Monday, February 20, 2006

Difference Between 'Sick' and 'Evil'

"No child is capable, emotionally or legally, of consenting to being photographed for sexual purposes. Thus, every image of a sexually displayed child --be it a photograph, a tape or a DVD -- records both the rape of the child and an act against humanity. We must stop the hurt." - Andrew Vachss

Mr. Vachss' article Let's Fight This Terrible Crime Against Our Children appeared in this Sunday's (February 19, 2006) Parade magazine.

"PARADE Contributing Editor Andrew Vachss has made the protection of our most vulnerable citizens his life’s work. He is an attorney whose practice, for nearly four decades, has been devoted exclusively to the representation of children, many of them victims of sexual abuse. This experience has made him an outspoken advocate for the dignity and rights of children, a theme he also has pursued through his best-selling novels. This week, we ask readers to join Vachss’ call-to-arms against a despicable crime that is growing at an alarming pace."

Andrew Vachss believes that with higher penalties some predators will be deterred. Those who aren't can be locked away for a long time. I think that if he and Bill O'Reilly of Fox News The O'Reilly Factor joined forces, much would get done regarding the necessary passing of Jessica's Law in all 50 states.

There is absolutely no doubt that the marketing, viewing and use of child porn is not only sick, it is evil. The problem is that we have judges in this country who refuse to acknowledge the labeling of 'evil' on such predators.

When I located Mr. Vachss' article at PARADE online, I also clicked on an article that he wrote back in 2002, which was written at the height of the pedophile priest scandal. Although the article doesn't discuss child porn extensively, I think that it is related to the current sexual predator crisis and how many of these cases are being sorely mishandled in certain liberal left-leaning courtrooms throughout our country. It discusses, and reveals, the difference between labeling a criminal as 'sick' or 'evil.'

Portions (in quotes) from that article are included in the discussion below:

"The shock waves caused by the recent exposures of so-called “pedophile priests” have reverberated throughout America. But beneath our anger and revulsion, a fundamental question pulsates: Are those who abuse positions of trust to prey upon children—a category certainly not limited to those in religious orders—sick...or are they evil?

We need the answer to that fundamental question. Because, without the truth, we cannot act. And until we act, nothing will change.

But whatever the venue, the truth remains constant: Some humans intentionally hurt children. They commit unspeakable acts—for their pleasure, their profit, or both. Many people who hear of my cases against humans who rape, torture and package children for sale or rent immediately respond with, “That’s sick!” Crimes against children seem so grotesquely abnormal that the most obvious explanation is that the perpetrator must be mentally ill—helpless in the grip of a force beyond his or her control. But that very natural reaction has, inadvertently, created a special category of “blameless predator.” That confusion of “sick” with “sickening” is the single greatest barrier to our primary biological and ethical mandate: the protection of our children.

The difference between sick and evil cannot be dismissed with facile eye-of-the-beholder rhetoric. There are specific criteria we can employ to give us the answers in every case, every time.

Some of those answers are self-evident and beyond dispute: A mother who puts her baby in the oven because she hears voices commanding her to bake the devil out of the child’s spirit is sick; and a mother who sells or rents her baby to child pornographers is evil. But most cases of child sexual abuse—especially those whose “nonviolent” perpetrators come from within the child’s circle of trust—seem, on their surface, to be far more complex. That complexity is an illusion.

The truth is as simple as it is terrifying:

Sickness is a condition.

Evil is a behavior.

Evil is always a matter of choice. Evil is not thought; it is conduct. And that conduct is always volitional.

And just as evil is always a choice, sickness is always the absence of choice. Sickness happens. Evil is inflicted."

I see the current wave of liberal left judges giving light sentences to child predators as a result of them turning around the reality of that last concept. They have fallen into the incorrect mindset that predators are only "sick" and thus "have the absence of choice" rather than facing the truth of the matter that such predators are clearly choosing to inflict pain and suffering upon their victims for sexual pleasure due to evil behavior.

Thank you Andrew Vachss! Finally someone has had the courage to call it like it is!! It's about time!

If you watch The O'Reilly Factor and have been following the case of the Vermont judge who originally gave an outrageously lame 60 day sentence to a child rapist (who continually raped a 6-year-old girl for four years until she was 10), then you have seen the debates going on between Bill and his lawyer guests who have tried to arrogantly support the judge's terrible, lenient sentencing decision.

What it boils down to is this: can men like this Mark Hulett be rehabilitated?

According to Mr. Vachss research, the answer is a big fat no!

"Until we perceive the difference clearly, we will continue to give aid and comfort to our most pernicious enemies. We, as a society, decide whether something is sick or evil. Either decision confers an obligation upon us. Sickness should be treated. Evil must be fought.

If a person has desires or fantasies about sexually exploiting children, that individual may be sick. (Indeed, if such desires are disturbing, as opposed to gratifying to the individual, there may even be a “cure.”) But if the individual chooses to act upon those feelings, that conduct is evil. People are not what they think; they are what they do."

Our society distrusts the term “evil.” It has an almost biblical ring to it—something we believe in (or not) but never actually understand. We prefer scientific-sounding terms, such as “sociopath.” But sociopathy is not a mental condition; it is a specific cluster of behaviors. The diagnosis is only made from actual criminal conduct. No reputable psychiatrist claims to be able to cure a sociopath—or, for that matter, a predatory pedophile. Even the most optimistic professionals do not aim to change such a person’s thoughts and feelings.

Such hopes ignore the inescapable fact that the overwhelming majority of those who prey upon children don’t want to change their behavior—they want only to minimize the consequences of being caught at it. "
This is what is at the crux of the debate. Those who do not want to change their behavior are not going to cooperate. They may take a plea deal that involves rehabilitation attempts along with jail time, but psychiatrists admit that sociopaths who act upon evil behavior(s) are often never cured. So, what do we do? Jessica's Law! Lock them up so that they can't hurt another child!!

But we have those bleeding heart judges to contend with now, don't we? Years ago, light sentences for child predators were unheard of. So what happened?

"Psychology has given us many insights of great value. But it also has clouded our vision with euphemisms. To say a person suffers from the “disease” of pedophilia is to absolve the predator of responsibility for his behavior.

Imagine if an attorney, defending someone accused of committing a dozen hold- ups, told the jury his poor client was suffering from “armed-robberia.” That jury would decide that the only crazy person in the courtroom was the lawyer.

When a perpetrator claims to be sick, the timing of that claim is critical to discovering the truth. Predatory pedophiles carefully insinuate themselves into positions of trust. They select their prey and approach cautiously. Gradually, sometimes over a period of years, they gain greater control over their victims. Eventually, they leave dozens of permanently damaged children in their wake.

But only when they are caught do predatory pedophiles declare themselves to be sick. And the higher the victim count, the sicker (and therefore less responsible) they claim to be."

Mr. Vachss describes what we can do to fight the monstrous danger that child porn poses and inflicts upon children throughout the world. Here is his list. You can to to the article to read the detailed descriptions of each step:

1. First, we must raise the stakes.

2. Second, we must abolish the statute of limitations, both civil and criminal, on acts involving the production of child pornography.

3. Third, to further deter criminal syndicates, we must enact federal laws to allow the United States to sue on behalf of any as-yet-unidentified children depicted in seized child pornography.

4. Fourth, we must recognize that child pornography is an international crime.

5. Finally, we must acknowledge that a war cannot be fought without resources, and then demand that our legislators commit those resources.

Child pornography is a multi-victim crime and a multibillion-dollar business. We already know what children are “worth” to predatory pedophiles and criminal syndicates. Now is the time to show the world what they are worth to us."

Speak out now! Contact your elected officials at

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