Keeping Kids Safe

In one of his last assignments as an FBI agent, Bob Hamer went undercover to investigate NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Assoc.). He wrote a book about the experience, The Last Undercover, which I highly recommend. Bob has a piece posted at Big Hollywood today about some of the lessons he learned from that experience. Since his infiltration of NAMBLA he has made it his mission to alert the public to the danger child predators pose in every community across the country.

During my membership I corresponded with approximately 165 members and met face-to-face with about three dozen. The membership ran the socio-economic gamut. I met men with advanced degrees and those who were high school dropouts; Mensa members and the barely literate; married and single; wealthy and destitute. What they all shared was a need and desire to be around like-minded men seeking to legitimize their sexual attraction to boys.

I never met Charles Jaynes, the NAMBLA member convicted of the brutal murder of Jeffrey Curley and now serving a life sentence. He was the exception. All of the men with whom I dealt were “persuasion predators.” They didn’t sneak into homes in the dead of night and abduct sleeping boys from their beds. Their tactics were much more subtle. One member, a former special education teacher, who as a result of our investigation was sentenced to thirty years, admitted to molesting sixty to seventy boys and “grooming” another 200. Like most members, he cherished the opportunity to develop a relationship with a boy, attempting to legitimize that relationship by calling it “boy love” or “intergenerational sex” or “Greek love.” In my discussions and correspondence with these members one thing stood out: They targeted the lonely, the emotionally empty, the hurting boy. Those boys seeking affirmation and attention from a father-figure were especially vulnerable. Grooming was like a courting process. It might begin with a look, then a compliment, a conversation lavishing praise and establishing a common connection, and finally a trust.

I am often asked how we can protect our children. There is no magic formula for identifying a molester. There may be clues, but they are not foolproof. We cannot prove a negative. We can prove a person is a child molester. We cannot prove he is not. But Ann, let me expand on what you have said. I know you have been attacked for your chapter on single mothers and of course, there are exceptions to most rules, but single moms (and married moms and dads) let me give one piece of advice that Ann didn’t render. Based upon my three year affiliation with these child molesters, I observed one thing: Not one boy who came from a home with a strong, loving father figure was successfully targeted by a persuasion predator.

Protection may be that simple…a boy needs a loving father.Read the column at Big Hollywood and the full story of his three years as a NAMBLA member in The Last Undercover.

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