A new perspective

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve had an epiphany. I confess that after my last radio interview on Niall Boylan I was in a bit of a funk and nearly ready to give up. I thought, wow, it doesn’t matter what I do or say, these people are bound and determined to hate and mistrust me. And therein lies the point on which my epiphany was born. You see, I understand a bit of theory on how the brain functions, and a concept that really resonates with me is schema theory. If you’re unfamiliar with it, schema theory posits that our brain is organized into templates for how we perceive reality. These templates are called schemas, and they account for everything from how we categorize objects to how we think about certain groups of people. In other words, all of our biases and beliefs come down to the way our brain is organized early in our lives.

Schemas are actually what allow us to be intelligent, because without them our brains would be forever processing every little bit of input they received as unique, which would result in a brain too slow to keep up with reality. It would thus freeze up in an effect similar to what in mathematics is called combinatorial explosion. In layman’s terms, combinatorial explosion is what happens when a series of mathematical combinations are possible from a simpler set. Which is to say, the complexity of possible combinations for a set of variables is higher than the complexity of the original variables. Thus, the more variables that are introduced into the equation, the more complex the combinations become. At a certain point they will grow beyond the ability of the calculator (be that calculator organic or mechanical) to process them. At that point reality itself would become an intractable problem.

Our brains, like all computers, are finite and inherently limited in what they can process. In order for us to be truly intelligent, then, our brains cannot simply be logic processors (a.k.a. Turing machines); they have to be able to make speedy comparisons on the fly, since we exist in an open system. That is to say, we exist in a universe where literally any complex combination of variables that are scientifically possible can theoretically cross our path. That means that there are nearly infinite possibilities we must be prepared for, and our ability to exist in this environment requires a brain that is flexible enough to quickly group things and, yes, people into categories so that we know how to deal with them to maintain our survival. This survival mechanism is ingenious, but it is also highly problematic. Why? Because such a system cannot possibly get everything right, especially when the earliest examples of any given variable introduced to it meet a particular criteria. All forms of bigotry are born on such errors.

What that means for us is that our biases are formed very early in our lives and are quite difficult to overturn. This is because our brain forms schemas based on the earliest examples we are introduced to, and schemas then become hardwired aspects of our brain, cemented as we go through puberty. It therefore makes perfect sense that a person conditioned from childhood to despise pedophiles—either because they have been sexually abused themselves or because they were programmed by external sources like media, schools, parents, etc.—are going to have a nearly impossible task in overcoming that conditioning when faced with something new (like a self-confessed non-offending pedophile). Indeed, it is probably not unlike trying to overcome a sexual orientation. Not quite as difficult because in addition to the brain organization, the high level of sexual pleasure inherent to our primary/exclusive attraction base is a powerful incentive for us to resist any attempts to entirely reorient our brains toward another class of sexual partner altogether. Nevertheless, it is still an uphill battle for them too. So, of course my haters are going to be irrationally convinced of my wrongdoing and poor character.

For the record, I never claimed to be a saint, only that I have never and will never molest a child. Indeed, just being out and making my case publicly helps to keep me legal. Not that I wasn’t before, but now I have a much greater incentive to stay that way: the world is watching me.

But the point I’m trying to make is, I don’t care anymore if you hate me irrationally, if you want to impugn my character, or if you need to insult me. It doesn’t bother me anymore. You know why? Because ultimately we aren’t so different after all. I was conditioned from an early age to be a pedophile; you were conditioned from an early age to hate pedophiles. It doesn’t matter in the end whether pedophilia is of epigenetic origin, environmental origin, congenital origin, or some combination of these. What matters is that the childhood conditioning (environmental) part of that equation is nearly impossible to reverse overnight. You should know that I am currently conditioning myself to be attracted to adults as well as children. I am reasonably sure it would not be possible for me to do away with my pedophilic orientation entirely; I’ve tried and suffered the consequences. But conditioning a new orientation on top of it should theoretically be possible, since conditioning myself to experience pleasure is a lot different—and, well, more pleasurable—than conditioning myself to experience pain. Although at my age it may not be worth the bother anymore. If I’d known this as a younger man things might have turned out very differently for me. Alas, they didn’t.

The bottom line is, you need to scapegoat me because it is ingrained in you just the same as my sexuality is ingrained in me. Which is to say, I don’t think you’re capable of not hating me. At least not initially. Maybe with time it will be possible, but whether you do or not, I will no longer take it personally. I just thought you should know. And so, wherever you are and however you feel about me, sir or madam, I still wish you a pleasant day.


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