Jimmy the screamer caught in VICE racket

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Jimmy “the screamer” Cantori, notorious hit-person of the Toronto mob, has gone to ground after a dramatic shoot-out last week when he was sensationally injured in a verbal battle with “heretic” Tommaso Caroli and “sex queen” Judith Levine, goodtime girl and slayer of child-protection racketeering. Cantori is thought to be nursing a badly-wounded ego.

The rumble broke out in a seedy speak-easy called Sexnet, where clients claim to “exchange information and ideas” about so-called “sex research”. Hostilities began after Cantori had bragged of an ambitious scheme to beef up the mob’s muscle by recruiting thugs on the street to press-gang men into “therapy”.

Seriously! James Cantor, a research psychologist whose hissy fits, dubious science, egotistic self-promotion and evangelical moral entrepreneurship in “support” of paedophiles have featured previously on Heretic TOC (see “Scientific egos as fragile as eggs” plus here, here and here for my engagement with him on his research), has now come up with a wheeze to use a vigilante outfit called Creep Catchers to “persuade” their victims – guys looking for sex who are tricked into a meeting they think will be with a minor – that they should seek treatment.

This came to light when James – which I will call him from now on because I’m a hopeless hater and he may well actually be sincere in his misguided aims – alerted Sexnet to a TV documentary about Creep Catchers by the appropriately named VICE News. James, who was interviewed on the programme, said he thought VICE did a great job, and I readily agree it was very slick and totally compelling.

J. Michael Bailey, moderator of Sexnet and himself a leading academic psychologist, also agreed, but then added that he thought James’s contribution had been “very, very good”. Usually, I find myself in agreement with Mike (it helps to agree with a moderator! 🙂 ), but not this time. So I said as much, although Judith Levine got in first with a fine one-liner, saying she thought the vigilante was the one who needed therapy – meaning a bully calling himself “Justin Payne”, a name possibly intended to evoke the idea of meting out pain in the name of justice. He was the guy actually confronting his entrapped victims, taunting and shaming them while his partner in a two-man team captured the confrontations on video.

My response was to say that:

…yes, James is very, very good at fulfilling a culturally assigned role, which is why the media lap him up.  Where paedophilia is concerned, he is the velvet glove masking the iron fist. He makes it possible for educated, civilised liberals to believe that essentially coercive therapies are necessary.

That alone would have been a red rag to a bull on Sexnet, where a substantial chunk of the membership are paid to develop and implement such therapies: most of them are well-meaning but their careers are built on oppression, including “therapy” within “civil confinement” prisons in the US from which there is virtually no prospect of release, despite treatment courses designed to make offenders safe for life outside.

What would have enraged James even more, though, was my response, and Judith Levine’s, to news he gave about a further development. He posted to say he was scheduled to be on a panel discussion with Justin Payne in February and was “hoping to use the opportunity to call on Creep Catchers to funnel victims into therapy instead of harassment”.

I replied saying “Not sure how encouraging thugs to bully and press-gang people into treatment would play with a medical ethics board. If something else is intended, what would it be? Is complicity with the leopards expected to change their spots?”

Judith posted swiftly in support:

…does Cantor really want to wave a magic wand & combine entrapment with enticements to therapy? How about just getting rid of mandatory reporting?

James is actually on record as being against mandatory reporting laws, which require doctors and other professionals to report to the authorities anyone coming to them for advice or therapy if they disclose any offence. His objection is that such laws deter paedophiles from seeking help – a very strong point because some people are genuinely desperate or even out of control and really do need it. Nevertheless, Judith was right to propose focusing on the reporting issue rather than going down the maverick route of colluding with thugs. As I said in a follow-up, the police wouldn’t touch Creep Catchers with a bargepole and neither should he – though the forces of law and order would do well to challenge the vigilantes over their harassment and intimidating behaviour.

Back to the VICE documentary itself. In one of James’s televised interview points he claimed, as he has done elsewhere, that paedophilia is characterised by crossed wiring in the brain. He said that  instead of having parental or avuncular feelings towards children, paedophiles identify them as sex objects.

Where, I asked, was this  “instead of” coming from? Why would it be one or the other rather than both? I pointed out that at least 20-25% of “normal” men show significant sexual arousal to children in lab-based psychological tests. Most of these guys would presumably be family men, with nothing to suggest they are anything other than loving parents in the socially approved sense of loving. If they can be kind, caring, and affectionate, with an element of erotic attraction in the mix, why would this double response not also apply to preferential paedophiles?

Unfortunately, Mike Bailey seemed blinded by the hostile tone of my post, saying he had been “taken aback” by my attack on James Cantor, whom he described as a humane person who just wanted to stop paedophiles’ lives being ruined.

Right! Sure! As someone whose experience of James’s humane concern has been experienced through nothing but his icy refusal to acknowledge anything I have ever said on Sexnet, through to his cold, dismissive references to “O’Carroll’s” lack of professional standing and expertise, to screaming fits of outright abuse and demands that I be kicked off the forum, I begged to differ. After seven years of this from him since my forum membership started in 2010, I had concluded that nothing would make him happier than to see this particular paedophile’s life ruined; or, better still, terminated! I suspect I must have been murdered in his dreams a number of times and I’d rather not dwell on the methods he might have come up with.

And not just me: any other Kind person on the forum who dared to utter so much as a squeak of modest dissent against his self-enforced towering authority would face a blast of withering scorn. He must have verbally murdered half a dozen of us over the years, leaving me as the last man standing. All the others have either wisely kept a low profile (two or three continue to do useful work through private contacts with key forum members) or else retaliated by giving  James a defiant blast of their own, followed by their swift demotion to non-posting status for failing to know their station.

I have huge respect for Mike and I could see no mileage in antagonising him by pursuing a vendetta on the forum against a colleague he has known for decades without, it seems, being troubled by his obvious volatility. Far better to row back a bit, then try a careful re-casting of my argument, this time without ruffling feathers. So, I apologised for my hostile tone but continued to maintain my original scientific point about “normal” men’s sexual response to children in lab tests. The information I had given was not only correct, which Mike admitted, but also relevant, which he had denied. This time, after my further explanation, he conceded I had a point, albeit he felt James did not really believe paedophiles never feel parental-type love for children. My reaction: no, maybe not, but that is effectively what he said in public and it is pure poison because it suggests that Kind people are wired up to be unkind – selfishly interested only in their sexual expression and callously indifferent to children’s feelings and best interests.

I carefully spelled out that the “crossed wires” analogy presents paedophilic mental experience as a polar opposite of the norm, rather than part of a continuum in which most paedophiles have a great deal in common with others. Thus “the paedophile” is presented in a dehumanising way as a freakishly different being. This, I said, seems to me to be on a par with the equally false and damaging claim (now largely corrected in the literature) that paedophilic “offenders” lack empathy.

It was hard to gauge what other sexnetters were thinking at this point. Posts by established academics on less controversial topics, such as a thread today on “copulatory vocalisation”, tend to be followed up quickly with colleagues chipping in further information, often with friendly banter and jokes thrown in. My posts used to be met with brusque dismissal or patronising little lectures on where I was going wrong – until both types of response were met with clear evidence that I know my way around the literature and can back up my arguments with facts. After that they tended to shut up, except for James as the ranting voice of determined hostility on one side and a few brave souls on the other who have broken ranks occasionally to offer respectful dialogue on friendly first-name terms, or even support.

Mike has always been one of these. And now he came to the rescue again. Pleased by my change of tone, he turned his mind to my argument, and this time readily agreed I had a point. Most of the others maintained what I take to be a grudging, resentful silence. Someone started a purely theoretical discussion with Mike as to whether paedophilia is or is not taxonomically distinct; two or three others called for a halt to the personal spat. James got a bit of support for his efforts to “help” paedophiles, notably from Dan Watter, president of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research; but these were very brief contributions that neither attacked me nor addressed my arguments. And that was about it. Except for Judith Levine.

She had said vigilantes such as Creep Catchers tried “to scare the living bejesus” out of people and their activities could not be condoned. James disagreed, saying “Whether we here like it or not, their actions have great public support and attention.” Opposing them directly would not work: “This method, history has shown time and again, will only fuel the fire and add to the anti-intellectual fervor of the day.” Judith came back strongly. She wrote:

…as a political tactic, every movement needs radicals to stand not only for what we might get now but what we really want & really believe in. Current “sex offender” policies and practices are not only ineffective and counterproductive…. They are wrong. Legal hyper-punishment is unjust, and vigilante violence is immoral. No one should condone them, even obliquely.

This prompted Richard Green to enter the fray in support of Judith’s record, citing not only her well-known book Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex, discussed in comments here last time, but also her service as a Director of the National Center for Truth and Justice, which campaigns against what he called “problematic sex laws” and supports those falsely accused of child sex abuse.

Now into his eighties, Richard has a long and distinguished record of radicalism of his own as a leading academic psychiatrist who successfully campaigned against homosexuality being treated as a mental illness, and who made a bold bid to do likewise for paedophilia in a far less sympathetic political climate. As president of the International Academy of Sex Research he even stuck his neck out by inviting me as his guest speaker at the academy’s annual conference in 2000 – which is where I first met Mike Bailey.

Amazingly, by the time of Richard’s intervention on the Creep Catchers thread, it looked as though peace was breaking out. James posted in a remarkably emollient tone, even calling me Tom, which he has never done before. Wonders never cease! Alas, it didn’t last long. Like so many tactical ceasefires in so many conflicts, it would only take a single disaffected sniper to wreck the prospects of peace.

This time it was Nick Devin, Virtuous Pedophiles founder, who weighed in with a highly personal attack on me, saying I had always been mean to him despite his best efforts to hold out the hand of friendship. He had a point. I do not possess an effigy of Nick, but if I did it would be stuck so full of pins it would look like a hedgehog. Have I been unreasonable towards him? Maybe. But it’s hard to see clearly through a miasma of visceral loathing and contempt. Did I say I am not a good hater? Perhaps I should think again. Or maybe not. My view of Nick is not set in concrete, whereas a good hater’s would be.

Be that as it may, Nick’s “contribution” seemed to set James off again. Certainly, I cannot otherwise explain why he unexpectedly came back into the fray, like one of those horror-film monsters you think has just been despatched but suddenly stirs…

I won’t dignify what he said by repeating any of it. It was all utter crap, which I rebutted immediately, calmly and in detail, in a 2000-word volley that included reference to the opinions of sexnetters who have commended my contribution to the forum, including this, from transsexuality expert Anne Lawrence: “If Sexnet gave an award for clear, eloquent, well reasoned analysis, Tom O’Carroll would get my vote.”

The last word went to Mike Bailey:

There is no thought to excluding Tom O’Carroll from SEXNET. He knows a lot about some important topics, and SEXNET would be poorer intellectually without his presence.

That said, both Tom and his critics sometimes–too often–can’t keep themselves from digging/insulting each other. This is to their own detriment. The only people that appeals to is themselves (for retributive purposes) and the people who already agree with them. It is mostly annoying to others, and keeps others from reading their reasoning carefully. Which is a shame, because all are very thoughtful and taking important, mostly reasonable, positions.

I would be a fool to argue against any part of this, which is why, despite one or two ceasefire-breaking little salvos of my own, here, I do not rule out reconciliation with both Nick and James. But it has to be on a basis of intellectual and personal respect. Mutual, of course. They have both been invited to comment and will be treated courteously by me if they do so and, I hope, by other heretics.

How does this psycho get away with it?

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Child-tormenting psychopath Stinson Hunter keeps getting away with it.

Months have passed since the estimable Bernie Najarian posted evidence on BoyChat, extensively referenced, of Hunter’s sadistic online “griefing” of kids. But instead of being exposed in the media for the nauseating bully he is, Hunter continues to be feted as a star vigilante who takes down “paedophiles” through online stings leading to successful prosecutions for dubious “crimes”.

In the most recent case, a man with no previous convictions currently awaits sentence for the heinous offence of trying to date “a 14-year-old boy” (actually Hunter) who had been using Grindr. As described in a Daily Mail report of the case, Grindr is a “mobile dating application”. The emphasis is mine, and it is surely worth emphasising that no teenager using this popular app would be unaware of its purpose, which is described upfront on its website as being to find “local gay, bi and curious guys for dating or friends for free”. In other words it would be used by gay boys actively looking for gay people to meet. They would hardly be surprised to encounter adult guys online: this would very likely be an exciting prospect, exactly what they were hoping for.

Hunter’s method is for his vigilante gang to pose online as an underage boy or girl. Once anyone takes the bait, sending explicit messages or images to the minor, the gang lure their mark to a meeting. Their victim is then filmed with handheld cameras and mobile phones and told to explain himself. The messages and footage are handed to police, resulting in some ten convictions so far, following filmed confrontations with dozens of men.

These activities have not gone entirely without criticism, notably after 45-year-old Michael Parkes, filmed by Hunter, hanged himself last year after being questioned by police on suspicion of arranging to meet someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl for sex. This came after Parkes was confronted by Hunter, and footage of the encounter was uploaded to the internet.

Hunter was taxed on ITV’s The James O’Brien Show with causing this suicide. Said host O’Brien:

“A man is dead because of what you did.”

“No,” Hunter shot back, “a man is dead because of what he did.”

It won him a big round of applause from the studio audience.

His quick-fire self-assurance, buoyed by the knowledge that empathy is not exactly a fashionable buzz word when applied to sex offenders (it is urged upon them but not for them), is just one aspect of his striking talents.

These extend to a flair for self-promotion, revealed in two astute decisions. Firstly, he rebranded himself from mild-sounding Keiren Parsons to predatory Stinson Hunter; and then he self-financed what became a roaringly successful vigilante documentary, The Paedophile Hunter, screened on Channel 4 in 2014. It won the 33-year-old Hunter, and director Dan Reed, the Best Single Documentary category at the Royal Television Programme Awards. Hunter now has well over half a million Facebook followers and earlier this year scooped two BAFTAs.

Not bad for a heavily-tattooed former heroin addict with face furniture (a lip ring) who, if his Wikipedia entry is correct, was expelled from three different schools as a kid and ended up burning one of them down; and who, after being jailed for this arson offence, managed to make a mess of a fellow inmate’s face with a plastic knife he had sharpened.

Arguably there is much to admire in the fact that Hunter has managed to “turn his life around”, as the cliché has it, from such an unpromising start. His fans surely think so, at least: where heretics here might see a vicious destroyer of other people, they presumably see an unlikely sort of modern knight, courageously riding to the rescue of kids in danger.

If so, they are right about one thing. It takes balls to confront those who are bound to be angered by the accusations he makes. A couple of years ago Hunter suffered broken bones and was in hospital for a week when one of those he was confronting ran into him with his car. I say this not to sympathise (though I am so shit-soft I find it hard to wish harm on anyone at all) but, rather, to note that the old adage linking bullying to cowardice is just not true. True psychopaths, as I believe Hunter to be, are often as reckless over their own welfare as they are callous towards others.

It is one of several aspects of his behaviour which, when taken together, indicate that far from being admirably brave in the selfless defence of others he is instead a dangerous psycho: far from keeping kids from danger he has shown a taste and a talent – yet another talent of this perversely gifted man – for wilfully and skilfully (using demonically manipulative verbal tactics) causing them emotional distress for his own pleasure.

As noted above, Bernie Najarian has set out the evidence. He tells us that Hunter, last year, “actively pursued a hobby called ‘griefing,’ a kind of publicized internet pranking, where his favorite activity was to invade the digital fantasy worlds of young boys in the online game Minecraft, and set fire to their digital buildings.” After reading Najarian’s account I watched one of the videos to which he linked, which was just as he described, and just as appalling, and I saw plenty of other online evidence to indicate Hunter’s active involvement. It could all be faked but I doubt it. You can do what I did and make your own judgement.

This all began with a video by an acknowledged associate of Hunter, Michael Donald of Dunfermline, Scotland.  Donald is a dedicated internet trickster who styles himself KillerKarrit, with a YouTube channel sporting a carrot logo,  and Michael the Dug. Why does he do it? In the words of his own candid admission “because I’m a cunt”.

Friendly users of games such as Minecraft invite other members of the player community into their worlds to game with them.  They are hosts. It’s like inviting someone into your home: you don’t expect your guests to trash the place after you have painstakingly built it, a task that may have taken a lot of time and thought.  Thus the arrival of a gang of virtual thugs bent on destruction is bound to come as a grievous shock, packing an emotional wallop not that different to a street mugging where you get smacked around and robbed of your smart-phone.

But it seems there are no specific laws against the aptly-named “griefing”, so lots of “cunts” have taken to this appalling new hobby like ducks to water. Like other forms of trolling it is just out there, quite openly, an ugly but inevitable aspect of free online expression. The openness, indeed, is part of the “fun”: griefing involves recording the gleeful destruction and the victim’s shocked reactions, then posting the resulting videos online so lots of other “cunts” can have a good laugh and admire the thugs’ style.

So Stinson Hunter, the real life arsonist, has recently been getting his kicks by burning down kids’ virtual buildings online. There’s a striking behavioural echo there, for sure. It’s not the flames that matter though but the pain. As Najarian put it:

“A supposed protector of online children spends his spare time causing pain and suffering to online children by trashing their video game constructions. It’s sickening.”

There has been a development, though. Whereas last year Cunt Carrot and Stinson Cunter were posting evidence of their dastardly deeds with much the same misplaced pride as the Islamist terrorists flaunt their beheading videos, it now seems belatedly to have dawned on Hunter that trashing kids’ games would also trash his image as a child protector if it were to become more widely known. His child-tormenting videos on the KillerKarrit and Stinson Hunter Youtube channels have been withdrawn; and it seems Hunter was behind complaints that resulted in at least one copy being taken down after it was posted elsewhere.

But maybe he need not worry too much. As Bernie Najarian concluded in March, and he hasn’t been proved wrong since:

“In this rolling atmosphere of witch-hunt, it is very unlikely that the news that Stinson Hunter is part of a gang that regularly torments 12-year-old boys for fun will make any impact.   The matter has already been ignored for months.  The whole tenor of the nation now is to omit such inconveniences from consciousness and to crown the pedophile stalker with laurel wreaths.”

Quite so, Bernie! That’s the way of the world, sadly, and certainly the way of our cowardly, lying national media in the UK!

 

A DECENT NEW FILM BY DAVID KENNERLY

There’s a fantastic new film out today but I have a bit of a problem if I try to big it up too much. It’s the greatest thing you’ll ever see but I can’t say so on account of an embarrassing personal detail, namely that I have an – ahem, excuse me – starring role! So that’s why I am mentioning it only down-page rather than giving it top billing. On this occasion I am quite happy to play second fiddle even to Stinson Hunter!

The real star of A Decent Life: The Dissenting Narrative of Tom O’Carroll, is the director, David Kennerly, who has miraculously managed to turn the pig’s ear of my discarded interview last year for Testimony Films into the silk purse of a 11-part, all-singing, all-dancing (well, not by me!) epic, which is launched today and can be seen on YouTube. The segments are each just a few minutes long, hence easily viewed at separate sittings, while the complete work is a little over 68 minutes.

David, as those who have been around at Heretic TOC since the inception will know, has been a guest blogger here a couple of times, debuting in 2013 with a piece about his childhood in the American Midwest and returning last year to warn about the menacing advance of securocratic government.

He studied at film school and has been involved professionally in film production. I didn’t know this background, but when he was liaising with me to make A Decent Life (his title not mine, in case you’re wondering, and I like it) it became obvious to me he has the relevant skills.

David first went to work on the audio of the Testimony Films interview last year, producing Stitching Up Steve Humphries, Humphries being the guy who conducted an interview on behalf of Testimony, which, in the light of what happened later, appears to have been designed to stitch me up as the interviewee. In making his pitch to me, Humphries had come across as a very sympathetic figure, emphasising his background as a social historian, and his interest in hearing a diverse range of views on sexuality, including mine.

The interview was to be part of a documentary on paedophilia he was making for Channel 4 called The Paedophile New Door. When this was aired, however – without any footage from his interview with me – it became overwhelmingly clear his position had all along been fundamentally hostile to mine. It looks as though he ditched my contribution because he had failed to trick me into saying anything that would discredit me: his would-be stitch-up had unravelled.

What David did was to turn the tables on Humphries, stringing together the audio of all his questions but without giving a word of my responses. This cleverly exposed his stitch-up tactics for what they were.

In A Decent Life, by contrast, he has done the exact opposite. This time we hear not a peep from Humphries. Instead, he has given full rein to my responses without them being butchered to quote me out of context or otherwise discredit my contribution.

I like the result and I hope you will. If you agree A Decent Life is a good film, please Tweet about it or give it a plug wherever you can, online via the social media or elsewhere. Thanks!

 

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