CRIES founder, others sentenced in European witchhunt

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Phillipe [Philippe] Carpentier, founder of a pedophile support group in Belgium, was sentenced recently to 8 years in prison for charges stemming from his advocacy of the sexual rights of children and adults who love them. Following the conviction of Carpentier and others involved in the Center for Research and Information on Childhood (CRIES) in Belgium, the anti-pedophile witchhunt spread to France when the 300 Parisian whose names were on the CRIES mailing list were arrested in a pre-dawn raid and charged with receiving pornography. [...]

CRIES was founded in Brussels, Belgium in January, 1979. It ceased functioning in December 1986 when Carpentier developed serious health problems. For all eight years of its existence, CRIES functioned with the strictest respect for Belgian law. CRIES pursued various projects. It collected and made accessible a diverse library on childhood sexuality and pedophilia, including works from literary, sociological, psychological, and legal perspectives. CRIES offered individual counseling and the camaraderie of group meetings, where problems could be discussed constructively. Finally, CRIES published l'Espoir, a magazine distributed by subscription and sold in a dozen bookshops. It was in no way pornographic. Each of its twenty eight issues was openly and legally sold; not one issue was ever the object of censorship. The 800 or so readers of l'Espoir were divided among fifteen countries, mainly in Belgium and France. It is not in society's interest that pedophiles remain isolated and left to themselves. If someone's emotional and sexual urges cannot be expressed, he or she is under constant tension, and may in desperation attempt non-consensual sex. By providing a supportive environment allowing pedophiles to express and reflect upon their desires, CRIES acted as a sort of safety valve. [...]

Carpentier, the main organizer of CRIES, [...] was arrested solely on the basis of his activities at the head of the organization.

source: Article 'CRIES Founder, Others Sentenced in European Witchhunt'; NAMBLA Bulletin, vol. 9 n. 3; April 1988