hellbound47591: are you alone
britneyx69: well, my dad is asleep, but other than that, yes
hellbound47591: suck on your finger
britneyx69: ok i will
hellbound47591: what are you wearing
hellbound47591: any thing under that
hellbound47591: now suck on your finger and rub your clit
On February 21, this online exchange was posted on the web by an organization called "Perverted Justice" ("PJ" for short). As it turns out, "hellbound47591's" chat room mating dance is just one of many captured in PJ's archive of transcribed chats. Too bad "britneyx69" isn't the gooey, 14-year-old girl he thinks it is--the poor sucker's typing dirty to a full-grown man working as a PJ operative.
Started less than a year ago, PJ is a website devoted to exposing what they refer to as "wanna-be pedophiles" (www.angrygerman.com/justice). Beginning with Portland chat rooms, the group has expanded its coverage from Oregon to as far off as Norway. In addition to posting the exchanges, the PJ site also includes the names, street and e-mail addresses, phone numbers, photographs (not infrequently nude), and any other information volunteered by the wanna-bes during the course of their chats.
"On our website, we never refer to these people as pedophiles. We don't like to take the risk of accusing someone of actual acts of pedophilia, regardless of what our opinions or suspicions may be on the subject," explains Frank Fencepost, one of the site's founders and the original PJer, who began prank/stinging people he found on Portland Chat.
They do, however, like to publicly humiliate those adults who choose to troll the web in search of underage tail. At some point during the online conversations, the PJer will reveal the sting and direct the hot-and-bothered wanna-be to the PJ website. The wanna-bes' confused and often very angry responses to the prankish trap are posted, along with all the info they've offered. And although they commonly threaten to take legal action, as in accusing PJ of entrapment (which only the long arm of the law can accomplish), the wanna-bes essentially don't have a leg to stand on. As the site's disclaimer emphasizes, all the information posted is freely and directly given, and the chat conversations are the legal property of the webmasters.
PJ does grant one mode of recourse to the wanna-bes. The "Right of Reply" page contains postings of excuses, pleas, "I was just kiddings," apologies, etc. written by PJ prey. They sometimes contain descriptions of alcohol abuse, the humiliation of wives and girlfriends, as well as the fear of employers, neighbors, kids, or fellow church members catching wind of the site.
And well, they should be afraid. Fencepost's online bio includes a list of things the site's visitors should definitely not do. These include passing out copies of the chats to the wanna-bes' neighbors, putting dog shit in their mailboxes, etc.
"What people who read our website choose to do with the information we give them is none of our concern," says Fencepost. "We operate under the premise that the people who read our website are adult enough to be responsible for their own actions."
Obviously, the harm done to the wanna-bes is potentially devastating. In the wake of further exposure of their online jollies, jobs could be lost, and marriages ruined. Of course, alerting a wanna-be's community is exactly the purpose of PJ.
"We expose these guys to the internet community in hopes they will also mention it to their friends, coworkers, etc... Even people who've never seen the website can benefit because, perhaps, a friend warns them that the guy living next door was featured," elaborates Fencepost.
THINKING AND DOING: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
Oddly enough, the website is a funny read--in a dark, wry sense. The PJ members often insert witty asides, mocking spelling errors or penis sizes in the margins of the transcriptions. Sample chat titles include "All he wants is a little romance people can't you just UNDERSTAND that???" or "Gary wants the sex, but not the 'trobel.'" Part practical joke and part public service, the PJ website is alternately hilarious and hair-raising. And, if so inspired, it gives you instructions on becoming a member and nailing some wanna-bes of your own.
With PJ working to its fullest extent, the damage done to wanna-bes could be boundless--even if they're only guilty of one online chat that is, technically, legal. Regardless of the implications, and as far as the PJ crew knows, wannabes have not actually done anything other than threaten moral sensibilities; they're still wanna-bes.
"No police agencies have contacted us to let us know that someone we posted was a convicted/suspected sex criminal," says Fencepost.
Some might posit that online activity diverts wanna-bes from actually engaging in sex with minors. Although in the transcripts, many do express eagerness to arrange in-person dalliances, sometimes actually making plans to meet (which could simply be a fantasy, or eventually flaked on), it's still a far cry from committing physical crimes. But it's doubtful that such differentiation is acknowledged in the thick of the shrill outcries and pitchforks of community outrage.
The Danish Pedophile Association is big on differentiation. The website (www.danpedo.dk) is decorated with blue skies and rainbows. The logo is of two slightly pervy-looking happy faces, one big and one little, with hearts floating between them--it's pretty fucking sinister.
The site includes a discussion forum (occasionally penetrated by angry PJ members), a chuckly little joke self-test to see if or to what extent you are a pedophile, and an extensive FAQ page. Primarily, it aims to "reduce prejudices," and create a support network for self-identifying pedophiles, meaning those who are attracted to young people, but don't necessarily violate age of consent laws.
The association defines pedophilia as a sexual orientation, and not a disease. (The FAQ page lumps both homosexuality and sadomasochism into this category as well.) The site offers links to a wealth of research to support their various assertions, but it's difficult to grant them credibility based on some of the site's content. For example, "Two Different Worlds" is a compare/contrast list of two categories: "Sexual abuse of children" and "Pedophilia with erotic-sexual contact (if any)." One item on this list differentiates pedophilia from sexual abuse because "the aim is more space to express emotions. Power is balanced. Child and adult share the power." Unfortunately, balancing power between the conventionally dominant adult and conventionally subordinate child is often cited by child advocates as having lasting negative effects on the child's psyche.
AGE OF CONSENT
The topic of pedophilia is so touchy that even well respected members of the community become veiled in suspicion simply by broaching the issue with some degree of compassion. One well-known author who chose to research pedophilia as fodder for fictional work came under scrutiny to the extent that she requested anonymity.
When asked to bring her knowledge and thoughts to the subject of PJ and their online mission, the author was unimpressed: "One guy asked the alleged 14-year-old girl if she likes to give blow-jobs. I think it's okay for a man to ask a 14-year-old girl that," she says. "The people who are horrified by this basically hate teenagers. Their rhetoric about kids is identical to 19th century male rhetoric about women: kids/women are beautiful and innocent; to love kids/women is to protect them, especially from sex; kids/women are too frail/naîve/vulnerable to make choices for themselves (even when they think they want to consent, they're wrong)."
The discussions around "age of consent" and pedophilia or "wanna-be pedophilia" continue to be tripped up in terms that are used to apply to both two-year-olds and 17-year-olds. However, the PJ site's profiles focus on girls in their early teens and pre-teens. Regardless of any conclusions you draw about the wanna-bes featured on PJ, or the degree to which you villainize them, the site is updated weekly and free for perusal.
So fair warning to online chatters of underage sex: Perverted Justice is spreading.