"Child Discipline" as Kiddie Porn

by Andrew Vachss
Originally published on the Zero, November 06, 2013


She got to her feet, walked out of the room. She was back in a minute, holding a slick-paper magazine with a black-and-white photo of a woman bending over on the cover—there was another person in the photo, but all you could see was the paddle in their hand. I stood up, joined her under the light. She thumbed through rapidly, looking for the ad. It was marked with a red ink star, hand-drawn. I held it close to read the small type:

Proverbs 13:24 (!)
Next time your kid has a good one coming, make a full-size cassette of the chastisement and send it to me. I pay $50 for fifteen minutes, more for longer. Good sound quality a must. I travel frequently, with my own equipment. Write to make arrangements.

Only a P.O. box was listed, no name. A new kind of kiddie porn, legal too—I'd never heard of it before. Freaks carefully recording their own children getting whipped. To entertain other maggots. For money. I felt ice-picks of fire in my chest.

"Why did you show me this?" I asked her, my voice flat and level.

"Cherry told me. A long time ago. She said that's what you do."

"That?"

"No. She said you ... hunt people like that."

Down in the Zero (1994), pp. 135-136


A long time ago, I responded to a letter from a professional dominatrix. Here's the gist of what I said:

It's not really all that complicated, is it, [ID info deleted]:

[If]
• We know that some people like sex (in whatever form) with other adults ... and we call them humans, and
• Others want sex (in whatever form) with children, and we call them predatory pedophiles (or freaks, or maggots), and
• "Spanking" (a generic term, regardless of what it's called in any particular situation ... paddling, whipping, et al) is intended to be erotic, sensual, sexual, whatever ... either sex in and of itself or a prelude thereto, and
• "Correction" (a generic term, as above ... could be called discipline, punishment, whatever) is a game, an "excuse" ... a pretextual prelude to a prelude,

[Then]
• The intent is not to "correct" behavior or "punish" it, but to sexually gratify the participants, and
• Like any form of sexual activity, the "right and wrong" always grounds on the issue of CONSENTING + ADULTS, and
• If only one party is intended to be gratified, there has to either be an exchange of goods for services (e.g., erotic spanking pornography, prostitution, sexual bargaining ... whatever) or what you have is some form of oppression ... ranging from sexual assault to rape.

[Therefore]
• When children are subjected to any activity for the sexual gratification of adults, that's "child abuse" if you prefer euphemisms, or sexual exploitation/assault of a child ... and that's a crime.[1]

Examine the hypocrisy: as you pointed out [details withheld on confidentiality grounds, as well as my personal unwillingness to describe these events], the "discipline" of children always surfaces as a "topic" within the erotic-spanking "community."[2] Since we know "punishment" is a game adults play for sexual purposes, what we have is children being forced to "play" the same game. Those kids aren't being disciplined, they're being victimized.

If a customer asked you for a "rape fantasy," you'd see the filth easily enough, right? So what's the difference?

In other words, "fantasy" and all the rest of that "outlet" crap is just another piece of tricknology. Those who buy it would do it if they could. And when they have kids (of their own, or just control of them ... as in babysitting, day care, whatever...), they can.[3]

How many freaks spank their kids "for their own good" when all they're doing is getting off? And how many kids recognize the hypocrisy ... and turn real, real ugly when they get their growth and find their strength?

How much incest is deliberately set up by a woman who uses her young child to set up a "relationship" with a predator? If [deleted] wants to be "disciplined," that's her business. But if she offers up her own child as bait to a freak, what is she then?

Now none of this is "new" knowledge to members of your crew ... but it has been suppressed knowledge for quite some time.

It's time to confront it. Upfront and honest. If the erotic spanking crowd is sincerely pursuing a mutual interest in a form of sex, fine. Who'd argue with that? But if they either want to inflict this on kids or (worse) deliberately pander to those who do for commercial purposes, what are they?

You know the answer.

I'm not saying anyone who spanks their kid is a child molester [although I do have two things to say about it: (1) spanking kids is a lousy form of discipline, almost guaranteed to backfire down the road; (2) anyone who does it in a ritualistic fashion, makes up excuses to do it, or undresses the child, or uses implements ... is abusing that child], but when you see stories, pictures, discussions, whatever ... of children being spanked in the same publications which clearly treat spanking as an erotic/sexual act, the connection is obvious. And inescapable.[4]


Notes:

[1]

California Man Goes on Trial For Molestations of Niece
A 53-year-old man in Santa Barbara is accused of 17 counts of child abuse, including molestation and other sex crimes. The so-called 'punishments' were all video taped

CNN, February 5, 1993; News Transcript # 197-1

PATRICK GREENLAW, Anchor:
A California man is on trial for allegedly torturing and molesting his niece from age 12 to 17. He claims it was discipline; prosecutors, however, see it very differently. Jane Rinka of CNN affiliate KEYT has the story. We caution you that some viewers may find parts of this report offensive.

JANE RINKA, Correspondent, KEYT-TV: It was John Shipman's turn to tell his story. Shipman is accused of 15 counts of sexual abuse against his now 17 year-old niece. The charges include 11 counts of lewd and lascivious acts. The case goes back to 1988, when the teen went to live with her uncle and aunt in Oraca. Shipman set up rules and told his niece if she violated them, she would be punished. And she was. As these tapes show, she was dressed during early paddling. But that changed. Eventually, the girl was ordered to take her clothes off.

JOHN SHIPMAN, Defendant: I felt I wasn't making an impression. Restriction didn't work, paddling didn't work, so I thought perhaps a little embarrassement along with a little pain would work. It seemed to for awhile.

RINKA: The whippings would go on for three years, the punishment became more severe.

Mr. SHIPMAN: Because she was, in my mind, she was becoming progressively more resistant to becoming [unintelligible].

RINKA: Shipman paints his niece out to be a chronic liar, who ditched school and failed at personal hygiene. He says the punishments he inflicted on her were similar to what he knew as a child.

Mr. SHIPMAN: I'd always promised myself and promised my wife that with any of our children, I'd try to remain calm, cool and collected. Obviously, by what I've seen, I didn't accomplish that.

RINKA: Then Shipman began to shave his niece's hair in the genital area. He said he did it to make her feel like a five-year-old because that's how she was acting. He also began videotaping the sessions.

Mr. SHIPMAN: I was hoping that perhaps in the interim if she had to view this, she would just, you know, simply say, 'I'm sorry, I made a mistake, I screwed up.'

RINKA: John Shipman was arrested in July, after the videotapes got into the hands of the Santa Barbara sheriff's department. The prosecutors are banking on the tapes to help convict the 53-year-old. For CNN, I'm Jane Rinka, Santa Barbara, California.


California Man Guilty of Torturing Niece for 3 Years

Associated Press, Palm Beach Post (Florida), February 6, 1993

DATELINE: SANTA BARBARA, CALIF.

A man was convicted Friday of stripping, beating and shaving his teenage niece over a three-year period in "discipline" sessions he videotaped in a basement "war room."

After 5½ hours of deliberations, jurors found John Shipman guilty of four counts of lewd contact with a child under age 14 and 11 counts of rape with a foreign object. The abuse began when the girl was 13.

Shipman, 53, could be sentenced to 120 years in prison.

Sentencing is April 1.

Deputy Public Defender Tom Allen didn't deny that the girl was abused but claimed there was no sexual intent. He had argued his client should be convicted on reduced charges of child abuse and inhumane treatment.

The jury was shown 37 minutes of graphic videotape of what Shipman called disciplinary sessions in the "war room"-- a concrete-lined basement with soundproofing at his home 140 miles north of Los Angeles.

The teen is now living with her mother in San Bernardino County. The mother sent the girl to live with Shipman and his wife in late 1989 after she ran away.

The girl's mother and stepfather discovered the videotapes in Shipman's X-rated video collection but said nothing for several months because the girl said the abuse had happened only once.

[2]

Please note: the following statement is not offered for its specific truth, as the comic-book board was not identified. Offered merely to illustrate the commingling of "erotic spanking" between consenting adults and beating children for any individual's pleasure and/or profit.

[3]

Most are now familiar with the video of Texas judge William Adams beating his child. We created a category for this type of abuse; i.e., not only the abuse of children, but the abuse of the power to do so: "Circle of Trust." What is new is that the phrase has just had its first official citation, in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court (pg. 15 of the document, 29 of the PDF). And that brief is bigger news than either of the previous revelations: 40 states joined in support to argue that interviewing a child who is suspected of being abused should not require a warrant, court order, parental consent, or anything else that could interfere in the timely protection of that child.

Ask yourself, why did a video of a judge viciously whipping his own child immediately go viral? Because so many people are deeply concerned about judicial conduct? This judge has since been fully reinstated, apparently absent a sufficient outcry from enraged citizens that this individual is back in business. Prior to release of the video "Adams dealt with at least 349 family law cases in the year before his suspension, nearly 50 of which involved state caseworkers seeking to determine whether parents were fit to raise their children."

The real story is the one we've been telling for decades: that the overwhelming majority of child sexual abuse is not committed by the kind of roving serial perpetrators who can be "profiled" for trash TV. See "Child Sexual Abuse within the Circle of Trust."

[4]

Porn fighters break ring of kid-spanking fetishists
By Naftali Bendavid, Washington Bureau

Chicago Tribune, March 13, 2002

DATELINE: WASHINGTON

Investigators are in the final stages of breaking up a ring of child-pornography enthusiasts in the United States and Canada who derived sexual pleasure from the severe spanking of children. Nine people already have pleaded guilty, including one in west suburban Chicago.

Members of the loose-knit group, which investigators have nicknamed "the Spanking Club," harshly beat children—often their own—with paddles, canes or other devices, and then exchanged videos of those spankings through the mail, officials said. The videos also featured close-ups of genitalia and other pornographic elements.

Those who investigate crimes against children say they cannot remember another such case, featuring an organized group focused on the pornography of spanking children. In all, authorities have removed 12 children ranging in age from 4 to 14 from their parents or guardians.

"What we're talking about, it was not just a little paddling with the hand on a kid's backside," said Raymond Smith, a senior U.S. postal inspector who worked on the case. "They're using paddles, whips, canes and severely brutalizing these very young children, sometimes as young as 4 years old."

Some of the defendants have yet to be sentenced, and other arrests may be made. But whatever the final numbers, the case illustrates a phenomenon becoming increasingly known among law enforcement: that the Internet has made it much easier for child pornographers to find each other and create and exchange material in violation of the law.

Five years ago, the FBI created an initiative called Innocent Images, sending agents undercover to stop on-line child pornographers by, for example, entering chat rooms in the persona of girls. These agents opened 113 cases in 1996. That jumped to 1,541 last year.

In the spanking case, the pornographers sent videos through the mail because it is difficult to transmit a 90-minute video online. But they often communicated with each other on the Internet, authorities said.

Veteran investigators said that even by the disturbing standards of child pornography, the activities of the Spanking Club were chilling. The films did not involve ordinary spanking, but rather beatings, and they included a clearly sexual element.

"Any time children are brutally beaten, it's the most outrageous type of conduct that we have to deal with," said Michael Heimbach, chief of the FBI's Crimes Against Children Unit. "It wrenches your heart. All the children's issues do, but when you see children being beaten on videos and their genitalia are being filmed, it's very, very disturbing."

Canada provided 1st break
Investigators' first break occurred in May 2000, when Canadian authorities intercepted a video mailed to an assistant school principal, David Wadsworth, and arrested him. He was carrying a phone bill that led investigators to David Patterson, a computer programmer in Dalton, Ga., who appeared to have been at the center of the ring.

A tape from Wadsworth's house showed Patterson "administering repeated spankings to four naked children, who cried out in pain during the prolonged beatings," said a prosecutor. Two of the children were Patterson's children, another was the child of a former wife, and the fourth was a family acquaintance, investigators said.

Patterson pleaded guilty and was sentenced last November to 10 years in prison. His ex-wife, Shirley Blaney, received 2 years.
More important from the investigators' perspective, Patterson agreed to cooperate, leading agents and inspectors to others involved in the group. Some of them beat children and made videos, while others simply trafficked in them.

There was Jim Nain, a railroad employee in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., in whose house agents found hairbrushes, a rattan cane and other items.

Teacher, nurse caught
There was Gordon Murray, an elementary school teacher in Brewton, Ala., who met Patterson through an ad in Domestic Discipline Digest.

There was Richard Roll, a male nurse and former scoutmaster from Jamestown, N.Y., who called his pornographic films "Rick Roll Videos."

And there was George Kelly of Lombard, Ill., who pleaded guilty last month to possession and distribution of child pornography. Kelly, 63, had been a volunteer Sunday school teacher at Christ the King Catholic Church in Lombard.

Kelly was creating spanking videos, investigators said, but they involved mannequins rather than children. During the search of his house, Kelly admitted to agents that he had manufactured and distributed simulated child pornography in exchange for "the real thing."

Kelly's sentencing is scheduled for April 19, and he faces a potential term of 70 to 87 months in prison.

Officials say they had to take down the organization quickly, rather than drawing out the investigation, because children were being abused. They do not believe there will be many other such cases, they said, because the group revolved around a relatively rare fetish.

Still, such people have a drive to get in touch with one another, and the Internet provides an easy way to do so, according to Smith, who heads the child exploitation unit at the Postal Inspection Service.

"They have a real innate need to communicate with others because deep down inside, they know what they're doing is wrong," Smith said. "But by communicating with each other and sharing experiences, it's a psychological support thing. It's a validation system. It makes them say, 'See, I'm not so weird. There's a lot of other people out there that like the same thing as I do.'"


Dallas Morning News
March 19, 2002, Tuesday

FBI announces arrests in Internet child porn investigation
By Michelle Mittelstadt

WASHINGTON — Clergy members, Little League coaches and a teacher's aide are among the 89 people charged with participating in an Internet site where hard-core child pornography was traded, federal authorities said Monday.

Forty arrests in 20 states had been made as of Monday, among them that of an East Texas man alleged to have set up the "Candyman" site visited by more than 7,000 people until its shutdown last year during an investigation initiated by the Houston FBI office. Fifty more arrests will occur this week and the investigation is ongoing, said Bruce Gebhardt, an FBI executive assistant director.

"It is clear that a new marketplace for child pornography has emerged in the dark corners of cyberspace," Attorney General John Ashcroft told a news conference at FBI headquarters. However, he added, the arrests prove "there will be no free rides on the Internet for traffickers of child pornography."

The man alleged to have set up the "Candyman" e-group in December 2000 — Mark Bates, a 32-year-old from Palestine, Texas — made an initial appearance Monday in federal court in Tyler, Texas, federal authorities said. He is among eight people charged in a 10-count federal indictment unsealed Monday in Houston.

Bates was arrested without incident Monday by Dallas FBI agents, said spokeswoman Lori Bailey.

Also indicted were seven Texans alleged to have subscribed to the site: Walter Eugene Fitzpatrick, 61, of Liverpool; Robert Froman, 49, of Pasadena; Stephen Michael Johnston, 21, of College Station; Hector Ezeta, 38, of Houston; Jayson Anderson, 28, of Baytown; Billy Loyd White, 45, of Channelview; and Christopher James Tinney, 20, of Katy.

All eight in the Houston indictment were charged with a single count of conspiracy to knowingly transport, receive and distribute child porn via computer, which carries a maximum 15 years' imprisonment and $250,000 fine. Bates alone was charged with a single count of knowingly transporting child porn via computer, while the seven others were each charged with one count of receiving child porn by computer — all of which carry a maximum 15-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine. And the seven were also each charged with a single count of possession of materials containing images of child pornography, which carries a maximum five-year sentence and $250,000 fine.

The Houston indictment alleges that Candyman subscribers were polled on questions such as whether they wanted to see more pornographic images of boys or girls; the age at which they first began abusing children; and the number of children they'd molested.

Twenty-seven of those arrested to date have admitted molesting more than 36 children, the FBI said.

Operation Candyman was initiated 14 months ago, after an FBI agent in Houston identified three e-groups involved in posting and exchanging child pornography, the FBI said. The investigation then was broadened to the 55 other FBI field offices around the nation.

FBI officials in Washington declined to provide particulars of the arrests, though they said two Catholic priests as well as several law enforcement personnel were among those charged.

Investigators examined the 7,000 Candyman subscribers, which included some 2,400 people living outside the United States, and prioritized which ones to investigate further based upon the frequency with which they downloaded pornographic images as well as their professions, Gebhardt said.

[5]

Perth man Christopher Lobban nears US extradition on child abuse charges
By Joanna Menagh
mobile.abc.net.au, Dec 3,2015

A Perth man has lost his latest legal fight against a decision to extradite him to the United States to face child abuse charges.

Christopher Lobban has been in custody in Perth since he was arrested at his Mullaloo home in July 2011 over allegations by US authorities that he encouraged a woman in Florida to post images on the internet of teenage girls being whipped and spanked.

The woman, Robin Pargoria, worked in the Polk County prison system.

It is alleged the two met on a website and Lobban "advised" Pagoria how to "discipline" two girls aged 14 and 15.

Pagoria was arrested in May 2011 and after a plea bargain was later sentenced to 20 years' jail.

She also agreed to testify against Lobban, who is facing six charges and could receive a jail term of 25 years to life if convicted.

A Perth magistrate approved his extradition in 2012, and two years later the then-federal Justice Minister determined Lobban should be "surrendered" to the United States.

He challenged the decision in the Federal Court, arguing he could be prosecuted in WA.

It was submitted that if he was extradited to the US, the penalties to which he would be exposed would be "grossly disproportionate" to those he would face if convicted in Australia.

He also claimed his surrender to the US would "violate his right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or other degrading treatment or punishment".

However in a decision today, Justice Neil McKerracher dismissed the claims and upheld the minister's decision that Lobban should be surrendered to the US.

Justice McKerracher accepted Mr Lobban was likely to receive a much tougher sentence in the US than he would get in WA, but said that did not mean the decision to extradite him should be overturned.

"It cannot be said that the severity of the punishment which Mr Lobban may face in Florida renders the surrender determination legally unreasonable," he said.

Lobban, who was not in court for the decision, can appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court.

© 2015 Andrew Vachss. All rights reserved.