“There is no legitimate scientific work that could justify the action of an adult with a child in a sexual relationship, because by definition a child cannot consent,” said Silberg, executive vice president of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence.
“If you look at their backchannel communications,” Silberg continued, “they have clearly stated... that the B4U-ACT public persona is to kind of seduce or groom the public into their way of thinking so that they can act. But they don’t say that on their public websites.”
Silberg, whose organization has debunked studies claiming that sexual relations with adults do not harm children, added that “there is zero likelihood of [B4U-ACT] having an impact” on the sixth edition of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973, and called any comparisons between the two as “completely ridiculous.”
Former APA president Dr. Paul Fink agreed. “Pedophilia is very, very hurtful to children,” he told CNSNews.com. But because pro-pedophilia advocates keep “hammering away with their point of view,” they could still “have a very strong effect on the people who are holding back…because they know it’s a crime and it’s sick.”
But Family Research Council (FRC) senior fellow Peter Sprigg says that “there is no question” that pedophilia advocacy groups “are taking a page from the playbook used by homosexual activists in the 1970’s” “in an effort to ‘normalize’ their sexual preference.”
“It is actually shocking to realize that there are advocacy groups which actually support what they call, euphemistically, ‘minor-attracted persons’ or ‘intergenerational sex,’” Sprigg said.
Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, agreed, noting that political activism is “a tried-and-true tactic of kindred homosexual pressure groups.”
Barber, who attended a pro-pedophilia conference in which a sexologist “admitted that it was tremendous political pressure that pushed the APA to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder,” says that such advocacy efforts are “similar factions in the larger sexual anarchy movement…Pedophiles are following the same tactics, but are being more subtle about it.”
Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc., an organization with a mission that includes “reducing acts of discrimination, hatred, and violence directed at sexual offenders,” recently hosted its fifth annual conference in California to address topics such as “public registry alternatives; sexual abuse prevention; and effective advocacy and lobbying strategies.”
B4U-ACT, a nonprofit organization established in 2003 to support “minor-attracted” clients, recently volunteered “to serve as a research gateway” for members of the DSM-V committee that develops and updates APA standards for classifying mental disorders, according to spokesperson Paul Christiano, who is a registered sex offender.
He criticized the studies used by the APA to determine diagnostic criteria because they “were conducted on people under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system, many of whom boasted aggressive offense histories,” rather than highlighting “private citizens who responsibly manage such attractions.”
Christiano, whose personal website features essays arguing for the “sexual autonomy" of children that would allow them to "embrace sensual pleasure as a birthright," says his organization is “invested in dispelling the vitriol which serves only to prevent minor-attracted people from coming to terms with that challenging aspect of themselves and responsibly integrating it into everyday life."
When CNSNews asked him to explain how pedophiles can “integrate” their sexual desires toward underage minors into "everyday life," Christiano cited the use of “counseling modalities” to encourage “mindfulness” and “self-realization.”
His group's aim, he says, is to “dismantle Marvel Comics-grade representations of the ‘Insatiable Sex Monster’” and to help pedophiles avoid “holding themselves in contempt for privately acknowledged feelings... in many cases at no risk of ever materializing in reckless or impulsive ways.”
However, on his website Christiano appeared to contradict his own argument that pedophilia can be controlled, stating that “the aroused body is too busy responding to its own pulse to attend to the social order.”
In a 2010 letter to the APA provided to CNSNews, Christiano blamed “social barriers to openly discussing my sexuality” for “four suicide attempts, three psychiatric hospitalizations, lifetime classification as a ‘Sexual Predator’ on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry for Possession of Child Pornography in 2000, five years of court-mandated therapy, and 16 job losses as a direct result of my Registry status.”
In the letter, he urged the APA to “re-educat[e] the public as to the decreased risk minor-attracted people truly pose to society.”
Sprigg was not buying it. B4U-ACT “seems more concerned about protecting such individuals from legal consequences than they are about healing their perverse desires,” he commented.