Todd Nickerson at Salon.com follows up his essay on pedophile sympathy by attacking his critics–singling out Breitbart News’ John Sexton, who, along with Milo Yiannopoulos, undermined Nickerson’s claim of being a “virtuous” person trapped within a sexual orientation inexorably linked to an unbearable social stigma.
My article “I’m A Pedophile, But Not a Monster” was published last week and it has been a whirlwind since. I’ve spent days doing radio interviews, even an appearance on TV (HLN’s Dr. Drew on Call), but mainly just answering the hundreds of emails that have poured in. Yes, the vast majority of them have been supportive.
While there has been a visible backlash, predominantly from the political right, in private it has been a different story. This piece has generated debate and controversy all over the world, well beyond my wildest imaginings. When I first approached Salon with the idea, my editor was receptive, but throughout the process of refining the piece, she asked me if I really understood what I was getting into. Her concern was palpable. I assured her I did, which was mostly true; I had no idea it would blow up as quickly as it did, and the bigger it got, the more of a tempest it became. Even so, I have no regrets. I knew when I wrote it that it was going to be an important piece, something unique and necessary. And so it was.
John Sexton’s article for Breitbart attempted to paint me as a terrible person, since the author apparently had no good arguments against my actual position and never bothered to ask me to clarify the points he was confused about. First off, Sexton attacks me for not narking out the people at the pro-contacter forum who were supposedly doing illegal things. This is purely a straw man attack, since I never observed anyone there doing anything illegal or admitting to illegal activity (which is actually forbidden by that forum’s rules). Before I respond, I want to say that I considered naming the forum here. I didn’t want to, but since I’m being forced to defend myself on the grounds that I haven’t really been vigilant about my anti-contact position, with the implication that I was likely involved in immoral activities myself, I almost felt I had no choice. But ultimately, I decided it was worth weathering the accusations not to give that forum the publicity they so desperately seek. At the risk of embarrassing myself for some stupid things in the past, you can seek out my old Wikisposure page if you like; it’s still out there, doing its mischief, so it’s not hard to find the name of that site if you are truly interested.
The point is, the site is not in the darknet. It has been operating openly for years. With respect to Sexton’s accusations, VirPed founder Ethan Edwards said it best:
“Law enforcement and vigilantes have both known about that board for the fifteen years or so it has been operating. They have apparently not had any legal grounds for shutting it down. There is no way to stop infiltrators who are on a mission. But somehow, the moral obligation falls to each and every depressed and confused pedophile to be an infiltrator and mole? Give me a break.”
As I said earlier, I never witnessed any illegal goings-on at the forum, nor heard anyone confess to molesting kids or using child porn. What exactly does Sexton expect me to have done? I should point out here that politically, most of the forum’s membership, including its moderators, actually fall into Breitbart and Sexton’s camp: they’re raging anti-government libertarian / minarchist types who believe their oppression is largely down to a feminist conspiracy. If you don’t believe me, go ask them yourself. Anyone can sign up and post there.
Another accusation of Sexton’s is that, because I pointed out in my article that I was still posting at that place (“still caught up in the same nonsense at the pro-contacter forum” as I put it) just over a year ago, before I joined VirPed, that must mean I was still repeating the pro-contacter BS. All I meant by that was that I was still there, butting heads with them over those issues, trying to belong but also arguing with them—sometimes for days on end—over the contact issue. Trust me, they have all of their debate points well thought out. It was incredibly frustrating to argue with them, but I held out hope that I could convince some of them to see the light. I couldn’t. I used every argument at my disposal to try to win them over. When that failed, I begged them, cajoled them, even attacked them for making these ridiculous claims from behind their anonymous nicks. Nothing worked. They behaved more like a cult than a supportive community. If you didn’t tow the pro-contacter line, they harangued you constantly. They embraced anyone who endorsed their position, including a self-confessed Nazi sympathizer, until even they could no longer tolerate his drivel. And they only continued to countenance me because I’d been there for so long and had once been in their camp. They knew I had nowhere else to go, and they figured if they badgered me long enough I would eventually break. Luckily, Ethan came along and offered me an alternative, and the rest is history.
Read the rest of the article here.