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
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 ()).
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