HOW PEDOPHILES OPERATE
How do pedophiles work? How do they get children to agree to be sexual with them?
What is their "modus operandi?" This page will attempt to give you an overview of the way pedophiles operate and how parents can take steps to protect their kids.
First we shall define our terms. There is a difference between child molesters and pedophiles. A child molester is often a stranger to the family. He is the one who targets a child he sees and often acts almost immediately on his impulse. He will grab the child, perform sexual acts, and sometimes will then murder the child. This is the criminal who will snatch a child from the grocery store, the mall, the park, or even from in front of the child's own house. These men have no love for children whatsoever. They act out of violence and a need to exert power over those who are weaker than themselves. While child molesters are often strangers, they can also be family members, neighbors or friends of the family.
Pedophiles, on the other hand, genuinely like kids. Somewhere along the way their thinking regarding love, sex, and kids became completely muddled. Most of them are very insecure and lonely. They feel that only children will give them unconditional love, and in their psychologically unbalanced minds, they equate love with sex even when the object of their affection is a child. They do not view their behavior as wrong. They believe that adult men have the right to have sex with kids if there is mutual consent. They feel that they are far in advance of the viewpoints of society on this issue. Many pedophiles see it from the NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) viewpoint, although of course not all pedophiles are NAMBLA members. It's interesting that you don't see many boys running amuck saying they want to have sex with men.
A high percentage of pedophiles had bad experiences during their childhoods. Some were sexually abused themselves. Many were lacking a good male role model. Some were actually beaten and abused by their fathers or had fathers who withheld love from them. This made them feel unworthy, insecure, lonely and without love. After all, they reasoned, if their own father could not love them, they must be worthless creatures indeed. Or their thinking went the other way and they decided that their fathers did love them, so abuse must be a way of showing love. These men reached adulthood with very little, if any, self-esteem. Their thinking became warped and their psyches became deeply wounded. An important part of the pedophile never grew up but remained a hurt child.
Many pedophiles do child-like things. They still color in coloring books, play in the sandbox with their little trucks, and decorate their rooms with toys and items that reflect the age of the child they are fixated with. They say things like "I see the world through the eyes of a child," or "Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional." They read children's books, see kid-oriented movies, and play children's games. They think of themselves as kids and are much more comfortable around kids than around other adults.
Pedophiles find ways to be around children as often as possible. They get jobs as teachers, camp counselors, schoolbus drivers, daycare workers, or even enter the priesthood. They volunteer as Boy Scout leaders, church or secular youth workers, or with organizations such as Trucker Buddy International. Of course most of the people in these professions and volunteer positions are not pedophiles, and are indeed honest, moral and upright people, but most pedophiles will seek out these type of occupations and volunteer positions. They look for opportunities to be around kids as much as possible.
Some will even marry or become roommates with women who have children. Or they become friends with single moms to have access to their kids. They seek out those kids whose fathers are no longer in their lives. The moms usually see these men as an answer to their prayers, for here at last is a man who is willing to spend time with their children and be that role model they've been looking for. Kids crave attention, affection and kindness, and here is someone who is willing to give these things to their child. Little do they know that this man they trust, who comes across as being friendly, helpful and trustworthy, is a pedophile and is quite knowledgeable about the methods of grooming kids for seduction.
A pedophile will spend a lot of time getting the child ready for seduction. Sometimes he will take months or even a year or two "grooming" the child and preparing him. He uses this time to build up the child's trust in him and to get the child to see him as his best friend. He slowly seduces the child by doing such things as playing with him and being in close contact with him. He will tickle the child and give him "tummy farts." He will watch movies with the child and sit very close to him, often putting his arm around the child or even having the child sit on his lap. The child, of course, feels that this man really cares about him and that he can talk to him about anything. If there is a father figure or other male role model missing from the child's life, then of course the pedophile knows that this child is just the victim he is looking for. He, however, does not view the child as a victim, but a person he can share love, fun and pleasure with. The thing to remember is that the pedophile does not think like a normal adult. Indeed, he has serious psychological imbalances and views his actions in the same way as an adult male who is attempting seduction of an adult female. And the pedophile does not usually stop with just one child; he often has several that he is grooming at once. Sometimes he is grooming some while actually in the sexual relationship stage with others.
A pedophile will take the child he is grooming many places, such as to movies, roller skating rinks, amusement parks, the zoo, and fairs and festivals. He spends a lot of time with the child and invests as much money as possible. He buys the child toys and even gives him clothes and trinkets. He spends as much time alone with the child as he can. What child would not have warm feelings toward a man who acts like he truly cares about him, pays him a lot of attention, and spends an enormous amount of time and money on him? Most pedophiles are likable people and they groom the kids to like them.
Many pedophiles have a group of children who they seduce at once. Sometimes he will invite the neighborhood children to his home to watch videos and play video games. He will give them candy and other snack foods. Eventually he will bring out the video camera. Often the kids are groomed for months before he builds up their trust enough to let him fondle them and use the video camera on them. This is one of the ways that child porno makes its rounds on nasty internet sites.
The pedophile loves it when the child has his own email address. This way he can correspond with the child whenever he wishes and say things that will make the grooming process go even faster. The man who I discovered was grooming my 12-year-old son found out that he had just obtained his first email account, and he said to my son, "Good. Now we don't have to go through your mom." That was one of the first red flags for me. You can find out the rest of the story of my experiences with a pedophile by clicking on the link in the middle of this webpage.
Many pedophiles are becoming quite adept at finding their victims online. They use screennames that are attached to profiles describing themselves as young teens. Then they go into kid and teen chatrooms looking for kids who they think may be easy prey. If they happen to get caught doing this, they will say that they only go in these rooms to feel like a kid again and to relieve the stresses of life. They will swear that they never went into private chat with any child. If you believe that, I have oceanfront property in Arizona I could sell you. The truth is that not only do they go into private chat with some of the kids, they often take it a step further and set up times and places to meet a few young teens in person. The man I knew used the screenname minnesotaunicorn.
Pedophiles used to be social outcasts and loners, but with the internet they now have access to others who are just like them. They exchange information with each other using email, chatrooms and message boards. A pedophile can go online and learn the best ways to groom and seduce a child, what kind of kids to look for, where to find them and how to go about it with the least risk of getting caught. They learn just what to say and do to ensure that the child is not likely to tell. They also learn what to do and say if they are caught. Pedophiles have their own online networking system.
If a pedophile is asked outright if he has ever molested a child, he will deny it. He does not look at it as molesting the child. Instead, he sees it as sharing love with the child and giving the child pleasure. While it may be true that children can feel sexual pleasure, it is abhorrent to think of a grown man using this against the innocence of a child. The adult always has the responsibility to protect the child, not to use him to fulfill his own sick desires. Then too, the adult always has a position of power over the child if only because he is bigger and stronger and often holds a position of authority, such as in the case of the adult being a teacher or camp worker. To misuse that authority and the trust that the kids and parents have in him is not only immoral and unethical but is also downright disgusting.
The child may indeed feel some sort of passive pleasure in being fondled and kissed, and may feel that the perpetrator is simply being nice to him, but at the same time the child feels guilty, confused and shamed. The pedophile uses these emotions to keep the child from telling what has happened. One policeman who has dealt with pedophiles for twenty years in his line of work told me that these men "have various ways of convincing kids to not tell the truth about their encounters. These guys know exactly what buttons to push on a kid to make him keep quiet. Depending on the child, they will use shame, fear, threats of physical harm, and many other tactics so that the child won't inform the parents of wrongdoing on the part of the suspect. Make no mistake, these people have had years of experience in not only coercing kids, but also in convincing them not to tell."
He went on to tell me that the pedophile will tell the child such things as, "How would your mother feel if she knew you and I had done this? You started it you know, you came on to me. It would be just terrible on her, and she might even commit suicide or something." They try to make the child feel guilty, ashamed and afraid so he won't tell anyone.
This law enforcement officer also told me that one pedophile claimed that an eight year old boy propositioned him and that is why he molested him! The pedophile will resort to any manipulative and devious reasoning to convince themselves that what they are doing is okay. Apparently these men are also experts at hiding the nature of their deviant sexual desires. Most of their friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers and acquaintances are shocked when they find out that the man they know and like so much is a pedophile. They would never have guessed it, as he always seemed so likable, helpful and friendly.
Some pedophiles hide behind an excuse of depression. The man who attempted to seduce my son told me that he only thinks about kids when he's depressed and "sick in mind and spirit." And those who claim to be gay are merely hiding behind a gay mask. Some of them do prefer sexual relations with other men over sex with women, but the main focus of their desire is young boys who are around the age of puberty. Most pedophiles have never been able to maintain a close and loving sexual relationship with either men or women.
In the case of a boy who is seduced by a man, the boy may grow up thinking that he is gay. After talking with many gay men, I discovered that a high percentage were molested or seduced by older men when they were kids. Most said that it has adversely affcted their entire lives and that they are vehemently opposed to the NAMBLA view- point. The very thought of pedophilia appalls and disgusts them. A very few claimed that as young boys they enjoyed sexual interactions with much older men. One can only wonder whether these particular men would be gay today if they had not been sexually molested as kids. I have personally come to the conclusion that there are various reasons as to the cause of homosexuality. I think that some are biological gays, some are gay by choice and still others are what I call psychological gays. These are the ones who have become gay because of psychological trauma they endured as kids. Because of either isolated or ongoing incidents, they felt "different" from a young age, and because of the feeling of being "different" they bought into the idea that they must be gay. I believe that biological gays have never been attracted to women; their hearts only go pitter patter over other men. Non-biological gays, on the other hand, have often been attracted to women and many have even been married. When a gay friend tells you that his first love was a sixteen year old girl in high school named Rita, and that as a teenager he enjoyed looking at women's breasts, you can only assume that he is not a biological gay.
Since this webpage is about pedophelia and not about the possible causes of homo-sexuality, I will stop digressing and go back to the business of how to protect kids from pedophiles. To keep kids safe we must, of course, educate them on what to look out for. As parents we must be very careful who we allow to be alone with our kids. As leaders of various organizations, we must do COMPLETE background checks on everyone who is allowed to interact with or be a mentor to kids. Even then the children will not be 100% safe, for many pedophiles have not been caught yet and so do not have a record. These men are able to pass a background check.
The man who attempted to seduce my son volunteers with an organization called Trucker Buddy International. It consists of over-the-road truck drivers; each of these volunteers is given a classroom of grade school children. They send their classrooms such things as postcards and letters from the various states they travel to. The children then send the drivers individual letters. It's rather like a penpal program between the truckers and the children. There are also occasional classroom visits by the truckers involved in the program. It's a good program that can be used to teach geography as well as letter writing skills and spelling.
Trucker Buddies, as they are called, must undergo a background check to see if they have any record of crimes against children or of violence in general. Apparently the background check did not go back far enough and perhaps only covered the state he lived in, as this man admitted to me that he had been in jail for beating up the man he had caught his wife in bed with. He also told me that he had been kicked out of Berkeley for punching a professor. Because these incidents did not show up on his background check, he is allowed to be in the program. He is allowed to be around an entire classroom of kids. He was assigned to mentor a class of young second graders in New Jersey. This man even got to be Trucker Buddy of the Month. He was nominated by the teacher and the class with which he volunteered. I was somewhat relieved to find out that these truckers are not allowed to be alone with the kids, but when I saw his picture on the internet sitting in front of an entire classroom of innocent children, I got a very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I did notify the Director of the program, Ellen Voie, about this man. I even sent her copies of the emails he had sent me in which he freely admitted that he fantasizes about boys, that he shares a bed with the young teenage son of his roommate and that he takes baths with her children. Ms. Voie sent me a reply that stated that was not formal proof that he was unfit to be a Trucker Buddy. She allowed him to give his version of the story, and of course he was not honest with her. He told her that I was just angry with him. She apparently believed him even though she had the proof right before her eyes. This is not the first time that Trucker Buddies has come under the scrutiny of parent and community watchdogs. Even though this man is not allowed to be alone with the class, I have an idea that if the parents of these children knew that he admits to fantasizing about kids and that he wrote my twelve-year-old son an email stating that he wanted to "cuddle and snuggle and be sexual" with him, they would not want him anywhere near their own children. Ms. Voie even banned me from the truckerbuddy.org forum because I posted a link to this website and tried to educate teachers on how to protect the kids.
It is clear that the best way to protect kids from becoming victims of pedophiles is to educate them. Make them aware that there are people in this world who do not have their best interests at heart. Tell them about good touch and bad touch in an age-appropriate way. Tell them that sometimes people who appear to be nice and friendly and generous are in actuality very sick people who need help. Make it clear to the kids that if someone should ever try to molest them or hurt them in any way, or if someone tries to seduce them or do anything that the child feels uncomfortable with, that it is not the child's fault. Tell the kids the things that these men will do and say to get them not to tell an adult what happened. Discuss with your kids the ways that pedophiles and child molesters operate. You certainly don't have to go into a lot of sordid details; just tell them that if anyone ever tries to touch their private parts, or tries to get the child to touch their private parts, they are to tell you immediately. Make it clear that these men are very sick people and that they need help. What they are doing or attempting to do is not only wrong but also illegal. The more we educate the kids about these issues, the more likely they are to be assertive about turning these guys in.
Learn the profile of a pedophile so that it's easier for you to spot the warning signs. A pedophile is usually an adult male who is frequently hard-working and appears to be family-oriented. Pedophiles seem to like kids and go out of their way to be around them. Indeed, they prefer the company of kids to that of adults. They tend to be well-liked by both kids and adults. However, they are often loners. Although they usually have a lot of acquaintances who like them, they seem to have few very close friends.
Pedophiles gradually target and slowly seduce their victims. They look for kids who come from single-parent homes and who may appear to be quiet and needy. They also give kids who are not needy a lot of attention in order to get other adults to trust them. They spend a lot of time around kids and do not hesitate to spend money on them. They get the kids to genuinely like them. They also get the parents to like them. Pedophiles often pretend to like the child's single mom and they try to cultivate a friendship with her. If she allows the friendship to develop, she often becomes devastated when she finds out that this man never wanted to be her friend in the first place; he was only using her to get to her child.
How do you know if your child has already been seduced or molested or approached by a pedophile? There are warning signs to be on the lookout for. If your child always liked school but suddenly does not want to go, something is going on. It could be that he has merely had a fight with another student or was scolded by a teacher. On the other hand, perhaps someone has approached him in a sexual way. Is there a change in his behavior or have his grades taken a nose dive? If so, it's time to take a look at what may be going on in the child's life that you don't know about. The same holds true if your child suddenly has mood changes or aggressive behavior that he did not previously display.
Does your child suddenly seem withdrawn and preoccupied? Does he have new toys, clothes or money that you can't account for? Does he have a loss of appetite? Does he have nightmares or have trouble sleeping at night? Does he exhibit sexual behavior or language that is inappropriate for his age? Does he draw pictures of the private parts of the human body? All of these things are signs that it's time to find out what's going on. If you don't feel comfortable talking to your child about these things, then find someone who does. Don't be afraid or ashamed to take your child to counseling if you are concerned that someone may have harmed or tried to harm him. If you don't help him in this way, who will?
The bottom line is that we can't hide our heads in the sand about the issue of pedophilia. It's time to stand up and fight. These are our children we're talking about. If we feel that something may be going on or if someone may be in the process of grooming our kids for seduction, it's time to do something about it. Far too many kids, both boys and girls, are sexually abused and molested every day. It's time to put a stop to it. The future of our children depends on it. Don't allow these men to get away with their sick crimes against children. Stop saying, "Oh, I don't think he would do something like that," if your gut feeling is that he most certainly would do something like that. Quit giving these guys the benefit of the doubt. Our kids should not have to go through hell for years and then grow up and finally decide to go to counseling on their own before they finally have the courage to step forward and tell their stories. They should be able to feel safe and protected now. We as parents must have the courage to step forward and put these men away, either in jail or in some kind of intense psychiatric counseling facility, where they cannot do any more harm.
I made the mistake of trying to help a pedophile myself, and I can tell you that it was a big mistake. In no way was I qualified to intervene in that type of situation. I felt compassion and I genuinely liked the man because he was funny, intelligent and gave great hugs, but in the end I had to face reality. I had to realize that he had used me to try to seduce my son. I finally had to accept the advice of all my friends and family members. I ended up being hurt immensely by the entire situation. The fact that the man in question did not care that he hurt me and my son only intensified my pain. He felt no remorse. When I confronted him he sent me an email stating that my son had been taught right from wrong by myself and his older brothers and therefore he was old enough to make up his own mind. He was only angry that he got caught. My son and I learned a lot through these experiences and we came away older and wiser. Now I'm trying to educate other parents so at least some good can come it. If I can help to save even one child from the clutches of a pedophile, then I will have made lemonade out of the lemons that I was given.
HOW ONLINE PREDATORS WORK
Shannon could hear the footsteps behind her as she walked toward home. The thought of being followed made her heart beat faster. "You're being silly," she told herself, "no one is following you." To be safe, she began to walk faster, but the footsteps kept up with her pace. She was afraid to look back and she was glad she was almost home. Shannon said a quick prayer, "God, please get me home safe." She saw the porch light burning and she leaned against the door for a moment, relieved to be in the safety of her home. She glanced out the window to see if anyone was there. The sidewalk was empty. After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and go online.
She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message: Hi. I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was really weird!
GoTo123 replied, LOL. You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you? Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?
ByAngel213 typed, Of course I do. LOL. I guess it was my imagination cuz I didn't see anybody when I looked.
GoTo123: Unless you gave your name out online. You haven't done that, have you?
ByAngel213: Of course not. I'm not stupid, you know.
GoTo123: Did you have a softball game after school today?
ByAngel213: Yes, and we won!!
GoTo123: That's great! Who did you play?
ByAngel213: We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees.
GoTo123: What is your team called?
ByAngel213: We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are really cool.
GoTo123: Did you pitch?
ByAngel213: No, I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to be done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!
GoTo123: Catch you later. Bye.
Meanwhile......GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far. Her name: Shannon; Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985; Age: 13; State where she lived: North Carolina; Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall. Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew she played softball on Thursday after-noons on the school team, and the team was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the seventh grade at the Canton Junior High School. She had told him all this in the conversations they had on-line. He had enough information to find her now.
Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident on the way home from the ball park that day. She didn't want them to make a scene and stop her from walking home from the softball games. Parents were always overreacting and hers were the worst. It made
her wish she was not an only child. Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents wouldn't be so overprotective. By Thursday, Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps following her.
Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at her. It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her second base position to see a man watching her closely. He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he smiled when she looked at him. He didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the fear she had felt. After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She noticed his smile once again as she walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He noticed her name on the back of her shirt. He knew he had found her.
Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only a few blocks to Shannon's home and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned to the park to get his car. Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came to go to
Shannon's house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until time to make his move. Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room.
"Shannon, come here," her father called. He sounded upset and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from the ballpark sitting on the sofa. "Sit down," her father said. "This man has just told us a most interesting story about you."
Shannon sat back. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!
"Do you know who I am, Shannon?" the man asked.
"No," Shannon answered.
"I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123."
Shannon was stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my age! He's 14 and he lives in Michigan!"
The man smiled. "I know I told you all that, but it wasn't true. You see, Shannon, there are people online who pretend to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to find kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to give out too much
information to people online. You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. Your name, the school you go to, the name of your ball team and the position you play. The number and name on your jersey made finding you a breeze."
Shannon was stunned. "You mean you don't live in Michigan?"
He laughed. "No, I live in Raleigh. It made you feel safe to think I was so far away, didn't it?"
"I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the time online. The wrong people trick you into giving out information, a little here and a little there online. Before you know it, you have told them enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again. And tell others about this so they will be safe too."
"It's a promise!" exclaimed Shannon.
Shannon kept her promise and never gave out information about herself online again. Other kids are not so lucky because they don't know about the dangers of child predators who lurk online looking for a child or young teenager.
Please pass this message along to everyone you know. Let's all work together to keep kids safe.
Here are some characteristics of pedophiles:
A pedophile will usually exhibit a series of personality characteristics that are common.
He displays a fascination or unusual interest in children. If an adult has an inordinate amount of interest in pre-pubescent children, it doesn't confirm he is a pedophile, but it should at least arouse suspicion.
He makes frequent references to children in exalted or exaggerated terms such as "pure," "innocent," "God sent," "blissful" and other descriptive labels that seem inappropriate and excessive. Remember that a pedophile cannot help the way he behaves and therefore will inadvertently reveal aspects about himself during speech.
He has hobbies or interests that commonly belong in the realm of a child's world such as toy collecting or building models of cars or planes. His home or room is decorated in a child's theme. And often, that theme will reflect the age bracket of his preferred victim.
He is over 30 years of age, single and has few or no friends his own age. He has systematic and prolonged access to children. Pedophiles, because of the wide age disparity between themselves and their victims, cannot just hang around children. The pedophile has to find a way to legitimize his contact with kids. He usually accomplishes this by obtaining employment in a field where he is forced to deal with children on a daily basis. Jobs like schoolteachers, bus drivers, camp counselors, photographers and sports coaching serve their needs perfectly. They will always volunteer for activities in which they are left alone with children with no parental supervision (Lanning, p. 19).
Pedophiles are also very adept at locating troubled or withdrawn children. This is a skill they have acquired through years of trial and error. They have come to identify what usually works and what usually doesn't. The most common technique used by pedophiles to obtain sex from children is the seduction method. This process is very similar to the classic boy/girl courtship. Though the child might be under 10 years old, the pedophile will lavish gifts upon the target, take him or her to amusement parks, museums, restaurants and other places of interest. If the target is a troubled child, the pedophile will comfort and sympathize with him or her. Often, over a period of time, the child will develop feelings for the pedophile even though he is being actively abused.
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It's the action, not the fruit of the action,
that's important. You have to do the right thing.
It may not be in your power, may not be in your time,
that there'll be any fruit.
But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing.
You may never know what results come from your action.
But if you do nothing, there will be no result.
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