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Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @
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April 28, 2005

LA Times Claim About Pedophiles Wrong

Posted by Ernest Miller

This has very little to do with the normal topics of this blog, but yesterday the LA Times (reg. req.) published an article regarding the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit that focused on their fight against child pornography (Sifting Clues to an Unsmiling Girl). They are the law enforcement organization that photoshopped the victims out of child porn photos in order to get the public's assistance in identifying the backgrounds (it worked). In any case, the article had this amazing claim:

On one wall is a "Star Trek" poster with investigators' faces substituted for the Starship Enterprise crew. But even that alludes to a dark fact of their work: All but one of the offenders they have arrested in the last four years was a hard-core Trekkie.
Wow. All but one in four years. Seemed rather unlikely to me.

So, I called the Child Exploitation Section of the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit and spoke to Det. Ian Lamond, who was familiar with the LA Times article.

He claims they were misquoted, or if that figure was given it was done so jokingly. Of course, even if the figure was given jokingly, shouldn't the Times' reporter have clarified something that seems rather odd? Shouldn't her editors have questioned her sources?

Nevertheless, Detective Lamond does claim that a majority of those arrested show "at least a passing interest in Star Trek, if not a strong interest."

They've arrested well over one hundred people over the past four years and Det. Lamond claims they can gauge this interest in Star Trek by the arrestees' "paraphenalia, books, videotapes and DVDs." I asked if this wasn't simply a general interest in science fiction and fantasy, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter or similar. Paraphrasing his answer, he said, while there was sometimes other science fiction and fantasy paraphenalia, Star Trek was the most consistent and when he referred to a majority of the arrestees being Star Trek fans, it was Star Trek specific.

A weird factoid. Nevertheless, it is not correct that "all but one ... in the last four years" was a hard core Star Trek fan.

UPDATE May 4, 2005

The LA Times is standing by its story (Star Trek and Pedophilia Claim Followup).


UPDATE May 30, 2005. 1200PT
Det. Lamond tells another reporter that the "all but one" claim is hyperbole: Hopefully the Last Post on the Star Trek/Pedophilia Connection.

Comments (49) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blogging and Journalism


COMMENTS

1. Shivering Timbers on April 28, 2005 01:47 PM writes...

From there, only a small step to "All but one of the hard core Start Trek fans is a pedophile."

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2. Timbering Shivers on April 28, 2005 03:42 PM writes...

O Irony, you cold bitch. That's not the quote either! No more than "All but one man is Pope." means "All but one Pope is a man."

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3. Seth Finkelstein on April 28, 2005 05:11 PM writes...

Interesting display of journo. The article also claims:

"Det. Constable Warren Bulmer slips on a Klingon sash and shield they confiscated in a recent raid. "It has something to do with a fantasy world where mutants and monsters have power and where the usual rules don't apply," Bulmer reflects. "But beyond that, I can't really explain it.""

I don't even recognize Star Trek in that description, which if anything has a lot of standard social rules apply, good guys winning over the monsters (I could see the investigators thinking of themselves that way). Not a lot having to do with kids either.

Maybe it's that they're capturing geeky criminals, and that type of geek is into popular SF, and will have some Star Trek stuff based on sheer popularity and extent of franchise (a long-running series of TV series outweighs the Star Wars movies or Potter books).

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4. Discoman on April 28, 2005 07:34 PM writes...

This reminds me of Dr. Wertham's famous "study" in the 1950's...he found that all the juvenile deliquents he interviewed read comics books. Well, obviously, therefore comic books caused juvenile deliquency!!

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5. spocko on April 28, 2005 07:38 PM writes...

Thank you very much for the follow up on this weird piece of information. I find the information very disturbing. As I wrote to the people at Boing, Boing this was a strange thing to focus on. It doesn't surprise me that the paper picked up on it, the love the unusual bit of data. I just worry that if this piece of data doesn't help them catch people, all it does is tar the majority of people who like Star Trek with a very repugant stigma that they do not deserve.

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6. visitor on April 28, 2005 08:46 PM writes...

Not strange a bit. Japan has long known this phenomena, called "otaku." "Otaku" roughly translates as "nerd," although in its daily usage it comes closer to "geek." Well, isn't that exactly what the trekkies are?
Otakus are said to have unhealty obsessions for robots/sci-fi animes AND porns featuring nymphs dressed in high school sailor uniforms. Some of them have been accussed of kidnapping real high school girls, so the average Japanese would actually be surprised by Americans' surprise at this rather obvious Trekkie-pedophile connection.

But why otakus/trekkies are overly interested in sci-fi AND sexualizing young girls, that I don't know, although I'd speculate that their mental age correponds to that of a 15 year old teenager. Certainly they are no Nabokovs.

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7. Jake on April 28, 2005 08:48 PM writes...

I'm not too surprised by this relevation. Obviously if you are a crimes unit that does most of its investigation over the internet you are going to find that most of the people you interact with are going to be nerds.

It's like going to civil war re-enactment to pass out parking tickets, only to later claim that everyone who illegally parks is a civil war re-enactor.

This is just yet another common case of people interpretting "facts" without questioning how those facts came about in the first place. Very standard stuff for sloppy thinkers.

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8. Josh on April 28, 2005 11:29 PM writes...

>the average Japanese would actually be surprised by Americans' surprise at this rather obvious Trekkie-pedophile connection.

This is one of the more ridiculous statements made in all seriousness that I have read in some time.

>their mental age correponds to that of a 15 year old teenager. Certainly they are no Nabokovs.

This is also ridiculous, considering that many otaku are indeed 15 years old, the poster misspelled "corresponds" and expects that anyone besides Nabokov could similarly sexualize 15 year old girls in as brilliant and literary a manner.

What a hack. Can't you excise tripe like this from your blog comments?

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9. Ann on April 29, 2005 03:51 AM writes...

And, Lolita was younger than 15. Humbert didn't like 'em when they started to look womanly.

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10. Sarah on April 29, 2005 04:17 AM writes...

Let me see, among the Trekkies I know are several housewives and mothers, a respected psychologist, a successful and gregarious bestselling writer and a lot of computer industry workers. None of them -- and I know these people very well -- having the least interest in kids beyond an interest in seeing their own kids raised and out the door to successful lives. (Also ALL of them have a mental age well above 15.)

Incidentally, the ones fascinated with Klingon are NOT interested in monsters or mutants. They are, however, to a man, interested in linguistics and foreign languages.

OTOH all of the trek-fans I know have an interest in gadgets -- what's known as "cool new gadgets" and frankly, old ones too -- so if they look at porn in any form -- possibly the male half of them do -- it's probably done on the computer.

Yep, I'd say the "finding" of this unit is an artifact of the means of catching these criminals.

I just wish people would THINK.

Sarah

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11. Smaack on April 29, 2005 04:25 AM writes...

Thanks for clearing that up. Everyone knows its really Star Wars fanatics you have to watch out for.

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12. BooBoo on April 29, 2005 04:31 AM writes...

It's interesting to see posters like Josh who are so quick to want to eliminate any opinion the he disagrees with. I found visitor's comments very general but somewhat informative and fitting to the discussion and just as deserving to be heard as any other tripe submitted by anyone else. No need to be the thought police Josh.

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13. Blake on April 29, 2005 04:32 AM writes...

Anyone else consider that the cops might tend to single out this pattern because they recognize the Star Trek franchise?

I mean, let's pick something more obscure (but more sexually oriented) like the Gor books. Would detectives notice a pattern if there were some Gor books to be found on every shelf?

I don't know what's well-known among the police force in Canada. Maybe they'd recognize Dr. Who, Thunderbirds...Space 1999. Stargate, perhaps. (It's filmed there, does anyone watch it there?) But Star Trek is pretty mainstream.

It would be highly interesting (and highly prejudicial, no doubt) to see a manifest of pedophiles' non-sexual possessions.

Cultural profiling, anyone?

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14. John on April 29, 2005 04:34 AM writes...

Strange. I knew a boy once who confided having been the victim of molestation by his father, who later died of a heart attack. He told me his father always used to plug a Star Trek videotape into the VCR as part of his sick little ritual. The boy himself could not watch Star Trek without getting seriously creeped-out.

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15. triticale on April 29, 2005 04:54 AM writes...

"Your Honor, my client's interest in these young girls is purely innocent; nothing but aesthetics and affection. As proof, I offer the fact of his total disregard for anything relating to Star Trek."

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16. bubba on April 29, 2005 07:24 AM writes...

whut duh hell y'all talkin bout?

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17. rjschwarz on April 29, 2005 07:24 AM writes...

"On one wall is a "Star Trek" poster with investigators' faces substituted for the Starship Enterprise crew. "

Okay, shouldn't the reporter have wondered a bit more about that. If all of the bad guys are treckies why would the good buys be putting their faces on a treckie poster? I would think the good guys would be disgusted by the connection if they really felt one was there.

More likely the cops know that they are getting people through computers, computer adept folk tend towards science fiction at a higher rate than the rest of the population and the linkage ends there.

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18. Lolita on April 29, 2005 07:30 AM writes...

Nabokov, the author of the novel 'Lolita', was not the one who sexualized the girl. His fictional character, Humbert Humbert, was the pedophile. It is stupid to confuse the fictional character with the author. Nabokov was not a pedophile. Humbert Humbert was the pedophile.

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19. trilobite on April 29, 2005 07:35 AM writes...

Just to keep the record clear, Nabokov was not a pedophile. Nabokov wrote about a pedophile, named Humbert. And Humbert, just to remind you, was not a real person.

I know a lot of non-pedophile Trekkies too. Though certainly there is an unusually high proportion of the socially-undeveloped in those circles.

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20. Lyger on April 29, 2005 07:45 AM writes...

Part of the problem here is that many people make the leap from correlation to definitive link very easily. Visitor speaks of "Otakus are said to" and "Some of them have been accussed of" in the first part of their post, but ends with "rather obvious Trekkie-pedophile connection" and "otakus/trekkies are overly interested in sci-fi AND sexualizing young girls." They start with what they claim to be familiar with only as hearsay and accusation, and winds up stating what they appear to understand to be facts, thus painting anyone who's into Star Trek and/or Japanese S/F anime as a potential child molester.
To be completely honest, many people make this sort of cognitive leap, and it tends to lead to people forgetting that just because two issues are corellated, this doesn't mean that there is a causal relationship between them. (Or any sort of relationship, for that matter.)
One part of the association that's being made is that there is a larger percentage of Star Trek fans in the pedophile community, than the population at large. (A related assumption is that there are more pedophiles in the Star Trek fam community, than in the population at large.) But being unfamiliar with the entire pedophile community, it's hard to really validate that. All we can really say is that among pedophiles that HAVE BEEN CAUGHT, there is a higher percentage of Star Trek fans. Perhaps Trekkies make for sloppier pedophiles than carpenters. Who knows? But the human drive to look for safety, patterns and predictability in the world tend to lead people to see links where their might not be any. And to people within the fan community, it quickly becomes an attack on their "otherness," which, historically, has often been an opening to persecution. (Although you'd think we'd have gotten past that by now.) While the knee-jerk reactions that other Trek fans might have to this should be toned down, it's important that we remember that "guilt by association" is often considered a fallacy.

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21. ovation leader on April 29, 2005 07:58 AM writes...

Ethnic profiling of galactic proportions. What's next? Hunting cleptomaniacs among Jane Austen devotees?

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22. jj on April 29, 2005 08:13 AM writes...

Maybe these investigators are trekkies themselves. They look for perps in trekkie sorts of places.

Seriously, cops tend to exaggerate general characteristics. But let's say that when you were growing up, that you felt a little out-of-it. You weren't particularly anti-social, but you didn't seem to be interested in groups of people your own age. They weren't talking about things you were interested in, and they didn't have any patience for the off-center conversation that you might prefer. You might tend to associate with oddballs, people who were interested in weird ideas just because the ideas were weird, maybe people who acted younger than their ages, who had a lot of childlike enthusiasm. When you expressed interest in strange things, these people wouldn't shoot you down immediately.

I can see it happening. Maybe Dungeons and Dragons would be another place to look. Do they still play that? I would expect D&D would also be good training for someone who needs to play convincing roles. Blake above is thinking on similar lines. Maybe this thread is the beginning of a new psycho-statistical method of forensics. Look into places (like we already know about the internet) where their mental workings might lead them.

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23. Sam on April 29, 2005 08:14 AM writes...

Otaku is a cultural thing and has no relevance to America.

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24. Scot on April 29, 2005 08:35 AM writes...

Actually Nabokov's Lolita is an allagory of totalitarianism, his topic in almost everything he wrote. That the humiliation and abuse suffered by Lolita, is like that suffered by a person within a totalitarian regime. Also that Humbert Humbert came into the 'family' legitimately. Tyrants are elected to office and then kill off their opponents giving them unfettered access to the public.

It also is hopeful in that try as he might Humbert Humbert could not ultimately control his little Lolita. She had an endless array of surprises and activities that nothing he did could control. Including going on the run with her. Life eventually becomes ordinary, the monster becomes pathetic; and on trial. Think of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hussen, Milosvic.

This cuts to the chase of pedophilia as a matter of fact. For pedophilia is about power, not sex. As to the Sci Fi connection - I guess I am of the camp it relates to the computers not the pedophilia. What is the Sci Fi interest of pedophiles who do not use computers. What is their interest level in Star Trek. That is the real question here.

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25. Jen on April 29, 2005 09:01 AM writes...

So????? Was Humbert Humbert a Trekkie. I don't even think he was into Sci Fi. but.....he was pathetic.

Could it have anything to do with Trekkies still living in their mothers basement?? Just a thought:)

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26. douglas on April 29, 2005 09:04 AM writes...

In the second to last graph, "paraphrasing" is dangling participle.

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27. Jen on April 29, 2005 09:12 AM writes...

Get the grammar nazis' off this blog would ya!! What a waste of time to even have you fill a fraction of an inch of space. Your dangling something bud.....

waist. Ohhhh Wate. They're, I messpeelled this. Get me!!!!!

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28. Anne Haight on April 29, 2005 09:18 AM writes...

As a geek who has been a sci-fi fan for pretty much all of her life, I feel confident in saying that it is basically impossible for a sci-fi fan to _not_ have at least a "passing interest" in Star Trek.

Star Trek is so ubiquitous, and has had such a powerful influence on the genre as a whole, that it's almost unavoidable. It's sort of like saying that someone interested in muscle cars would have at least a passing interest in the Camaro. That would be a big "Duh".

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29. Anne Haight on April 29, 2005 09:26 AM writes...

Maybe Dungeons and Dragons would be another place to look. Do they still play that?

AD&D, yes. The new ruleset makes a lot more sense out of melee. But there are other tabletop pencil-and-paper games out there, you know. Spycraft, White Wolf, Champions, for example. ;)

I would expect D&D would also be good training for someone who needs to play convincing roles.

That depends. Does a budding pedophile need to be able to convincingly portray himself as a level 15 half-elf rogue with a mysterious past on a quest to find his long-lost father?

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30. King_tut_lives on April 29, 2005 09:37 AM writes...

Correlation is not causation.

And what's the term for that psychological theory where when you actively look for something you're bound to see it everywhere? Look through the pedo's belonging's hard enough you're almost bound to find something Star Trek related. But if you look through the general population's belonging's hard enough you'd probably find about the same.

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31. D on April 29, 2005 10:28 AM writes...

So the cop dresses up in a Klingon sash, and the cops went to the trouble of creating a poster where their faces are imposed on the Star Trek crew, but it's the criminals who are supposed to have the Trek obsession (because they have a video or DVD in the house?)

This psychological phenomenon is known as projection.

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32. Neo on April 29, 2005 12:44 PM writes...

It has to do with the pointy ears, of course.

Humour, it is a difficult concept.

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33. Matt on April 29, 2005 01:20 PM writes...

The only correlation/causation mix-up that is happening is on this board. The cop said he didn't know what to make of it. He wasn't setting up patrols at SciFi connections or what no; ya'll are. As someone who has gone to the king of geekdom colleges (UChicago), I feel safe in saying, trekkies are weird. Fun, and mostly harmless, but strange. (Do I count myself among them? Mildly so). But the people with the hardest-core Trek fascinations were *generally* the ones with the least goings on in their personal life. That probably transfers to an overuse of pornography which encapuslates a very static model of the female form which roots the mind into this idea of nudity and youth (and, for that sake, innocence) being the desirable sexual qualities. Which leads to a pushing of the envelope which could go to pedophilia.

Is this a lot of logical leaps? Sure. Is it the same path that someone who had never heard of sci-fi go down? Absolutely. But it's still true that the real trekkies that I've met had more alone time and fewer social integration skills than the general populous, making their excursion down their path more potentially likely (or, perhaps, less capable at covering their tracks as someone mentioned earlier).

In any case, it's an interesting morsel. Something to further torment your trekkie friends with. And otherwise forgotten.

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34. AT on April 29, 2005 01:39 PM writes...

Doesn't a large portion of the population under 50, perhaps even a majority, have a "passing interest" in Star Trek? It's been a significant pop culture element since the 70s, and fully mainstream since the late 80s. Big f'ing deal. I mean, having Borg-related fan porn may be one thing, but "passing interest?" I'm actually more worried about people with a "passing interest" in Law & Order, which actually concerns crime.

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35. Richard on April 29, 2005 03:25 PM writes...

Seeing as how many pedophiles are married men who about two thrids are fathers from rigid, passive, purtanical, or religious backgrounds there is a fairly good shot that some Trekkies may become pedophiles. However to assume that all Trekkies are sexual predators who go for children is just a fallacy. The same goes for fans of anything. BTW here's a dangerous fact about bread: More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users. J/K

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36. AST on April 29, 2005 04:34 PM writes...

This story reminds me of the Comic Book Guy in The Simpsons. There was an X-Files episode, "Small Potatoes," about a guy who could change his appearance and was able to impregnate a number of women, posing as their husbands and, in one case, Luke Skywalker.

I've represented a number of pedophiles as a public defender. I don't know about their other hobbies, though. I've always thought that they were people who developed fantasies as a way of dealing with their sex drives in a way that wasn't as intimidating as interacting with the opposite sex of their own ages.

I can see why being a Trekkie would appeal to such people, although I doubt that it goes the other way (being a Trekkie hardly makes you a pedophile." It's the kind of group where anybody with the costume would be easily accepted. In the words of Steely Dan, "Any world I'm welcome to/ Is better than the one I come from."

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37. Art on April 29, 2005 05:27 PM writes...

Let’s turn this around a bit. Suppose that pedophilia is not instinctive, but a learned behavior. Where could a pedophile possibly pick up the pattern? The hands of a pedophile would be one place.

So, let’s say that a bunch of the people who have been handled by pedophiles find something appealing in the Star Trek/science-fiction ethos. Star Trek is appealing enough, what with the concept of equality, opportunity and freedom for all.

Except if you come on at the beginning, wearing a red shirt.

I digress.

There is some opinion that people who have been handled by pedophiles end up a bit disconnected from social skills. There seems to be evidence that victims of childhood abuse have a tendency towards distrust of reality. Something about reality turning especially slimy, maybe.

This could make the ST universe even more appealing, as there is no question about what appropriate behavior is in an integrated community. Where everyone trusts each other. Maybe there are a lot of people who have been handled by pedophiles that Star Trek might resonate with. And maybe some of them end up being pedophiles.

Maybe serious Star Trek/sci-fi role playing might be a sign of a desire to withdraw from reality. Plenty of ways to withdraw from society, if you get my drift. Whaddo Ino?

Point being, just because people enjoy Star Trek, they are not automatically pedophiles. Just as all pedophiles are not “Trekkies”.

The current flavor of western society indicates to me that childhood abuse is much more common than one might expect. If it is a learned behavior, then we are at the bottom of a nasty upwards curve.

In my opinion we are talking a lot these days about this stuff. Are we discussing the subject, or running from it?

Listen to me go!

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38. Robert Muñoz on April 29, 2005 11:44 PM writes...

"Not strange a bit. Japan has long known this phenomena, called "otaku." "Otaku" roughly translates as "nerd," although in its daily usage it comes closer to "geek." Well, isn't that exactly what the trekkies are?
Otakus are said to have unhealty obsessions for robots/sci-fi animes AND porns featuring nymphs dressed in high school sailor uniforms. Some of them have been accussed of kidnapping real high school girls, so the average Japanese would actually be surprised by Americans' surprise at this rather obvious Trekkie-pedophile connection.

But why otakus/trekkies are overly interested in sci-fi AND sexualizing young girls, that I don't know, although I'd speculate that their mental age correponds to that of a 15 year old teenager. Certainly they are no Nabokovs."

Otaku is a hard phrase to translate. It's a geek, sort of, but someone who is very hardcore, sort of. It's also an INCREDIBLY insulting term (it's often said they have smelly feet). Again, it doesn't translate perfectly. Secondly, anime and comic books (or manga as they call them) aren't viewed the same way here in the States. They don't consider both genres kid's stuff like we do here. So of course there is all sorts of anime and manga geared to all sorts of interests. Yes sci-fi does rule those genres there as over here but there is still more variety to choose from. There's a fun series called Iron Wok Jan about...a chef! Not a superhero who cooks, but a series about a (far out) gourmet chef. Of course there is also pornography, but that's nothing unique. Legally nothing can show young girls under the age of 18 or 19.

Sexualizing young girls in Japan isn't relegated to nerdy types either. The Japanese just have a thing for younger women. It's a cultural thing (though they are growing past it to be sure). Call a business in Japan and the woman who answers the phone will likely do so in a "young" voice. In fact it's not all that unusual for younger girls to date much older guys. A high school aged girl dating a guy in his 20s isn't that big a deal. It's done less these days but it's hardly taboo. It helps being an anime fan myself. Finding out stupid little facts like these help me understand what the hell is going on in half the shows I watch.

However "...why otakus/trekkies are overly interested in sci-fi AND sexualizing young girls, that I don't know, although I'd speculate that their mental age correponds to that of a 15 year old teenager. Certainly they are no Nabokovs." This was really uncalled for and shows a complete lack of knowedge on your part. A Star Trek fan is hardly mentally retarded as you implied, nor do they all have a thing for jailbait. (Lord, you might as well have said something about Catholic priests and altar boys.) Star Trek is a good series with lots of interesting characters and stories. The idealism presented thoughout is also infectious (even if it is essentially communist but that can hardly be helped. It was created in the 60s!). Look, I've been a Star Trek fan for as long as I can remember. I've also been into various sorts of sci-fi series, comic books and animation. I still enjoy a great many of these things in fact and I can assure you I don't have the mental capacity of a 15 year old. Hell I'm not gonna say I'm the smartest guy in the world either (you'll never get enlightening dinner conversation from me that you can be sure of) but I am wise enough to know never to form on opinion on something I know nothing about.

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39. mistercalm on April 30, 2005 06:06 AM writes...

CRAP! I have a couple of Star Trek movies on my shelf! I'm doomed! DOOOMED! Now, have they found a correlation between "Kirk" and pedeophilia, making it safe for me to watch "Picard", or should I dump them both? Okay, I'm being a smart-aleck, but reading the comments has been, pun intended, "fascinating".

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40. Don S on April 30, 2005 01:37 PM writes...

Speaking of the Catholic priest/pedophile connection, that's another one that the media leaps to without regard to the facts: see "Pedophiles and Priests" or "The New Anti-Catholicism", both by Philip Jenkins and both Oxford University Press.

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41. Aubrey on May 1, 2005 12:57 PM writes...

It also reminds me of the whole Marijuana as a gateway drug myth. The evidence used to back that up is that something like 80% of heroin/cocaine users first used marijuana. But something like 80% of marijuana users never use (and never have used) any other drugs.

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42. Crosbie Fitch on May 2, 2005 02:57 AM writes...

Whenever crimes are escalated to such an extreme extent that they escape the bounds of justice (becoming 'thought crimes' - incriminating by thought alone, if any evidence at all), then any group is justifiably concerned to be implicated as a hotbed for spawning these supernaturally evil beings.

1) Muslims are a tad concerned to be associated with terrorism.

2) Trekkies are a tad concerned to be associated with paedophilia.

3) BitTorrent users are a tad concerned to be associated with copyright infringement.

If you think the last case is frivolous, bear in mind that 10,000 citizens have been sued by the RIAA despite no evidence or case being presented to a court of law. And you'd be amazed how easy it is for an otherwise upstanding citizen to become culpable for a $250,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment simply by exposing their CD collection to the Internet. Hence why everyone settles out of court in fear.

However, all three 'crimes' share a lack of justice and intellectual rigor in their appraisal.

If you can't find any evidence of crime, then find materials that would indicate criminal intent or predilection. If you can't find that, then use profiling methods to correlate otherwise benign associations as a reasonable indicator. Failing that, then mere suspicion or accusation are sufficient grounds for litigation or interrogation - whichever is more appropriate.

Lock 'em up and throw away the key!

I'm not asking you to forgive the psychopath that kills without thought, I'm asking you to beware of becoming a member of a society that condemns without thought.

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43. FantasmaRose on May 2, 2005 09:50 AM writes...

Wow! Live long and prosper or rape little kids... hmmm not a hard choice for most of us trekkies.

Besides the fact that this statistic was obviously misconstrewn in this article I thought it was interesting the number of people who equate all trekkies with geekdom. Granted many are, however, many brilliant minds are also Trekkies.

During college at least 5 of my professors were trekkies to some extent. One philosophy professor, a psych, a soc prof, a religion prof, and a math prof. Each one from a different field but finding some value in the series from their own worldview.

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44. untrekked speculation on May 2, 2005 03:10 PM writes...

quite frankly it's about time that society stood up to the encraoching menace of start trek fans being allowed to roam loose, prey on our children and inflict dull and insipid plotlines and catchphrases on our popular imagination. We need to send a clear message that it is NOT OK to inculcate youngsters with the idea that they should be emotionless logicians who go into a sexual frenzy every 7 years, or that the virile exophilia of a Captain Kirk is to be emulated. And the pernicious use of the phrase "Where no man has gone before." should be stamped out as it can only be a recruiting tool for more perversity.

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45. kija on May 2, 2005 05:05 PM writes...

I like Star Trek, though I don't know if I qualify as a Trekkie since I didn't watch the latest series incarnation starring the world's worst actor. Yes, there is a worse actor than William Shatner.

However, I can see where the Trekkie world may appeal to those who are alienated from society. The Federation world is very accepting of non-normative behavior. Emotional relationships are tertiary things, nothing that would interfere with voyages or missions -- reflecting an alienation from human affection that may be reinforce their own aloneness.

Still even if most pedophiles are Trekkies, that doesn't make most Trekkies pedophiles...so folks fearing their reputation will be smirched by this story should not worry...since most people are not that dumb. At least, I hope so.

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46. George on May 3, 2005 09:26 AM writes...

Forgive me if someone already mentioned this... I didn't read ALL of the responses, but the thing that I found most interesting, indeed horrifying was the way the author of the article always put the words "bad guys" in quotes!

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47. Justin Moretti on May 4, 2005 07:25 AM writes...

I suspect in many cases that what you have is a dysfunctional "unsocialised" male who doesn't have many (or any) friends his own age and who discovers that he has a knack for talking to little kids. There's nothing wrong with that in itself, except when this gift is bent to the wrong ends. I suspect that a lot of them are stuck in a (pre)pubescent level of sexual development from a psychological point of view, but because they are fully BIOLOGICALLY functional as adults, their sexual overtures to children are expressed as paedophilia (in whatever form), instead of what it would be if they themselves were ten or eleven - a harmless game of "Dr's and nurses" which is happily (and mutually) enjoyed and then quickly forgotten.

In the same breath, these dysfunctional, friendless people (or, in fact, ANY dysfunctional friendless people) are the same ones who tend to gravitate to things like Star Trek anyway - it tends to be one of the few things they can use as a "bridge" to relate to other people.

The set of personality traits that causes them to become so sexually dysfunctional as to download child porn and/or try their hand at the real thing is the same set of personality traits that sends them off into Gene Roddenberry's fantasy land - but there is no cause or effect; it's just a "spectator phenomenon".

This, mind you, is the soft end of paedophilia - the "looking but hardly touching" end or the "passive picture paedophiles". If you look at those who play hardball, regular child-rapists who are out to notch their belts, I suspect you may not find as many Star Trek fans.

I also suspect that what you may have is the phenomenon of a paedo-Trekker (pT) live-chatting to another Trekker (aT)(not necessarily paedo) on the web: pT messages aT one day with "Hey, check this out" and a jpeg; aT either responds "Man, that is effing sick" and deletes the image (and pT from his friendlist), wanting nothing to do with either it or pT, OR (if he is of kindred spirit) says "Cool, man, where'd you get it?" In the first case, aT does not know who pT is, or where he can be found (he probably only knows him as picard_85393 or such), and so can't dob him in, while on the other hand aT doesn't dare hold on to the jpeg (which might be fiddled into betraying its source) in case HE is unfairly done for it (when all he was, was the unwilling recipient, which he can never prove).

If enough paedo-Trekkers get together (and I'm sure they eventually find each other), you get a paedo-ring which is busted, and they are all ST fans...

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48. Coyote on May 4, 2005 08:29 PM writes...

post hoc ergo propter hoc

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49. Brendon Carr on May 9, 2005 06:18 PM writes...

What channel is the hard-core Star Trek on? Is it a satellite pay channel or something like Spice TV? I only get the boring regular Star Trek.

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