Dealing with the anti-peds

[ Note: this text has grown WAY too long and become a mix-up of an opinion piece and a personal story. Partly because this is my first English text (since 2001), I guess. I may have a look at it again later and see what to do with it. ]

Can I just rant for a bit?

I've been around for a few years now, hosting some controversial content on Because I know the sense behind it and the good it can do.

And I've grown quite tired of the accusations and the lies that I see being thrown my way. But what's really really tiring, is that almost everyone who tells me I'm doing (or facilitating) "bad things", is totally unwilling to review his/her own arguments... It's just frustrating to have to deal with these hate-filled lowlifes who act all important but are not making any valid points... And apparently are not even interested in making valid points, as long as they can just hate someone without consequences for themselves.

I think it is important to stress this, because it is hard for people to see at first sight...
A very large portion of vocal 'anti pedo' people are clueless losers.

Exhibit one: Page one, two / local mirror one, two --
Anonymous person makes vague claims about, drags my responsibility in there, and expects me to buckle under like any Good Publicity-Fearing Citizen would do. To his advantage, he puts things in correct and well-toned language. However when I tell him I expect someone who wants a website shut off to have at least something tangible to back up that claim, and point him to two flaws in his one sentence that actually goes into anything... there is no reply. Instead, he just puts my message up on his weblog -- ofcourse without going into anything I said, but just claiming I'm arrogant and unethical. This person seems to think that picking an impressive nickname can replace critical thinking.

That's pretty typical. Whenever the notion creeps into any discussion that there may not actually be any heightened danger to kids at all, so the main issue may actually be about freedom of speech and not about War On Pedos, these people are suddenly unwilling to think. They shut off any logic. Because if they didn't... they'd need to rethink their reasons and they'd lose a target to direct their anger at.

Exhibit two: pages two, three, four of an online discussion forum (mirror two, three, four) --
Reaper Of Souls and Doc Holliday being too much of a braindead lowlife to need further explanation. (And Doc being a liar too.)

These are the people who slammed my replies onto their blogs where they aren't subject to much of critical thinking. I'm leaving out the e-mails that I get once in a while, for now, because I'm getting into too much detail.

[ update: I cannot leave out exhibit three. Four months after this message. Wikisposure published an article on me. And it's unbelievable how much they behave like what I am describing below. So, one year after that, I made time and wrote a public response to them. In reaction, they did something so ultimately braindead that I just had to ridicule them. ]

It's too bad for the occasional well-meaning 'upstanding citizen' who e-mails me. They think they're doing something good by e-mailing me, but they've only been told a very biased story, and I need to set them straight. (Which in itself is easy, as far as facts and arguments go... For themselves to accept the fact that this isn't the Good Versus Bad thing that they wanted, is a lot harder.)

So how to deal with these types?

It's no use arguing with these people. They need an 'enemy' too badly for that. And the type of people that craves an enemy to pick on, will always end up targeting people like me - people in areas that most people are afraid to have an opinion on. (And this is the ideal one, these days. Who wants to take the chance of even being accused of 'supporting pedophilia' - even though the accusers may not even be able to explain what that really means?)

I guess it's inevitable that they'll always be around. We have freedom of speech here, which means hate-filled lowlifes have it too. And with the Internet being available to everyone, it's just so easy for them to set up a standard blog and feel important.

All that leaves for me, is to see their function in my life. Their function is to be a challenge in handling them well, and keeping the negative effect they have on my life, as small as possible. They are a challenge to overcome and grow above.

One challenge is not to start thinking that whatever they say, is what most people think. (Luckily, I know better. If they call me a threat to society, say I'm sick or say that the world hates me... I know that enough of my friends, family and neighbours -some of whom have kids I get along with- know all about me, and appreciate what I'm doing with my life. So I know their words are hollow phrases from people pretending to know me sitting behind their keyboards.)

Another related challenge is not to always assume the worst possible damage they can do to you, as a fixed outcome. Sure, if they called up your neighbours and told them you're a pedophile, they could cause irreparable scenes in your neighbourhood, resulting in you having to move. But it could also be that those neighbours still trust you and don't make a fuss. Not taking those risks is a good thing. But always assuming your life will be over if someone finds out, is dangerous. It may make you think you're being discriminated against by all of society, when in fact you aren't -- but you're just afraid of finding that out. It may make too many of your actions being dictated by fear, which is never a good thing.

It's tough... but it's better to at least know for yourself that it's not a fact that 'your life is over when someone finds out', even though you may not ever want to try that out. It keeps you sane.

(Ofcourse, however much energy it it took me to grow over these fears... I still had it a lot easier compared to most people. I don't live in a small community in the hysteric USA but in the relative anonymity of a city center in the Netherlands. And most of my friends are able to think for themselves. Which has helped me a lot in slowly coming out to my friends, and further overcoming fear of being generally known as a 'pedo' by a lot of people in the past 10 years. I've never really been harassed about it.)

Another challenge is not to react angrily to everything they say, or get into long lasting battles with them. It's easy to feel the 'injustice' of their accusations, but getting into a fight over that, will only give them what they need, drain your energy, and solve nothing in the end. Discussions very often come down to "we don't believe what you are saying" so what can you do...

(And, on a more general note... don't combine it with the previous challenge. Don't start waging a battle against all of society, in your assumptions that all of society is against you. You will only drive a wedge between you and the people who might otherwise be supportive of you (maybe even without you knowing) if you didn't start throwing around looney opinions.)

Further... keep in mind... life is not 'fair' or 'just'. There is no system of checks and balances to give everyone their fair share. If you have strong feelings of 'injustice', or you feel that you have the 'right' to be treated fairly by a bunch of hate-filled lowlifes... try to get rid of that feeling. It will give you nothing.
Instead, remember a true thing about life: it gives you back what you put into it. If you start acting like a miserable unapproachable person to lots of people, because "life is unfair"... people will start treating you as the unapproachable person that you've become. Noone has a moral obligation to prevent that. You, however, have the best possibility to prevent that.

Effects of anti-ped action on my own life

I've been pretty impervious to any effects of slander... until recently.

Brief history:
When I discovered my attraction to young boys (at 16), I had a natural tendency to think that they would never like to know this, so I would always have to hide it. By 1996 (I was 22), I had made myself pretty frustrated by never talking about it and being afraid that I would 'act on my urges', or do anything that would have bad consequences for myself or others. But from then onwards I slowly grew over that. Practice started teaching me that some boys actually liked and trusted me, some of the parents did too, and nothing weird or bad happened. (The contact was actually good for my experience and my own sanity/self confidence. Apart from the fact that I liked being around boys.)

From about 1998 onward, I started believing that all the scare stories about 'your life being over when someone found you out' that I was reading those days... might not apply to me. If I did nothing wrong, then surely people should be able to see that?
...and so it happened, very slowly but surely. I've talked to enough people about it by now, some parents included. Without permanent negative consequences, although I've had a few rough times and scary moments. In the process, I've 'come out' semi-publically, in 2001 in a few pages hidden a few levels deep in my own website -- and I haven't had any negative reactions to that. By now, the urge to 'tell my story' has faded. I lead a good life (without much contact with boys; I don't seek them out, my life doesn't revolve around boys), I'm 'out enough', and I'm not scared of the subject anymore.

So... there have been no scare stories about 'anti pedos' in my personal life there.

Something else was happening too, however. Since 2001, I've made friends in the 'online boylove community', many of whom are very sensible people who have become a large part of my own circle of friends. I noticed how good it was for people's general sanity to have some 'real life' contacts and be able to talk about things. I also became interested in discussions about 'how to deal with your attraction' etc, and noticed that people appreciated my opinions. And once in a while I was even being asked for some information / opinions about pedophilia in 'the normal world'.

This has led a few friends and me to set up the (Dutch) website, a centre point for information and discussion about the topic. However unprofessional and small it is and however much work it still needs... it is appreciated by both 'pedophiles' and 'non-pedophiles'. There's all kinds of people posting questions and stories on the forum, including students who want to know things for their thesis, people who've been victims of sexual abuse, people with very good memories of a past pedophile relationship, teenagers with a little bit older boyfriends and even the mother of a twelve-year-old boy who approves of his relationship with his twenty-year-old boyfriend.

Also, since we had our own server for that website, more and more other sites that had trouble finding hosting, asked for space on our server. I mostly said yes.

Ofcourse this (me being online and active) has gained me attention from 'the haters'. People on 'hate blogs' caused quite some alarm on the 'boylover forums' some years ago. However, I've gotten used to it and found out that they don't really do me damage. They're usually white race supremacists who need someone to pick on - and in the Netherlands, these types are all clueless losers. They all think that digging up info in a whois database is "detective work", then when they post my name on a forum they all expect someone else to 'take action'. I've had my mobile number posted a few times (sometimes even without spelling mistakes), with zero calls as a result.

So the fear subsided and all was well. I've even been on local TV a few times, which has led to a temporary break in contact with a neighbour's son, but nothing else.

Until I defended a court case and lost my job because of it.

The brief story about that: there's been a court case against the MARTIJN association. Part of the charges were based on lies from Yvonne van Hertum, a woman with a history of bending the truth while getting attention for herself. (She now runs the website StopKinderSex, her latest 'cause'.) The hearing date was set so absurdly close, that there was no way MARTIJN could get a lawyer and I was the only one who could(would) go to court to at least prevent they were convicted on the basis of lies.

So... I met some cameras on my way, gave them a quote, and my face was seen on TV by a million people that night.

For the next four days, a lot of 'friends of friends' were making frantic calls to each other about seeing me on TV Wink but they didn't bother me personally. At work, I was nervous but there was not a single problem with or direct remark from a colleague. So all was good. Then the next monday, I get a call that my client (Tommy Hilfiger Europe; I did an internal ICT related assignment as a contractor for them) didn't want me anymore. Something to do with "what they read on my website"; they would send me a letter with details. But they never did, and repeated calls to my contractor agency (Computer Futures) yielded nothing; my contact person was 'in a meeting' (for the first time ever) and did not answer any e-mail that wasn't related to money. To this date, I haven't had a single word of explanation from either company. (I don't think they can build a rational case. They do have the contractual right to suddenly kill me off, however.)

Apart from that, I got evidence that Yvonne van Hertum, who was now eagerly plastering my name and face all over her website, had e-mailed my previous employer and actively helped destroy my chances of getting a contract job there. Her actions were almost unanymously condemned by the reactions on my weblog (all Dutch), but that still does not give me my job back. Plus she goes on using my name in the lies on her website.

So where does that leave me?

I wouldn't have gone to the courtroom if I didn't have buffer funds to cover for losing my work. I have enough time to figure out the next step.

It's clear by now that Yvonne van Hertum is not giving up on mentioning (and lying about) me on her weblog, and that my name has been 'tainted' already by Google. So... should I get scared? Should I try to remove as much info as possible... or not try to hide anything online and instead, just go into the whole thing on my own website, mentioning that everyone who cares to really look at what is going on, supports me?

I choose the second. It's time more people take a stand against these scare tactics and just make a statement that these people are useless hate-filled lowlifes. People who haven't done anything wrong and just want to contribute to truth and discussion, should not be afraid to voice their opinions. Since I can do it without getting hurt too badly... let me be one of them. It's a matter of principle.

Then there's the issue of 'what to actively tell prospective employers'. I have a good CV in an industry that craves workers. There has to be some employer who isn't scared (without reason) of the damage which hiring me will do to his image. There has to be someone who will just discard the one or two e-mails that he will get from anonymous lunatics who say "you have a pedo working for you", and know that what I really am, is not important for the work I do. But these employers seem to be spread thinly, especially in the 'interim personnel' world that I got my work from in the past years.

I have to decide whether to inform a prospective employer up front (that some eyebrows may be raised once someone googles my name and/or receives a slanderous e-mail), and risk them not giving me work... or to not inform them, and just hope that there will be no trouble later on, during my assignment.

In the few attempts of getting new work that I have made so far, I chose the first strategy. Result: my current contacts at 'interim employment agencies' are not reacting to me anymore. Still, I'll try for a while to remain self-employed, or maybe get a job somewhere abroad, which was what I was planning to do already, before this whole mess. If that doesn't work out, I'll get a 'regular' employer here in Amsterdam, somehow. (I already had one invitation for a talk from a prospective employer who knows about the issue, so I'm hopeful.)

[ update august 2008: a few weeks ago I had a successful job interview at Fortis Bank. No wonder, because I was the only serious candidate and they'd like to have three of me. But just a few days before I started, I got a call from my agent that some director at Fortis had decided to un-hire me. I am sure it was caused by my Google results.
I plan to document this thing, and every detail of my personal stance on this issue, in order to show the world that this is NOT a 'pedophile and creepy' issue, but a 'freedom of speech' issue. In both Dutch and English. To get it out once and for all. But I still need a few weeks for that and I'm going on holiday first. ]

But I am not planning to back down to other people's gossip and fears. Doing that may result in me having to hide opinions for the rest of my life, and that is a price I don't want to pay. I shouldn't have to.
And no, this issue is not about me being dangerous or a 'pedophile'. (Proof: my direct environment doesn't have a problem with me. And I'm not a pedophile according to most people, anway... depending on their view of what a pedophile is.) This is a 'freedom of speech' issue.

Personally, I am not putting all of my comments here because I want the world to know I am a 'pedophile' or because I am 'fighting for pedophile rights'. I am simply taking my own right to voice well-reasoned opinions. That is what I want to stand tall for. And I don't care if a million people are going to jump up and down and shout 'dirty pedo' and undermine my normal functioning in society. I am a normal part of / useful contributor to society; throwing shit at me doesn't change that fact. And I am not going to be scared into a corner by clueless people who think differently. Noone would benefit from that. And as soon as people stop playing games and concentrate on real issues, I can too. Thanks.

Anyway, if you have any nice work for me to do (anywhere in the world, preferrably a contract job matching my experience/interests, or anything that helps making the world a little better)... contact me, I'm out of a job at the moment Smile

your 'dealing with anti-peds'

Dear Roderik, I just read this piece that you wrote and I want to state once more that I admire you because you are a free, strongminded, brave man who stands for TRUTH! Love, mama.

You don't seem to understand

You don't seem to understand why people react the way they do. The problem is that you're sort of asking for this grief, because you insist on being so open about it. Try to look at this from someone elses' perspective. Look at it this way: If your flower garden is getting trampled over and again, then your neighbor taunts you by saying, "I don't know who did this, but I really enjoy trampling peoples' flowers." Isn't that going to upset you a little? Now consider that kids are people, not flowers. Imagine how much more powerful the emotin must be when related to kids.

Look, what goes on inside your head is your own business. but when you publish these things, you can expect that people will read them and react to them. It has nothing to do with you personally. If you publish "I like vanilla ice cream" then no one will care. Obviously then, the reaction is based on your content, not you personally.

It always amazes me when someone pizses a bunch of people off, and then acts surprised those pizsed off people react negatively. You really need to figure out that if you want society to accept you, then you need to conform to some basic norms. If you don't care about the norms, and you don't care about what others think about you, then quit whining about it.

No, YOU don't seem to understand.

First of all, thank you for a well reasoned reaction, and I'm sorry for taking more than a year's break before properly updating my weblog and publicizing your comment. (The vacation and conference I was on, were followed up by a new job - which ended up being six very demanding months, so this site tumbled way down the priority list.)

But I don't agree. You don't seem to understand.

You imply that I'm whining, and that I'm acting surprised about people's reactions. I am doing neither. I'm not surprised at normal people's negative reactions to things I publish.

You seem to have missed the main point in my article here. I am not whining about normal people's reactions. I'm simply pointing out to people, that the negative reactions I get are almost all from clueless lowlifes. And that is something which people don't often hear about. That is something I didn't even know when starting to publish the odd 'pedo related' text, so I
think it's noteworthy.

I'm not complaining; I'm stating an opinion. And not about the people you mention.

Your analogy about trampling people's flowers is just wrong. First of all, I'm not trampling anything and I don't enjoy trampling anything and I've never said so. But let's leave that aside - because I'm aware of the fact that some people don't see that immediately.
The big point why your analogy goes wrong is that my neighbours are not giving me any grief! Believe it or not. Maybe they're not happy with my texts, but I've never had problems with neighbours and other people I know in real life. Even if they have kids. And I believe that that is especially because they know I don't enjoy trampling on anything, and I'm not saying anything that implies that.

My neighbours don't have any beef with me. And -I will repeat this for you- I don't have any beef with my neighbours. Nowhere in the above text am I pointing fingers at any 'normal worried people' in the above text or their initial negative reactions at me, and I think you misread that (or had a preconceived notion of me even before you started reading).

My whole point of this text is that the 'vocal anti pedo people' who are so 'bravely' taking an anonymous stance against me... are not the type of 'worried or offended neighbour'. That is what I am saying. Over the years, all of them have been self absorbed haters who are totally unwilling to review their own arguments, whose arguments can be debunked within a minute, but who then flee from the discussion or resort to weak excuses and lies. Because they don't want to hear the truth about me. They just want to hate someone, and the truth about me does not fit the image they want to have of me.

I am not pointing my finger at the 'average upstanding citizen', on the contrary, I'm pointing out that there's a difference between them and the haters I've encountered. That was my whole point. And your reaction shows that you seem to be missing that whole basic point.