Heretic TOC gets its mojo back


The year began with a night of doubt and sorrow for Heretic TOC, or rather a somewhat more lingering concern, hinted at briefly on New Year’s Eve in a blog called “Truth, reality and baby elephants”, which spoke in riddles suffused with existential angst.

I said I feared for the blog’s mojo, and by implication my own, but remained silent as to the reason. A couple of months later, though, the Daily Mail let the cat was out of the bag in a story that mentioned my conviction last year for “historic” offences in 1978. Now that the case had been propelled into the public domain, and not in a flattering way, obviously, I felt the time had come to give my side of the story. So I wrote about it in “A rare escape, without bribery or bloodshed”, explaining my good fortune in remaining at liberty despite the present trend towards very long prison sentences.

The reason I left the court a free man, I wrote, is that neither the judge, nor the prosecution, nor crucially even the “victims” themselves, appeared to have seen me as callously “predatory”. Also, the judge emphasised that I was entitled to express my views.

Why, then, would the case leave me feeling Heretic TOC might lose its mojo, putting the blog’s future in doubt? Put simply, I worried that I might find it hard to write honestly, confidently and positively on Kind issues in future without addressing why anyone had wanted to bring a case against me in the first place. The “rare escape” blog gave me the opportunity to do that. With the cat freed from the bag, I too felt liberated from my silence and able to put my side of the story.

Since then, I feel, Heretic TOC has been substantially reinvigorated. The spring and summer months following my personal revelations saw several of what I believe to have been my best ever blogs, notably  “The law, lore and allure of the jungle”, “Latin lovers versus British bum bandits”, “Acceptable danger: the sky is the limit?” and “Willy power and ‘the will to power’”. There have also been some excellent guest blogs, by  David Kennerly, Feinmann (twice), Cyril Galaburda, David, and Peace. Readers’ enthusiasm and engagement seems to have picked up more in the autumn and winter months, with blogs regularly attracting a hundred or more published comments, many of them of a very high standard in terms of richly informative content and cogent argument.

My anxiety at the end of last year that Heretic TOC might not recover its mojo following my narrow escape from prison was of course preceded by a long period in the run-up to the trial when mojo (by which I mean a mix of excitement, interest, energy and enthusiasm) was the least of my problems. The immediate threat was a long stretch behind bars, with a five- or six-year sentence a real possibility. If that had come to pass, Heretic TOC would probably have ceased to exist in terms of fresh contributions by me, although I did have kind offers from guest bloggers and other friends to keep things going if the worst came to the worst.

I had some very generous financial offers, too, at a time when it looked as though I might be faced with heavy legal costs in order to mount a proper defence. In the event, funds were mercifully not needed for this purpose but I was helped with hotel and travel costs for a trial that was held in Wales, hundreds of miles from where I live. Supporters also kindly sponsored my attendance at a classics conference at Edinburgh University in April and the Battle of Ideas debate forum at the Barbican, London, in November, staged by the Institute of Ideas (IOI). The former enabled me to hone up my knowledge of the sexual mores of Ancient Greece, which should come in handy very soon as I hope to be blogging on this theme shortly. The fruits of the IOI event were harvested much more immediately: as regular heretics here will have seen, a good deal of the information and inspiration for my mental health three-parter had its origins in this event.

There was another truly existential threat, too, one that has since receded but not entirely disappeared. In November last year, on the occasion of Heretic TOC’s third anniversary, I blogged under the title “Extremists plot to disrupt ‘distressing’ dissent”, which reported that the UK government was proposing to tackle terrorism by cracking down on the expression of “extremist” views. Depending on how “extremism” was to be defined, this sounded to me like a potentially very serious threat to free speech which could be used to suppress almost any views at odds with mainstream thinking, no matter how non-violent their expression might be. As Simon Calvert, director of Defend Free Speech, said:

Defend Free Speech believes innocent people will fall foul of this unnecessary and dangerous piece of legislation. It will criminalise those who hold unpopular, unfashionable or challenging views. This could include pro- and anti-religious groups, trade unionists, environmental and animal rights activists, critics of UK foreign policy and people campaigning for LGBT rights.

And a blog like this.

Well, a lot of water has flowed under the political bridge since then, and with so much happening on the Brexit front, the government has made little visible progress on countering “extremist” views. Theresa May’s new government revived the plan for legislation but an agreed definition of extremism has yet to emerge, and no parliamentary bill has so far been tabled. But in the wake of the Berlin street market attack and a succession, so we are told, of thwarted plots in the UK, May’s government is understandably loath to let go. So, yet again, it all seems to be a matter of wait and see. For recent parliamentary scrutiny see here and here.

The third anniversary blog would have been followed by a fourth last month but I had started my mental health three-parter by then and did not want to interrupt it. So today’s blog has ended up being a sort of late anniversary thing combined with a half-arsed end-of-year 2016 review. Messy, but there we are.

In terms of statistics, the present blog is the 195th in a little over four years since Heretic TOC’s launch. By Christmas Day there had been 8057 published comments, which works out at over 40 comments per blog – a very high figure, especially when taking into account that in the early days I was bringing out a new blog every day. The blogs were typically much shorter then but I nevertheless find myself astonished I could find the time.  As for the number of page hits, on Christmas Day they stood at 121, 915 for the year so far, already exceeding the previous highest total for a full year, which was 2015’s figure, 115,904.

Most visitors to the site in 2016 came from UK and US (fairly equally), followed by (in order) Russia, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands; then the next Anglophone country, Australia; then Hungary, Denmark, Canada and Belgium. However, I am told that these particular stats are not very meaningful because some readers will be mailing through proxy servers that bear no relation to where the reader is based. That’s a great shame. Until I heard this, I had been delighted to see that Heretic TOC apparently has readers in such exotic places as  Mongolia, Greenland, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea and many others! Oh, well, one can dream!

Looking forward, what can heretics expect from this site in 2017? As already indicated, I expect to be blogging on Ancient Greece quite soon, and I said a few weeks ago that the transgender theme is high on my list. Beyond that, I have a whole heap of topics lined up, and so do several guest bloggers. Don’t be deterred, though, if you haven’t tried guest blogging before and are wondering whether you should have a go: I am always interested in fresh thoughts from new people.

The only limitations on Heretic TOC’s activities, apart from the still distant threat of curbs on free speech, are a shortage of time and money. As I have mentioned on other occasions, I would love to be spending time on writing books, and articles for academic publications, in addition to time spent on the blog. Right now, though, it just ain’t happening. Probably that is because I am not getting any younger. I still have immense enthusiasm for writing and research, but not the energy to produce at speed. Even just keeping up with an ever rising torrent of relevant new books, research papers, articles, TV documentaries and video presentations has become a full-time job in itself.

The demands made by the core task have become such that even simple maintenance issues can seem tough. For instance, with substantial help from reader “Ronnie”, I was able to make great strides in summarising previous Heretic TOC blogs with a view to more effective searching of the whole corpus of work and to select particular pieces (plus a limited  selection of the best reader comments) for inclusion in a Best of Heretic TOC book, with an e-book edition. Yet I was unable, in the whole of 2016, to complete the summaries or make the selection. Never mind, I hope to get there in the coming year.

Another neglected task is the Blogroll, where there are dead links, and live links to dead sites. If anyone knows of lively, relevant sites that really should be included, please let me know. Meanwhile, I hope I can find time in the next few days, before year’s end, to do a bit of weeding in this little digital flowerbed.

As for money, I don’t have much but you will probably be relieved to hear that Heretic TOC is able to soldier on without appealing for funds at the present time.

I’ll just give a moment for that to sink in. OK, so….

Must be half a mo by now.

Right, time up! Now that you’ve had time to enjoy a moment of relief in peace I will add that the coming year may see an appeal for funds, depending on how much progress is made towards certain tasks, and clarity over any financial commitments they might entail. We’ll see.

Now, in winding up, just a few words reviewing the wider year, beyond this blog. I’m not going to bang on about the horrors of Brexit and Trump, or Syria and the tragedy of the Middle East in general, or the looming perils of climate change, or the seemingly freakish number of celebrity deaths. I’m not even going to mention the appalling 13-year prison sentence imposed on a 101-year-old man in the UK, nor dwell upon how the hitherto strongly-held value of humane treatment of the elderly could be so deliberately and abruptly consigned to the trash can in this case with barely a whisper of protest.

No, I will remain silent on all of that but will just note, briefly, that this was a year in which, like the trashed old geezer in jail, I have arguably been demoted to a lower status. Nothing so obvious or terrible as imprisonment, mercifully. More a sort of gentle passing on downwards towards Boring Old Fart rather than (as I would prefer, obviously!) elevation to Elder Statesman of Kind advocacy.

Why do I say so? I guess it’s the Brexit and Trump thing, mainly. My horrified reaction to these phenomena seems not to be shared by some here, perhaps those of a younger generation. So maybe from now on my opinions will come to seem more and more embarrassingly out of touch as time goes by. I suppose my views might change. I might catch up. Or I might not. Either way, younger heretics will have to decide for themselves whether Heretic TOC continues to be worth reading. I hope so, of course. Again, we’ll see!

Happy New Year!



Bruce Muirhead, or “B.J. Muirhead” as he publicly presents his name, is a writer and photographer whose thoughtful comments have graced Heretic TOC this year. See for instance what he says here about the ideas of biochemist and controversial parapsychologist Rupert Sheldrake. In another comment accessible from the same link he had occasion to mention Unsent Letters, his own novel.

Among other things, he said the book “is based on many stories told to me, although I did, of course, also draw on my experiences with my first wife – and on my knowledge of girls around 13, resulting from talking to my children’s friends when they were visiting. Interestingly, my second wife attempted to use the first draft to prove that I am a ‘paedophile’ and therefore an unsafe parent for my children.”

Intrigued, I bought a copy of the paperback, although it was the best part of three months later before I got around it reading it, by which time, I confess, I had quite forgotten Bruce’s introductory words, so came to the book with no conscious preconceptions. I was impressed, and decided to review it. A short version of the review appears at the publisher’s website, both for the paperback and the e-book. I gave Unsent Letters a maximum five-star rating on quality grounds but, as I said in the review, that does not mean it is something everyone will want to read, or even every heretic.

By reading my concise review, though, you should be able to get a good idea as to whether this is going to be your cup of tea or not. A fuller version of the review has been posted on a website called  In A Foreign Town, which features Bruce’s poetry and fiction. He also has another website for his photography.

I might just mention a few more biographical details taken from the “About” notes Bruce has posted online:

Earlier in my life I studied philosophy and creative writing at various universities, published a very small amount of poetry, an awful lot of photography criticism in the Courier-Mail newspaper and a few other places, and held a few exhibitions of drawings and paintings, before turning into a full time parent and hiding away for about 12 years.

My aim here, just so you know, is to publish random thoughts, ideas and images and perhaps get some feedback …

A grim dispatch from the Eastern Front


Believe it or not, things could be even worse, as today’s guest blogger Cyril Eugenovich Galaburda amply demonstrates with reference to the fate of those damned as paedophiles in Russia. Cyril is a physics graduate in his early thirties with advanced knowledge of plasma physics and IT; he has also undertaken postgraduate studies in psychology. From Ukraine, he speaks Russian and English as well as his own native language and has completed a number of ambitious translations into Russian, including the Rind et al. 1998 meta-analysis, Bertrand Russell’s Proposed Roads To Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism and my own Paedophilia: The Radical Case. I am flattered to find my work in such illustrious company! Cyril’s piece here has been somewhat re-written and condensed, with permission, from the author’s original online version in English.



Genocide is a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the right to live of individual human beings; such denial of the right of existence shocks the conscience of mankind,.. and is contrary to moral law and to the spirit and aims of the United Nations… The General Assembly, therefore, affirms that genocide is a crime under international law… whether the crime is committed on religious, racial, political or any other grounds…

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96 (I), 11 December 1946

Genocide is the deliberate destruction, in whole or in part, by a government or its agents, of a racial, sexual, religious, tribal or political minority. It can involve not only mass murder, but also starvation, forced deportation, and political, economic and biological subjugation. Genocide involves three major components: ideology, technology, and bureaucracy/organization.

Jack Nusan Porter, 1982


What the Nazis did to the Jews is accepted as abhorrent. Not just the ultimate evil, the Holocaust, in which millions perished, but also its prelude: the burning of Jewish scriptures, the trashing of Jewish businesses, the imposed wearing of  the Star of David, the confinement in ghettos, the slave labour camps and all manner of brutal, degrading and humiliating treatment to which the Jews were systematically subjected, are considered crimes against humanity.

Yet similar treatment of paedophiles finds widespread support. Paedophiles are ruthlessly shut out of mainstream public discourse; denied a voice in the media, they are likewise shunned by publishers and kept off speaking platforms. They face discrimination in employment and housing; public proscription lists of child-lovers guarantee they and their homes will be targeted for hostilities; forced out, and kept homeless by oppressive zoning restrictions, they are made to live like vagrants, exposed to the elements and to further violence; they may be imprisoned for decades or for life, facing abuse and attack, often on a daily basis ; they may be subject to regimes of deliberate psychological abuse and chemical castration. Those who have themselves killed no one may even be killed.

In this article you will learn how to die in Russian-speaking countries.


The Final Solution to the Paedophile Question

I read a terrible anonymous story on an internet forum. The author seems to be a physician:

“My child’s godmother’s friend has a daughter. She was four years old. It was an ordinary evening. The woman wanted the girl to go to bed, and bathed her first. When she was washing the girl’s genitals she noticed that the child was reacting in a weird way: rolling her eyes, trying to trap the mother’s hand between the top of her thighs. If the girl had said nothing, nobody would have found out. But when the mother removed her hand the girl demanded imperiously: “I want more!” Responding to her mother’s silent perplexity, the child said: “Ms So-and-So always does it.” She was referring to a 25-year-old on the kindergarten staff. Nobody went to the police. The girl’s father solved the problem by himself, once and for all. In the gangsters’ manner.”

Only a stupid beast can consider pleasure to be a “problem” worthy of taking a woman’s life. Throughout my childhood my mother yelled at me, beat me, threw me on a floor, kicked me, spat at me, outraged me, and trespassed into my private life, and nobody will punish my mother for it. But the kindergarten worker from the story was kind and tender towards that girl. But all mankind thinks what she did deserves bloodshed. Why?


The Superior Race and the Superior Sexual Orientation

Russia idolizes Alexander Kuznetsoff of St. Petersburg, a giant of a man, a champion boxer jailed three times for drugs offences (marihuana and heroin). On New Year’s Eve at the end of 2007 he killed a young man, a 20-year-old Uzbek. All who had known the victim, Bakhtischod Khajrilaeff, spoke of him as a kind and polite person. But the murderer claimed he had sexually assaulted Kuznetsoff’s eight-year-old stepson.

The murderer said he had been looking for his lost stepson for an hour, but the police said it would have taken two or three hours. The murderer says he noticed the child’s pants in his porch but the police did not find any pants. The murderer says that he found his stepson naked on the porch floor, that Khajrilaeff had his trousers lowered, that he had beaten the Uzbek till the police came.  But the police found all of them with their clothes on.

Nobody saw the murderer looking for his stepson. The child had not been raped; but he had been beaten and bitten. By whom? Two weeks later, when the child was questioned, he said the slaughtered Khajrilaeff had done it. Russians praised the murderer. He was in demand for interviews and autographs. Money was raised to help him.

It is so easy to become a hero: all you need to do is kill someone from an ethnic minority, call him a paedophile and make a child confirm the story. (In Russian law the parents must be present when a child is interrogated.) The craziest thing is that the murderer Kuznetsoff was declared a victim!

“The sole criterion needed for a valid self-defence is proportionality between the means used in order to perpetrate the crime and the means used to defend against it,” the murderer’s lawyer said. But Kuznetsoff had suffered “a deep psychological trauma”. This made him “unable to judge a proportionate response”. This had to be taken into account.

The “traumatized” murderer was sentenced to a term of only two and a half years and was released ahead of time in 2010 after giving a written undertaking not to leave his home. It is suspicious that neither his mistress nor the boy he “saved” were there to welcome Kuznetsoff from imprisonment. Now he is free to kill more Uzbeks by branding them paedophiles.

A journalist put out a smear story against Khajrilaeff, saying he was a pervert who had to flee to another city to escape retribution. The basis for this? As a 14-year-old he had allegedly been seen looking at the genitals of some 11-year-old boys. Hardly a compelling case. But, in any event,  those who had known the murdered man did not believe he had been a paedophile, nor did his relatives. The Khajrilaeffs think he had been murdered in the course of a robbery: his phone, gold chain, camera and video camera, and all his documents were stolen. It is also known that Kuznetsoff had served a three-year prison term in 1994 for robbing a taxi driver. That time he could not blame his victim for paedophilia.

Kuznetsoff is not the only murderer who has tried to justify himself by turning the blame onto a “paedophile”. Another is paratrooper Alexis Buriloff, who killed a man with a few blows to the head. Now the murderer is crying foul because he is faced with a prison sentence under high security, even though it is only a  mere two and a half years – hardly excessive for taking a life! He and his mother are trying to convince everyone that Mr. Buriloff did the deed to protect his little niece from a man who – allegedly – tried to rape and murder her.

The public prosecutor’s representative seems not to believe the murderer’s version: she is appealing against the court’s lenient sentence. But the online reaction of fundamentalists with allegiance to the Russian Orthodox Church goes totally the other way. Here is one such comment:

High security imprisonment!? For sure, the judge has a touch of Jewish blood and gave a sentence aimed at oppressing Russians. Or some relatives bribed her. Actually the paratrooper did not kill, just punched a couple of times. He is not to blame that the weakling did not survive. It is dangerous now to trouble weaklings… Among Jewish scum there are a lot of weaklings. That is how Jewish genes work.

Actually, it is by no means certain the murder victim was Jewish, but Russians respect paratroopers so much that any legal procedure is considered to be a conspiracy against “real Russian men”. Acquitting murderers is demanded for the “protection” of children from Asian perverts. Intolerance towards paedophiles justifies racialist attacks.

The summit of this antisemito-paedophobia was the killing of a foreign pseudo-paedophile in Kharkov. In Russian-speaking countries it is trendy now among neo-Nazis to hunt paedophiles. There are such activists in my city too. They use internet chat to lure a child-lover with the chance to meet a child. A rendezvous is agreed. When the child-lover turns up he will be confronted, filmed and humiliated. Urine will be poured over him; he will be beaten.

In Kharkov a 24-year-old student from Jordan was even killed. Lured by the “paedophile-hunters”, he tried to date a 17-year-old girl. The student cannot be considered a paedophile for this. But living in Ukraine I know that some dislike Arabian immigrants simply for being “lustful”, and for taking “our” girls…

In February, some Kharkov inhabitants saw a bunch of thugs beating the student mercilessly. The witnesses called police but the victim was dead. One of the witnesses tried to stop the murderers but they threatened the passer-by and showed him the victim’s “paedophilic” correspondence.

An 18-year-old called Artemes has confessed. A friend told the press that the Jordanian student had not been the first victim. But he praised his pal:

“Artemes is a good guy! It served that paedophile right! I hope Artemes will be acquitted.”

The victim died from displacement of the diaphragm when Artemes trod on his spine and yanked the student’s hands.


The Third Degree

A couple years ago I was in hospital with a policeman. He bragged about how he had tortured a “paedophile” by leaving him hanging by his hands.

An award-winning musician, accordionist Ingvar Zavadsky,  was accused of having overly friendly relations with boys. He says he had his testicles squashed during an interrogation. It is  considered commonplace for the police to hit peoples’ heads with heavy books, break their fingers with a door, use electrical current or just beat detainees black and blue. These are regarded sincerely as “acts of humanity”, necessary to prevent dangerous criminals from getting away with their crimes.

Sometimes police “humanity” goes too far.

On the 19th of November 2014, in Ekaterinburg, 33-year-old Sergio Yegoroff, suspected of intimacy with an eight-year-old boy, hanged himself in the investigatory jail. According to Sverdlovsk Committee of Inquiry “criminal negligence led to the situation in which the accused committed suicide” but there was “no evidence that the death has features of crime”.

Nevertheless, lawyer Ivan Volkoff, engaged by Yegoroff’s mother, has contrary information:

“In order to arrest him the Criminal Investigation Department workers feigned a traffic accident as a reason to detain Yegoroff. They had had no testimony from the child, but used a blurred video and tortured him, beating statements out of him.”

Yegoroff’s mother says that at the time the crime was supposed to have taken place, her son was at work, as could be corroborated from three security cameras (two in the street, one into his workplace).

“He was found”, the mother says, “scratched, with bruises and his eye beaten out. For sure, he didn’t kill himself…

“As I got to know later, he had been tortured for 24 hours. He had been beaten and threatened with a gun. Their lawyer, Mr. Vinogradoff, phoned me and wanted me to bring him 150,000 roubles because my son had been caught red-handed and would be imprisoned for 20 years.”

The jail administration has said that on the day in question  there were twelve people with Yegoroff in the cage, so it was impossible to hang oneself without being noticed.


The Minotaurs In The Maze

The state’s persecution of child-lovers is no less appalling than that of the amateur thugs. You can go to prison just for kissing a willing child’s backside. Then in prison you will be branded a “sex offender” and everyone will assume you rape kids.

Everyone knows that child-lovers are systematically exploited, beaten and raped by the other prisoners. And that means really raped. You will be held by two men and a third will pull you down. You may have your teeth beaten out to satisfy your oppressors in a French way. From this moment to speak with you is to be persecuted equally with you. You will eat and walk apart from the others. You will be made to clean toilets on pain of death. Nobody will care that you never treated children in the way you are treated by your cellmates.

The journalist and criminologist Alexander Kutschinky writes that child-lovers rarely survive before being transported from an investigatory jail to a penal colony. Then they are packed into prison buses so tightly they die during the journey; these fatalities are explained as “heart attacks”.

Also in Russia a paedophile was butchered by prisoners atrociously: beaten to a pulp and a huge stick thrust into his anus. His relatives (what must they have felt!) saw that his eye had been beaten out.

A news announcer even appeared to condone what had happened, wrapping up his description of the case with these words of crass complicity:

“The way you treat people, that’s how you can expect them to treat you.”

But the murder victim had killed no one, nor had he been violent. He was not getting his  “just deserts”. Paedophile-haters lie and live in their lie. Paedophile-haters kill but do not call themselves killers. That’s how it is in Russia.



T. O’C. adds: Cyril has also written an English-language page about an extraordinary episode seemingly far removed from the brutally violent horrors described above, but which is nevertheless also indicative of what is going on in Russia. This concerns a storm whipped up over forensic criminologist Professor Gennadium Derjagin’s allegedly scandalous views and writings on paedophilia.

Here is an edited taster paragraph:

Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) had to make excuses for the scandal concerned with the publication of a course of lectures, “Criminal Sexology”, by the Head of Subfaculty of Forensic Medicine and Law in Severny State Medical University, Gennadium Derjagin. Bloggers found out that this textbook had propagandized paedophilia as a normal and natural phenomenon and that the book would be studied by future police officers. Out of hand, the MIA gave an assurance that the course had not yet been mounted for the students of Moscow MIA University and that the author no longer worked there, according to ITAR-TASS.

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