What follows is a special announcement on behalf of a group being set up by people known and trusted by Heretic TOC. The subject is “therapy”. The track record of the mental health professions in relation to minor-attracted people has been so deeply unimpressive we might feel the best thing is to steer clear of them altogether. Thinkers such as Ben Capel (Notes From Another Country, Ch. 7) and Ipce’s Frans Gieles (Treatment, self-help and real therapy) have helped me keep an open mind. So I welcome this initiative and wish it every success.

I would like to draw the attention of the readers of Heretic TOC to a new group which is in the process of being formed: B4U-ACT UK. Many of you will know of the American organisation B4U-ACT. This a group of minor attracted people (MAPs) and mental health professionals (MHPs), whose main aim is to encourage the development of humane and professional mental health services for the minor attracted.  Our British organisation has similar aims but will be run separately with its own projects. We already have one project in progress, in which one of us, Adam Powell, is involved in discussions with a leading provider of ‘therapy’ for MAPs, discussing with him what we see as the shortcomings of his methods.

One thing I would like to make clear is that just by virtue of holding discussions with MHPs, we do not endorse the idea that minor attraction is an ‘illness’. What we do think is that MAPs generally face problems in their lives owing to societal rejection of their sexual orientation and that a professional therapist with the right sort of understanding of these problems should be able to help. But what we tend to see in practice is not helpful humane therapy but rather a form of dogmatic and ignorant treatment aimed at convincing the client or patient that he is perverted, sick, cognitively distorted and so on. We want this to change, not only for the sake of the MHPs who turn to therapy, but also for the sake of the young people to whom they are considered to be such a threat (since we do not think that the marginalization of MAPs helps to protect young people—quite the opposite.)

Tom has kindly given me this opportunity to use this forum to ask if any of his readers would like to join us. We would be particularly interested in hearing from people who have had some experience of seeking therapy for their minor attraction—we would like to hear how it turned out. We are also interested in recruiting ‘activists’ – people who would feel able to do the kind of liaising work that Adam is already doing, though we realise that this is not for everyone. If you are interested in any way, do get in touch by E-mailing me at StephenJames465@yahoo.co.uk

Stephen James