Editor's Note: An Invitation to an Exchange of Reasoned Ideas

Since I first dealt professionally with a child molester in 1953, I have considered it important to be able to speak with them.  I have also considered it important to begin, as Paul did on Mars Hill when first speaking to the Athenians about his faith, with some way of acknowledging their humanity and their capacities.  Some have misinterpreted and misrepresented my efforts to open up a way to challenge effectively the assumptions and beliefs undergirding adults who engage in sexual acts with children.  I have been falsely accused of approving or condoning pedophilia and some have called me a pedophile myself.  Therefore, I wish to make it clear that I have never approved or condoned adult child sexual contact.

I have not stopped seeking to speak with pedophiles because I consider it necessary to be able to engage in a reasonable discussion, even to the point of a debate, in order to understand how best to respond to a mutual benefit of the society and the pedophile.

In pursuit of that goal I have chosen to publish a sorites written by a pedophile.  I have chosen not to edit it in order to present the information just as it was written.  A sorites is

"1. Logic.  'A series of propositions, in which the predicate of each is the subject of the next, the conclusion being formed of the first subject and the last predicate' "(Oxford Unabridged Dictionary (Hardcover)).

The author, Mr. William C. Darnell, age 33, is civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person.  He was convicted in 1993 of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse with one person.  He was convicted in 1996 of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault with five different people.  For four of the charges he was sentenced to 40 years in prison.  For the remaining charge, he was civilly committed.  He cannot leave prison for 20 years, 2016, and then only if it is determined that he has recovered sufficiently to be released from the civil commitment.  If that is not determined, he will remain committed until he has recovered enough to be released.  The choice to publish this document does not in any way mean that I agree with it or accept it for anything other than an opening to an exchange that can provide some learning and understanding for both sides of the exchange.

Mr. Darnell is willing to engage in an exchange of concepts, arguments, and ideas with any who wish to respond to his sorites.  To do that, send whatever response you wish to make to the offices of the journal, 5263 130th Street East, Northfield, MN 55057-4880.  I will forward them to Mr. Darnell.  I ask that the responses be rational, and in a style of courteous exchange.  I will not forward any ad hominem personal attacks or diatribes against evil pedophiles.  The intended goal of the exchange is to provide an opportunity for increased mutual understanding.  Attacks do not serve such a purpose.

As you will see in the sorites, Mr. Darnell pursues two basic concepts, that children have a capacity to integrate sexual contact with an adult without experiencing trauma and that it can be argued they have a capacity for consent.  This is not an unknown argument.  It is basically the argument made in Sparta over 2500 years ago.  Lycourgos, the ruler of Sparta, in response, remarked that it was a fine thing to love children but that did not mean sexual acts needed to follow.  Nevertheless, the 300 Spartans who died defending the pass at Thermopylae against the Persians, thus preserving Western Civilization, were pedophiles or ephebophiles.

The next article, following the sorites, is also published with the aim of increasing an exchange with pedophiles.  It is the journal entry, written by a man who is also civilly committed as a sexual predator.  He has been in the treatment program at the civil commitment unit for two years.  He has progressed to the point where he has been able to make visits to the wider community.  This entry is his account of the first time he was out of the prison and in the community.  The treatment staff expects that he may be able to be conditionally released in about six months.  The treatment program he is in is the best one that I have seen anywhere in the country.  The only difficulty is that the politicians have not funded it sufficiently to allow for the final phase, transition into the community.  The limited funding has also resulted in overcrowding, staff stress, and overwork.

If the funding is not provided for the final phase, it may then become clear that the goal of the civil commitment is not treatment, as the constitution requires, but rather warehousing and preventive detention.

Please consider this article, too, as information which may also assist in understanding pedophiles.

Ralph Underwager, IPT Journal

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