Friday, February 5, 2010

Pete Townshend addresses Sex Offender criticism.

Article: Pete Townshend Defends Himself Against Sex Offender Criticism.

I remember when Pete Townshend was arrested for child pornography. He was later cleared of those charges, but that has not stopped child advocacy groups from condemning his performance at the upcoming Super Bowl.

One thing I have always told people since beginning this blog is I never trusted men who advocated for children. This puts me in a weird position. The reason I started this blog is because NO ONE, get that? NO ONE was saying or writing anything about Bob Gray and the other people who might have known about his victimization of children. He was given a free pass.

That would not just be Tom Messer, the current pastor of Trinity. That would also be, in my constitutionally protected opinion, Jerry Falwell who just went nuts with a piece of sleaze called The Clinton Chronicles. Falwell promoted this video while Bob Gray was serving in Germany.

Why was Gray in Germany? Because a victim, and her family, confronted Gray about molesting her as a child.

That was around 1992. I found out through a phone call.

As the years went by, I saw the most ridiculous theater of errors played out in the media.

First: Jerry Falwell recommends First Baptist Church over Trinity Baptist Church as a place for Tanya Flynt Vega. She is the daughter of Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler, who accused Flynt of molesting her as a child.

I called her up! I was surprised by how easy it was to get in touch with her. She lives in Jacksonville. I told her what I knew about Bob Gray and how surprised I was that Falwell would recommend a Southern Baptist church over an independent Baptist church. At the time, Falwell was independent Baptist.

Could it be that he knew better than to send someone claiming to be a victim of child molestation to a church that was pastored by a man who was also accused (then privately) of the same thing?

It wasn't long after that Falwell joined the Southern Baptists. Please don't try to argue semantics with me on this.

I've heard it all: "He didn't really join the Southern Baptist Convention, he just donated money to them."

Say what? I do have an article I could scan and post from a Christian paper documenting Falwell's entry into the SBC.

My opinion is he knew how corrupt the independents were and, for professional and personal reasons, tried to wash his hands of them. That opinion would be challenged after I learned the SBC, when it comes to protecting abusive pastors, is just as corrupt as the independents. View Stop Baptist Predators for more information.

Second: After Gray was arrested, I thought for sure The Florida Times Union would publish articles about how widespread the cover-up went, but that never happened. Not even after Falwell visited Trinity, in what I believe was pure PR, to tell them all this would be a 'bump in the road'.

I was still quite nervous about this subject, though. I already knew of one male child advocate who was later found dead. His body in the desert. The police saying he had child pornography on his computer.

In 2003, I heard about Pete Townshend's arrest. He also claimed to be a child advocate but police accused him of having child pornography on his computer.

You don't hear a lot about female child advocates being arrested for this, but you do hear about males being arrested. Whether this is a police frame up or not, I knew I wanted to write about this (the Bob Gray scandal) from the vantage point of being a former student of Trinity Christian Academy, the school founded by Gray. Not as a child advocate.

If there's something internally corrupt about the world of child advocacy that causes male predators to infiltrate their ranks, or people to look suspiciously at male child advocates (as I did), I wanted nothing to do with it.

The thing about Pete Townshend is he has consistently written about child abuse. Both in his art and in his interviews.

Tommy was about child abuse! Tommy Walker is made deaf, dumb, and blind after seeing his stepfather kill his father. His stepfather then finds a prostitute for Tommy which further keeps him deaf, dumb, and blind.

That movie, and the rock opera, made such an impression on me when I saw it.

It was 1975. I was 13 years old. I watched the scenes where Tommy is abused by his cousin Kevin, then molested by his Uncle Ernie, and thought, "Man! This must go on everywhere!"

Remember, in those days there was not a lot of talk concerning child abuse. So, Townshend was a pioneer in addressing the issue in his art.

Townshend claims he was doing research on a project about abuse when he stumbled upon the wrong webpage. This is why you must be VERY CAREFUL when you take up advocacy. If you're going to troll the web to find predators on your own, unless you're connected with the police don't be surprised if people think YOU are the predator.

Geoffrey Hill, the advocate who was found dead in the desert, told me he believed police intentionally made child pornography in order to plant it on people's computers. Reason? Land grabs in the San Bernardino area. The thing is, that story persists to this day! Others have also made the same accusations against the police departments in that area. It doesn't help their case that key police leaders are active in evangelical churches that have also been accused of hushing up child abuse amongst their faculty.

Hill, by coincidence, used to be a pastor at Calvary Chapel.

Let's get back to Townshend:

I think Townshend was careless and should not have attempted his own investigation.

We must also consider this: no one has stepped up and accused him of abusing them as a child. He's certainly rich enough, an easy target, and has enough enemies in the child advocacy movement to back them up, but not one person has done so.

The child advocacy movement has to reform itself.

It needs to be more careful about picking its battles.

It needs to take into account how loose our sex offender laws are.

It is true that urinating in public is bad manners. It can also get you classified as a 'sex offender'.

If child advocacy is to be taken seriously, we need a set of standards and practices. And we should not be too quick about alienating people who might have something valuable to contribute to the discussion.

For more info about Tommy, click here.

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