Prevention Podcast Transcript: Bertus, “Conservative” Pedophile

Original audio.

**Note: This transcript was written by a member of the MAP community who wishes to remain anonymous.**

Candice:

Welcome to the prevention podcast, I’m your host, Candice Christiansen. Our goal, at the prevention podcast, is to talk about dicey, controversial issues related to preventing sexual abuse. Why? Because it needs to be said. Topics include the biology of pedophilia, risk, need and responsivity principles related to non-contact and contact sex offenders, researchers in the field of sex offender treatment, and more.

Hi listeners, this is Candice Christiansen, and welcome to the Prevention Podcast as we continue our series on talking about pedophilia. I have again with me Doctor Walker, who has so generously agreed to read an interview that an individual from the Netherlands wrote as a result of being afraid to do a voice interview. And so welcome Doctor Walker and thank you so much for reading this with us today.

Dr. Walker:

Oh thank you.

Candice:

Please explain why you are writing answers instead of talking on our podcast so we can share with our audience.

Dr. Walker (reading for Bertus):

I always had some issues with emotions. I have recently been diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder. When I feel stress or strong emotions, I tend to shut down and turn silent. A live interview would certainly cause both and become rather awkward. This is something I’m working on in therapy.

Candice:

Are you an anti-contact pedophile.

Dr. Walker (reading for Bertus):

Yes.

Candice:

What does that term mean to you?

Dr. Walker (reading for Bertus):

I prefer the term “conservative pedophile”. It is a term I picked up and resonated more with me than virtuous or anti-contact. To me, virtuous implies being better than I feel I am, and anti-contact imples I oppose all contact between pedophiles and children. I oppose inappropriate or sexual contact. For me, conservative means that I take similar views on contact with children as most of society does. It is perfectly fine to interact with children like any normal man would, but it is not acceptable to have any sort of sexual contact with children.

Candice:

How long have you known you were attracted to children?

Dr. Walker (reading for Bertus):

I noticed I had feelings for a five year old, and I knew something was wrong with me.

Candice:

How has your attraction to children impacted your life?

Dr. Walker (reading for Bertus):

I had no idea how to handle this, and I kept it inside. My parents noticed I became more silent and spent more time alone. It made me withdrawn. At the time, there was little information available. When I started at university, and had access to the internet, I learned more, and started to be more confused. I also noticed I was attracted to some men, and embraced that as a solution. I repressed all feelings I had for children, and concentrated more on a gay lifestyle.

That worked for a while. I suppressed all romantic feelings, but occasionally some sexual feelings would show themselves, but I kept those to myself. I avoided children to the point people thought I disliked children; it was all very forced. I thought I was managing my feelings, while in reality I was avoiding them. I lived a significant portion of my life in fear of what I might do. When things in my life changed, I was getting more and more stressed, and my attractions became more obsessive.

I decided to get help with my attractions. Since then I have accepted that I am a pedophile. I still find some aspects difficult to deal with, but I take it as it comes. Rationally, I am not worried that I will abuse children. I have no intention to, and I make sure that I don’t find myself in a situation that I could engage with a child in an inappropriate manner. But some irrational fears remain. I still go to therapy, and I feel a need to discuss the topic, but it doesn’t affect my day-to-day life that much. I may notice a boy or girl that I find attractive, but I don’t obsess about it, and go about my day.

Candice:

What do you want the world to know about pedophilia?

Dr. Walker (speaking for Bertus):

That pedophiles are humans. Pedophilia doesn’t make us bad persons. Pedophilia doesn’t make us good persons either. Some will be bad persons, but most will be good, just like any other group of persons. Being a pedophile is not a choice. We can’t stop being pedophiles. We can only choose how we act, how we handle our attraction. Being a pedophile and being a child molestor are two separate things. Most pedophiles are not child molestors, and most child molestors are not pedophiles.

Candice:

We believe that pedophilia is a sexual orientation and we have also had many individuals share that there was something that happened in their childhood which caused a sort of arrested development for them to where they find that they are attracted to the same age at which the incident or trauma occurred. What has been your experience if any of that?

Dr. Walker (speaking for Bertus):

I had a fairly normal childhood. I was not molested. Moving was a traumatic experience, as I did not handle change very well, but I see no relation there. I never had many friends, but I always had a few friends.

Candice:

What do you think is the difference between pro-contact and anti-contact pedophiles?

Dr. Walker (speaking for Bertus):

The obvious one being that pro-contact pedophiles believe sexual contact with children doesn’t harm them. Either they believe there is not harm, or that the harm is caused by society. I believe that to be a dangerous mindset, as it justifies acting.

Candice:

What else would you like to share on our podcast?

Dr. Walker (speaking for Bertus):

Like everybody else, I am just trying to live my life. I try to get a message across to young pedophiles that just because they have these feelings, that doesn’t make them monsters. That when you accept that you are a pedophile, accept that you can never act on these feelings, and deal with them in a positive manner, you can lead a happy life.

Candice:

Well first I want to thank Bertus for responding in writing to our questions, and I want to thank you Dr. Walker for reading the answers. While I have you, you did do some research interviewing pro-contact and anti-contact pedophiles, and so I was wondering if you could say anything or would like to in regards to Bertus’s response on number eight.

Dr. Walker:

Sure. I think that a misconception that we hear a lot about pro-contact and anti-contact is that pro-contact individuals don’t think that harm would come to children. From my experience in speaking with these individuals, even pro-contact MAPs (or pedophiles) have said that there would absolutely be harm to children if someone acted out with them sexually. So, like Bertus was saying they believe that the harm is caused by society. So pro-contact individuals think that if there was a relationship between an adult and a child that there would be harm caused to the children because of the stigma surrounding it. They similarly believe that there is that harm either way, just different viewpoints of how that harm exists.

Candice:

Yeah. And I want to make really clear that Bertus is a non-offending, anti-contact pedophile, and we are interviewing those individuals who have not offended agaisnt a child, who have no desire to ever do that. I just wanted Dr. Walker, since you’ve done research on both, to clarify that. So thank you for doing that. And thank you so much for being here to read this.

Dr. Walker:

Thank you so much.

Candice:

Thank you for listening to this week’s podcast. Please visit thepreventionproject.org to learn more about our project and programs. Please remember to subscribe to our podcast at thepreventionpodcast.com or iTunes. See you next time!

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