That thing again…

Rejecting Apology II has generated a huge amount of response in the last day, some of which we can even publish without risking nausea in our readers.  Check out the ‘recent comments’ section in the sidebar.

A repeated argument is that if a man wants to have sex with kids but doesn’t act on it then he’s ‘innocent’.

Well,  if we’re talking court of law, then of course that’s true.  He hasn’t committed a crime, so he’s innocent of that crime. But we aren’t discussing legality we’re discussing morality and responsibility. And a man who is sexually attracted to children has the obvious moral responsibility to ensure he doesn’t harm them as a result of his inclination.  He can only do that by staying away from them. The awful blurry world inhabited by Porlaverded, CuteyPie and their ilk, in which there are ‘good’ pedophiles (them) and ‘bad’ pedophiles (not them), is both dangerous and terminally dishonest. However much these ‘child-love’ types believe they aren’t harming any kids they consort with, however much they draw a line between their desires and behaviour and the ‘abusive’  conduct  of the ‘bad’ pedos,  they’re just deluding themselves.  And  – the part that most concerns us – using the mythic image of Carroll to aid in this delusion.

So, let”s state again – if, despite all evidence, Lewis Carroll truly was a pedophile, and if he befriended kids, won their affections, played with their minds, watched their nakedness, while letting them inevitably sense the inappropriateness of his approach, then even if he didn’t go any further,  he abused those children. In fact being obliquely head-fucked by some person they love and trust  is going to scar a kid more not less than the more overt  stuff done by those presumed ‘bad’ guys, who are at least honest about their intent.

Carroll scholars and enthusiasts need to show the deluded souls who (let’s not kid ourselves) haunt Carrollianism that this image they nurture of Carroll  as ‘pedophilia incarnate and sanctified’  is a lie. Not only is this justice for Carroll, it’s removing from them a powerful agent of their own self-justification.

Last time we said this we were mailed by the LCSNA to ask  for assistance in setting up a good Myth-FAQ.  Not sure if they have pursued this any further, but if not – now’s the time. And maybe the LCS could follow suit?

Unless we really want this subterranean army of ‘good’ pedophiles to keep using the author of Alice as their patron saint.

Ok, it’s a beautiful day, birds singing, sky blue, and we just hope this is the last time  we have to write about this for a while.


~ by Contrariwise on May 24, 2010.

17 Responses to “That thing again…”

  1. Karoline, the problem is that people who make these unfounded claims simply aren’t interested in evidence. In fact they often despise it. It’s the same with creationists, climate-skeptics and anti-vaccine lunatics. They live in their own world. I’ve learned it’s best to ignore them, however counter-intuitive that may be for most scholars and scientists.

    • Thing is though, it’s because Carrollians have always ignored them and ducked the argument that the image persists as it does. I don’t think it’s fair to include climate-skeptics with Creationists though, you know. From what I understand there’s legitimate evidence on both sides of that debate. But let’s not get into that here.

  2. Been reading Poorlaverdad’s comments. It’s like treading in something nasty. Keep up the good work angel.

  3. I have never been able to take Leach’s book seriously, and the whole Contrariwise movement seems flawed and will die a natural death. The newest biographer, Jenny Woolf doesn’t quote Leach or Ackerman or Lebaily, she follows Cohen whose scholarship cant be faulted.

    • First of all, making sweeping, generalized statements that Cohen’s scholarship cannot be faulted is itself faulty logic. Don’t get me wrong, I respect Cohen’s work greatly, but it was, and do correct me if I am wrong, his work, that initially suggested and perhaps contributed, although not intentionally, to the beginning of this gross misconception about Carroll. As for the the movement dying a natural death, any good scholar worth her weight knows that the more information that is examined and included, the more accurate the scholarship. Otherwise, the world might still be flat. For me, the issue at hand is who is in control of the prominent scholarship on Carroll and why is it this control persists.

    • The only truthful thing you say in this is that Woolf does not cite Ackerman. That is because Woolf, sensibly, not being a philospoher, does not involve herself in Carroll’s philosophy.

      Everything else you say is actually the oppsite of the truth. First. Not only does Ms Woolf acknowledge Karoline Leach’s work as a major step in Carroll studies, but throughout her discussions on Carroll’s relationships with ‘children’ she relies heavily (and concurs) with both Leach’s book and Lebailly’s research (whom she also acknowledges).
      With regards to the Cohen Biography, her presentation of Carroll’s relationship with children is quite opposite to that presented in the Cohen biography. Either you have not read the books you cite or you are so focused on a view of Lewis Carroll that you (for whatever reason) wish to maintain, that you are ignoring the evidence presented.


  4. To add to my point, the recent article about a letter from Dodgson to Tenniel doesn’t quote Leach, because she isn’t a serious scholar or expert. It quotes Woolf, because she is a serious contender and a natural successor to Cohen. The Lewis Carroll Societies got behind her book, but were noticably silent about Leach’s. Leach is an actress not a writer, what kind of qualification is that?

  5. Obviously these comments are censored because I added something about the fact Leach is never quoted by the press but it hasn’t appeared. Apparently it’s awaiting moderation. How odd.

    • Hi ‘Charles’, your comment was moderated because we try to avoid ad hominem but since it’s caused you concern, we’ve published it anyway.

  6. What is this guy Charles’s problem? Where did all that come from? What’s it even got to do with the subject of the post?

    And – Woolf follows Cohen – what? How?? Cohen says Carroll was a paedophile, Woolf says he wasn’t. (So does Leach). Cohen says he was a lifelong virgin, Woolf says he quite likely had an affair, maybe with a married woman. (So does Leach). Cohen says Alice was the love of his life, Woolf says this is nonsense. (So does Leach).
    Cohen says he didn’t get on with his father (so does Leach), Woolf says they had a great relationship.

    Word of advice, Charles mate – lay off the critical analysis and just stick to the empty-headed abuse, it’s what you do best.

  7. Has anyone considered the possibility that some of the misconceptions about Lewis Carroll might have been initiated by Charles Dodgson himself? With the success of Alice’s Adventures Dodgson perhaps saw the opportunity to create a public persona. Dodgson had a penchant for making and using puppets- and a puppet can get away with saying things that a ‘real’ person can’t. Lewis Carroll became the puppet through which Dodgson could address the world at large. The image of the new children’s saint was possibly started by Dodgson as a deliberate construct, one that has been perpetuated ever since.

    • Hi Deb!

      A moment of sanity!

      Of course he did! It is quite clear when you compare his letters, for example, with those he genuinely loved and respected and those to whom he was just ‘Lewis Carroll’. Even his diaries are tantalising. He NEVER disusses what transpirers in his conversations with those who we know to be very close to him. Lok in vain, for example for any intimate details of his relationship with people such as Gerge McDonald or FD Maurice (both of whom he was particularly intimate). We know that he was on very close calling aquaintance with a wide range of the pre-raphaelite’s (especiallys the Rossetti’s, Hughes and Holliday – who illustrated the Snark – but he is particularly careful never to say anything about their discussions.

      Of course he was a master illussionist. He had to be, given the precariouys path he travelled.



  8. Leach’s position is totally different from anything in Woolf’s book, and Woolf dismisses her work as nonsense. Cohen also rightly dismissed all the revisionists. Have you read his piece about them?

    • Charles, I don’t want to ‘censor’ anyone, but for various reasons it’s really not fair to either Jenny or me for any comparison of our work to be happening on this blog at this time, so I’m going to ask you and anyone else to let this matter drop for the moment. There are other forums if you want to continue. The Yahoo news group. or the proboard forum to name two.


    • OK,

      I don’t know who you are, but I do know you are both ill-informed, driven and possibly stupid. Let me spell it out.

      Woolf does not dismiss Leach’s work as ‘nonsense’. She disagees with with her one conjencture (as I do) Regarding Carroll’s relationship with Mrs Liddell. In all other respcts regarding Carroll’s relationships with his so-called ‘child friends’ Ms Woolf is in complete agreement. In fact, in her chapters on this issue, she uses almost precisely the same words as Leach.

      With Regard to the Cohen article you refer to, yes I have read it. It is inaccurate in virtually every detail. Should you wish to debate this I will most happily engage.



  9. I will only say this: if Lewis Carroll is an EXAMPLE for pedophiles, then god damn is a GOOD example! I mean, he never touched any child, he never hurt them, he loved them. If that’s an example to follow, then I think it’s a good one.

  10. How do you suppose he got them into position for photographing without touching them?
    You still haven’t answered this question or anything else specific.

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