If your faith in the 'goodness' of humanity hasn't been shaken by now, this will leave it in shreds. The depravity of man knows no bounds, nor is it ever satisfied.
As 1999 drew to a close, the nation of Latvia was rocked by a child prostitution/child pornography scandal that reached to the very top of the political power structure. The case first broke in August, when police uncovered a massive operation involving as many as 2,000 severely abused children. When media reports began linking top Latvian officials to the case, a special parliamentary commission was formed to investigate.
PM of Latvia
July 1999 - May 2000
The BBC reported in June of 1999 that two unnamed German men had “gone on trial, accused of running a child pornography ring in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.” The pair, along with at least eleven identified but unindicted accomplices, “made video recordings of the gang sexually abusing children between the ages of three and 14 since 1993.”
A large but unspecified quantity of “videos, photography, magazines and CD-ROMs containing child pornography were confiscated.” Also noted was a possible connection to the Dutroux case: “There have been cases of Slovak children being taken to Vienna to make pornographic films. The Belgian paedophile Marc Dutroux … was a regular visitor to one Slovak town.”
The BBC also filed a brief report on a 1996 case that went almost completely unreported in the English language press: “Mexican police broke up an international child pornography ring based in the resort of Acapulco which they said had at least four thousand clients in the United States,”. A UN envoy investigating the case said that the “child pornography sometimes involved babies of less than one month old.”
On September 29 of 2000, The Irish Times reported that: “Eight people were arrested in Italy and three in Russia, and police said 1,700 people were being investigated in Italy,” as yet another pedophile network surfaced. The images traded by this ring were “divided into several categories … The most gruesome, police said, was coded ‘Necros Pedo,’ in which children were raped and tortured to death.”
And so it is that we first confront that most disturbing of topics – snuff films, which we all know don’t really exist. As recently as February of 1999, the New York Post assured readers that: “Snuff films are the stuff of urban legend … how did this legend get started? No one knows.” The unfortunate truth though is that they do, as it turns out, actually exist, and they likely have existed for as long as film has existed, though they weren't always known by that name.
According to the Post: “The term ‘snuff’ was actually coined during the Charles Manson case, when press reports repeated a rumor that the Manson ‘family’ had filmed home movies of the brutal slayings.” Other reports hold that the term was coined in 1976 by a writer for the New York Times who was in need of a phrase to describe reports of murders following sexual activity being captured on film.
Not long after that, as Carl Raschke wrote: “The Texas House Select Committee on Child Pornography disclosed in the late 1970s that investigators probing leads to organized crime in Houston, Dallas, and other major cities found that ‘slave’ auctions for sixteen- and seventeen-year-old boys were routinely held in Mexico. Some of the boys were featured in brutal snuff or ‘slasher’ movies.”
Raschke also quotes from a study by U.S. mental health professionals that claimed that a child from Mexico “can be packaged, delivered, and sold deep within this country in a short time,” and that many are purchased solely “for the purpose of killing.”
In Enslaved, Gordon Thomas reported that: “At the start of the year  Britain's Scotland Yard was continuing to investigate reports that up to twenty children in London had been murdered last year in [snuff films] and the video tapes sold on the Continent.”
An account of the Italian case carried by the Guardian affirmed the existence of snuff films: “police have discovered a massive international paedophile network selling violent child-pornography videos to clients in Italy, the US and Germany … (authorities are) trying to identify 5,000 people who are suspected of attempting to purchase the videos, some of which appear to contain images of children being tortured and murdered.”
The UK’s Independent, in a follow-up published in November of 2000, also confirmed that the seized materials did in fact include child snuff films: “Horrified investigators gathered images of more than 2,000 children who were filmed while being abused, raped, and … killed.” By that time, close to 1,500 people had been charged in the case, but not - as the Guardian noted - “those in high places who are believed to form a ‘paedophile lobby.’”
As in the Belgian and Latvian cases, there were clear indications of high-level complicity and a strong belief among the Italian people that the facts of the case were being covered up. And as with the other cases, the magistrate heading up the inquiry “provoked a furore by denouncing a ‘paedophile lobby’ supported by politicians which he said openly obstructed the investigators and worked to prevent tougher sanctions for the consumers of child pornography,” according to the Independent.
The New York Times reported in March of 1997 that there is “growing public indignation in France and elsewhere about the recurrent reports of kidnapping, rape or incest involving the very young.” The same Times report noted that: “police across France have detained more than 250 people and confiscated some 5,000 videocassettes” in conjunction with an investigation into a massive child pornography ring. Those detained by police were described as “mainly married professionals.” A dozen of them would soon turn up dead, allegedly suicide victims.
In June, the News Telegraph spoke of over 800 French homes being raided and 204 suspects being taken into custody the week before. Among those detained were: “More than 30 teachers … and a number of priests,” as well as the deputy mayor of the town of Saint Mihiel. By the end of the week, four had committed suicide, including a school headmaster.
Three years later, the BBC filed a very brief report noting that a verdict was due “in the trial of more than sixty people accused of possessing child pornography. One of the judges hearing the case said examining the video evidence made him feel physically sick.” In a familiar refrain, it was reported that: “the French courts have been accused of attacking the easy targets -- porn consumers -- rather than producers and distributors. And one children’s rights group has alleged that senior public figures were among those investigated -- but their cases were dropped before coming to court.”
In 1998, another large-scale international ring was discovered operating out of the Netherlands and Berlin, Germany. The New York Times reported that investigators called the case “nauseating,” in that “images of abuse of even babies and infants were peddled via the Internet and other media.” Police discovered “voluminous records of what appear to be clients and suppliers from countries including Israel, Ukraine, Britain, Russia and the United States.”
The ring was first uncovered when a key member was found dead in Italy. According to The Irish Times, he was murdered by another member of the ring. His apartment in the Dutch town of Zandvoort was found to contain “thousands of digital images stored on computer disks,” as well as “hundreds of addresses of suspected suppliers and clients,” according to the New York Times. The images shocked even veteran sex-crimes investigators, one of whom stated that the seized evidence “left [him] speechless … It looks like the perpetrators are not dealing with human beings but with objects.”
A concerted effort has been made over the decades to cover up Carroll’s pedophilic tendencies, though the truth is evident even in the heavily whitewashed profiles of him that can be found in modern encyclopedias. Microsoft's Encarta notes that: “Always a friend of children, particularly little girls, Carroll wrote thousands of letters to them,” and also that he “gained an additional measure of fame as an amateur photographer. Most of his camera portraits were of children in various costumes and poses, including nude studies.”
| LCarrol photo of Alice Liddell|
It was rumoured that Carroll
wanted to marry the 11 year old
Wonderland is also the name of the quarterly publication of the Lewis Carroll Collector's Guild, which bills itself as a “voluntary association of persons who believe nudist materials are a constitutionally protected expression and whose collective interests include pre-teen nudes.” As Gordon Thomas has noted: “In Wonderland the ‘delights’ of ‘transgenerational sex’ pepper the pages.” Such is the legacy of the men whose literary works are peddled to our children … but here I digress.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that: “Police in … 22 states and 13 foreign countries conducted coordinated raids … aimed at breaking up an Internet child-pornography ring … The ring involves as many as 200 people around the world, who exchanged over the Internet thousands of sexually explicit images of children as young as 18 months.” The Independent later reported that the ring “shared pictures of children being abused -- in some cases live via web-cam broadcasts over the internet.”
Sketched by Carroll
The case was described by a British official as “stomach-churning.” The Times reported that “Wonderland Club members are believed to have posed their own children for pictures … In other cases … parents may have taken money to let their children be used.” The Guardian reported that over 1,250 children were featured in the photos and videos, “many of whom suffered appalling injuries and were seen sobbing uncontrollably as they were being sexually violated.” The Independent added that the victimized children were “mostly under [the age of] 10.”
A BBC report held that the combined raids resulted in the seizure of more than “750,000 computer images of children.” A Detective Superintendent with the British National Crime Squad called these images “disgusting and the behavior that has been carried out is absolutely appalling.” Though ignored by the American press, “Wonderland originated in the United States.”
Among the scores of U.S. homes raided, one yielded a “database of more than 100,000 sexual photographs of naked boys and girls.” Interestingly enough, the Times also noted that another raid, “in Missouri, turned up a cache of weapons as well as child pornography in a heavily fortified trailer,” illustrating once again - as did the Dutroux case - the close ties between organized pedophilia and other terrorist assaults against society.
In the UK, the Wonderland raids - dubbed Operation Cathedral - resulted in the indictments of eight suspects. One of the eight turned up dead four months later – another alleged suicide. The other seven were given ridiculously light sentences in February of 2001 for their complicity in inflicting unfathomable abuse on countless children. Sentences ranged from 12 to 30 months.
Just a few weeks before the sentences were handed down, the Guardian was reporting that: “Police today arrested 13 suspected paedophiles in the largest ever UK operation against child pornography.” Once again a massive amount of appalling evidence was seized, with most of the material featuring “scenes of children being raped and sexually abused.”
The Independent reported in February of 2001 that: “Detectives working on the [Wonderland] case discovered that many of the paedophiles were also members of other child pornography groups.” One of the groups most closely tied to Wonderland was a ring known as the Orchid Club, which had been exposed by a 1996 investigation in San Jose, California. That investigation had led to the indictment of sixteen men on charges of conspiring to produce and exchange child pornography. Members of the club were identified in at least nine states and three foreign countries.
By the time of the Wonderland raids, the Mercury News was able to report that the purported ringleader of the Orchid Club and “twelve others either have pleaded guilty or have been convicted in connection with that case.” Their crimes included recruiting “young relatives and friends of their own children to be molested and photographed.”
The club was also, like Wonderland, involved in “real-time exploitation of children” on the internet. Club members were able to send in requests and have them acted-out on live feeds. The club also held a pedophile ‘summit,’ at which members “traded stories about pre-teen girls they had molested and photographed in sexually explicit poses.” The summit was held, appropriately enough, on April 20 – the birth date of Adolf Hitler and a major satanic holiday.
In late March of 2001, yet another interlinked global network was exposed. The Independent reported that: “US authorities announced the arrest of four American citizens for involvement in an international child-porn ring called Blue Orchid.” The Los Angeles Times added further details the next day, reporting that “the United States and Russia have shut down a Moscow-based international pornography ring that used the Internet to sell videotapes of children engaged in sexual acts.”
These tapes were said to sell for “between $200 and $300.” An Associated Press release held that: “Police seized some 600 videotapes, 200 digital video disks and many boxes of photographs.” Video duplication equipment and sales and shipping records were also seized, leading to “criminal inquiries in 24 nations … Many of the tapes were bought by people in the United States; others went to Germany, Britain, France, Denmark, China, Kuwait, Mexico and scores of other countries.”
The Times reported that nine people had been arrested and fifteen search warrants issued. The AP report noted that four of those arrested were in Russia, where two suspects had, alas, “committed suicide.” The ring was also said by the Times to offer what were cryptically referred to as “custom-made videos” for the hefty price of $5,000 each. The contents of these videos were not revealed.
What was revealed though was that “the prevalence of child pornography has increased dramatically with the growth of the Internet. There are approximately 100,000 web sites worldwide associated with child pornography.” This point was reinforced the very next day when the UK press reported police raids on yet another pedophile ring.
The Guardian reported that: “More than 30 people, including a … man working for a national youth organization, were arrested yesterday in dawn raids on the homes of suspected paedophiles.” Once again being sold and traded were images “which showed children being abused.”
A report on the case in the Independent quoted a law enforcement spokesman as revealing “that those arrested included members of ‘some interesting professions,’” though demurring from revealing what those professions might be. The official also said that they had “a disturbing scenario of one or two juveniles who have been caught in this way. One of them appears to be a 13-year-old boy.”
The police did acknowledge that the arrested boy was “also a potential victim and would be treated in that light,” which seems rather obvious. Nevertheless, a follow-up to the story that the Independent ran in May reported that the boy had become “one of the youngest people to be listed on the sex offenders’ register.”
|Eric Rosser child porn|
photographer and keyboardist
for John Cougar Mellencamp
The very next month, the Guardian carried a report on Eric Franklin Rosser – accused child pornographer, one of the FBI's ten most wanted criminals and a former keyboardist for John Cougar Mellencamp’s band. According to the report: “Investigators believe Rosser’s material is among pornography circulated by a British paedophile ring … More than 1,800 members are thought to belong to a club called Teenboys. Its website features boys aged around 12 … Teenboys is considered bigger than the notorious Wonderland Club.”
Meanwhile, a pedophile ring in Australia with high-level government connections was handled in a slightly different way. As The Irish Times reported on July 17, 1998:
“Police suspect a series of gruesome gay hate killings in the Sydney region could be the work of a serial killer whose victims might be linked through a notorious paedophile ring. The latest mutilation murder was that of Australia's longest serving mayor, Frank Arkell, aged 68, who was bludgeoned to death in his flat and who had previously faced 29 child sex charges.
“In the past few months two other men, one a convicted child sex offender, were attacked in their homes in similar circumstances and also suffered horrific injuries. Arkell, the former Lord Mayor of Wollongong, 50 miles south of Sydney, was a key witness in a royal commission into police corruption which uncovered a network of paedophiles.”