Updated on March 3rd 2018: I have made some spelling corrections and stylistic changes to this article. While these changes include modifications which mean that the letter copied here is no longer a “word-for-word” copy of the one I sent to the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse in 2016, they do not alter the message of that letter materially.
Rather, as intended, the changes simply make that letter’s message more clear.
Below is a copy of a letter I have shared with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
It describes a true life situation and I have taken measures to protect key persons’ identities.
I share it here in a bid to ensure that the full scope of the issues involved are grasped by as wide a cross section of people as possible.
We all need to take ownership of this issue because we are all child-like and vulnerable to an often unrecognized extent.
I focus on the Labor Party here, in line with the trajectory of this series of articles and my ongoing engagement with my local MP Clive Lewis and others representing or linked to that organization.
But I think most people know that political paedophilia is a scourge among all UK politicians, churches, media houses, businesses, educational entities and other organizations.
Accordingly, cycles of exploitative infantilizing can only be ended and circles of abuse, whether “parliamentary pedophile rings” or covertly carnal and carnivorous clerical clubs, will only be broken when all of us do our part.
Dear Ms A,
I have decided to respond by email to your last message about the situation regarding Mr B.
Using email will allow me to more fully explain my point of view in an efficient way.
I think the sadness of the situation, which involves a victim of childhood sexual abuse was attested to by the characteristically evasive, reactionary behaviour of Mr B.
I believe that behaviour, which involved attacks on my integrity, warrants the detailed declaration of my position offered here.
This is a position I am pursuing in my interaction with victims and/or the representatives of victims of religiously motivated child abuse – sexual and otherwise.
As I indicated to one Norfolk, England-based Pentecostal church leader recently, I work with a number of such victims.
Responding by email also allows me to copy in members of the Intelek Domino Effect Associates (IDEAs) project: my support network. IDEAs associates care for and support me through prayer and other means.
In accordance with the principles of confidentiality in which I am trained (both as a journalist and a holistic health care assistant), I have withheld your and Mr B’s identities and taken other measures to protect your privacy.
First, let me restate your position, as I understand it.
With all due respect, Mr Campbell, I strongly urge you to steer clear of Mr B.
His challenges are not your concern however well-intentioned you may be. Mr B is an adult now and will do whatever he believes God wants him to do for himself and those for whom he is responsible.
Also, Mr B is surrounded by fellow Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Humanists and other spiritual, caring persons who know of his dilemma and are helping him cope.
I do understand that Mr B will do whatever he thinks is best. One of the things I admire very much about Mr B is his independence of spirit.
In my book The Bible: Beauty and Terror Reconciled, I applaud such independent thinking, a distinctive trait of the Protestant reformer Martin Luther and the rationalist Christian apologist Rene Descartes. (I believe I gave you a copy of TBBTR. Have you read any of it?)
I am persuaded that Mr B, a very public spirited, conscientious and caring individual, has the capacity to make as significant a contribution to Christ’s Kingdom as Luther and Descartes, if on a less prominent, more private scale.
However, I am also concerned that his judgement is being impaired by unresolved anger, stemming from the historical child abuse situation that he brought to my attention years ago.
And I am concerned that the support network around him, which you mentioned, may unintentionally be making matters worst for him.
My fundamental concern is that Mr B’s wellbeing is being compromised and jeopardized by Buddhists and other persons who, though well-meaning are acting contrary to legal and ethical principles that underpin both religious and secular notions of a just and caring society.
I am concerned that Mr B’s welfare is being sacrificed on an altar of convenience, so that a person who raped a 5 year old several years ago can be spared the humiliation of being held accountable for that deplorable, criminal activity.
And I find no comfort in the idea that Mr B’s ‘independence of spirit’ and freedom to choose is causing him to be complicit in the conspiracy of silence that is indulging the sexual predator he and his possibly well meaning but morally misguided advisors shield.
Moreover, I think it is absolutely unacceptable that Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, humanists or any other ideologues should be advising and/or encouraging Mr B to sacrifice his psycho-social wellbeing that way.
Is the child abuser a professing Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, Hindu? Is that why his/her reputation is being shielded?
How does this situation differ from the scandal of priestly pedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church or the scourge of child soldiers in Africa?
How is this different from the worship of Moloch, that C.S. Lewis accused Christians of?
Why do supposedly enlightened, civilized, spiritual adults insist on “passing their children through the fire” metaphorically?
Is God more tolerant and forgiving of pedophilia perpetrated by Pentecostal or other Protestant pedophiles, perhaps because Protestants have a better understanding of scripture or the workings of grace than their Catholic or Anglican ‘brethren and sistren’?
What perverse, self-righteous reasoning!
That is precisely the kind of churlish, religious-clique-privileging reasoning that the independent thinking and simultaneously Christian communion valuing apologist Lewis denounced when he wrote:
“The sort of love I have been describing… can also be felt for bodies that claim more than a natural affection: for a Church or (alas) a party in a Church, or for a religious order. This terrible subject would require a book to itself.
Here it will be enough to say that the Heavenly Society is also an earthly society.
Our (merely natural) patriotism towards the latter can very easily borrow the transcendent claims of the former and use them to justify the most abominable actions.
If ever the book which I am not going to write is written, it must be the full confession by Christendom of Christendom’s specific contribution to the sum of human cruelty and treachery. Large areas of ‘the World’ will not hear us till we have publicly disowned much of our past. Why should they? We have shouted the name of Christ and enacted the service of Moloch.”
Do you know what “the service of Moloch” is Ms T?
It’s child sacrifice, essentially.
And like the children of Israel, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and other secular and religious ideologues excel in a kind of child sacrifice when they choose to shield adults who rob children of their innocence, thereby blighting the child’s adult existence.
Ms A, are you surprised that Mr B is an alcoholic? I am not.
It fits the pattern of alcohol masking or ‘medicating’ pain suppression and similar self-harming, self-destructive conduct that victims of childhood sexual and other traumas typically resort to.
“Survivors” of abuse, like the feminist academic and activist Bettina Aptheker.
I recently told an associate in Norfolk’s Christian community that one of the biggest challenges I face as a Carer/Advocate is “the fragmented nature” of the care offering, especially at the crucial communication level.
I told him that the word “care” itself has become cliched to a large extent – a fact attested to by the antagonism between public and private sector carers, who tend to work at cross purposes, rather than as co-producers.
I also asked him to join me and others who are trying to bridge the communication gap in a methodical, spiritually measured and sustainable way.
The “Spiritual Strategy” being implemented by the Norfolk and Suffolk (NHS) Foundation Trust is one bridge-building response to the crisis.
And I believe the situation with Mr B demonstrates the need for you and others (some of whom I’ve copied this email to) to join the Trust’s, my and others’ efforts.
I am not asking you to choose between Mr B’s welbing and the child abuser’s wellbeing.
I believe that by reporting the child abuse that Mr B told me about, the child, who is now an adult, Mr B and the abuser will all be helped, ultimately.
As I see it, others, not me, are making a choice between Mr B’s and the child’s wellbeing and the abuser’s reputation, and the pride and reputations of his/her family and friends.
And I believe that the Bible’s teaching clearly prioritizes the truth over anybody’s public image or reputation.
As indeed does the Koran, the Torah and the universal witness of a clear conscience.
And what about your and my wellbeing, Ms A?
I certainly have come under attack since advising Mr B to report this case of child abuse to the police.
I have been accused of being un-Christian because I am prepared to report the matter to the police.
No one seems concerned about the loss of the bond of friendship and trust that was developing between Mr B and me.
No one seems to care that I may now be at risk of harm if those intent on maintaining a conspiratorial silence decide they need to silence me.
I have had to consider these and other safety issues not just as a civic minded Norfolk resident but as a father of young children and a bearer of related familial and wider social responsibilities.
As I recently informed another Norfolk resident, I have been working to combat childhood sexual abuse for many years now, mainly as an advocate against the pedagogical paedophilia that ensures physical paedophilia a kind of indulgence and/or impunity.
This is why I started a petition calling on Sir Cliff Richard to use the crisis of being accused of paedophilia as an opportunity to fight this scourge among evangelical Christians, whether he is or is not guilty.
You see Ms A, I take the biblical teaching about Christians’ duty to protect and nurture children, the most vulnerable human beings, very seriously.
I believe it is first and foremost a call to recognize that the child in each of us lives perpetually.
I believe that the process the Bible refers to as being “born again” is critically dependent on the human capacity for critical memory.
Childhood trauma or abuse of any kind undermines that crucial, reconstructive, redemptive capacity.
And child sexual abuse in particular limits our resilience because it attacks our fundamental, biologically-based self-esteem.
Small wonder then that even someone as enlightened and progressive in their views as Bettina Aptheker suppressed the betrayal of being sexually abused by her father as a child.
A similar self-alienation happens when we cede too much power to politicians, trade unionists, religious leaders, academics, employers and other “authorities”.
This is the kind of infantilizing and wider psychological abuse that I have accused Domino’s Pizza franchiser Surinda Kandola of.
It’s akin to the Stockholm Syndrome response of victims to “terrorists” like Donald Trump, Sir Hilary Beckles, Louis Farrakhan and other black and white bullies.
Its also a response to the indirect aggression that Hilary Clinton and other feminists perpetrate, sometimes unconsciously.
Indeed, the more I think about it, the more the biblical doctrine of the total depravity of mankind makes sense to me.
We certainly seem incapable of doing good consistently.
Call it Murphy’s Law, if you like.
Call it what the Buddhists call it (fate?), maybe.
But whatever we do, we should not blame children for it or make them bear the burden of adults’ perversity.
We must not pass children through the flames of our fallibility.