Interview with a Pedophile

Tom O’Carroll

Tom O’Carroll. Tom is a self-confessed pedophile, pro-pedophile advocate, and writer.

He is a former chairman of the now disbanded Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), an advocacy group that existed from 1974 to 1984 to lobby openly for the legal acceptance of pedophilia.

Tom has faced multiple convictions for pedophile related behavior, including two custodial sentences, the first time in 1981 for conspiracy to corrupt public morals and again in 2006 for the distribution of child pornography.

He is the author of two books, the first being “Paedophilia: The Radical Case”, an autobiographical account of Tom’s early life and involvement with the Pedophile Information Exchange and his beliefs about the nature of adult-child sexual relationships, and his second book, published under the pen name Carl Toms, is “Michael Jackson: Dangerous Liaisons” which argues that the late entertainer’s relationships with young boys were pedophilic in nature.

In today’s episode we delve in to Tom’s early life, the experience of first realizing his sexual attraction to children, his failed attempts to lead a normal life, and his pro-pedophile advocacy efforts.

We debate the nature of consent, whether or not adult-child sexual relationships are always harmful, if childhood sexual trauma is caused by the sexual acts themselves or subsequent societal judgement, and the likelihood of pro-pedophile advocacy ever resulting in a society which accepts adult-child sexual relationships.

Related Links

Heretic TOC – Tom’s WordPress Blog

Positive Memories – Cases of positive memories of erotic and platonic relationships and contacts of children with adults as seen from the perspective of the former minor.

Cases in the Research – Consenting Juveniles

Tom’s Recommended Studies

Angelides, S. (2004). Feminism, child sexual abuse, and the erasure of child sexuality. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 10(2), 141–177.

Graaf, H. de & Rademakers, J. (2011). The psychological measurement of childhood sexual development in Western societies: methodological challenges. Journal of Sex Research, 48(2), 118-129.

Kershnar, S. (2015). Pedophilia and Adult Child Sex: A Philosophical Analysis. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Kilpatrick, A.C. (1992). Long-Range Effects of Child and Adolescent Sexual Experiences: Mores, Myths, Menaces. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Konker C. (1992). Rethinking Child Sexual Abuse: An Anthropological Perspective. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 62(1), 147-53.

Leahy, T. (1996). Sex and the age of consent: The ethical issues. Social Analysis, 39 (April), 27-55.

Levine, J. (2002). Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Lilienfeld, S. O. (2002). When worlds collide: social science, politics, and the child sexual abuse meta-analysis. American Psychologist, 57(3), 176–188.

Martinson, F.M. (1994). The Sexual Life of Children. West Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

O’Carroll, T. (1980). Paedophilia: The Radical Case. London: Peter Owen.

Okami, P. (1991). Self-reports of ‘positive’ childhood and adolescent sexual contacts with older persons: An exploratory study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 20(5), 437-57.

Prescott, J.W. (1996). The origins of human love and violence. Pre- and Perinatal Psychology

Journal, 10(3), 143-188. The Origins of Peace and Violence: Accessed 18 Oct., 2017.

Primoratz, I. (1999). Ethics and sex. London: Routledge.

Rind, B. (2002). The problem with consensus morality, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31(6), 496-8.

Rind, B., Bauserman, R., & Tromovitch, P. (1998). A meta-analytic examination of assumed properties of child sexual abuse
using college samples. Psychological Bulletin, 124(1), 22–53.

Sandfort, T. (1984) Sex in pedophilic relationships: an empirical investigation among a non-representative group of boys. Journal of Sex Research, 20(2), 123-42.

Wilson, G.D. & Cox, D.N. (1983). The Child-Lovers: A Study of Paedophiles in Society. London: Peter Owen.


Book Recommendations


Support Lines for Adult Survivors

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) – UK
Call 0808 801 0331 free from all landlines and mobiles
Monday – Thursday 10:00-21:00 and Friday 10:00-18:00
NAPAC provides a national freephone support line for adults who have suffered any type of abuse in childhood.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
The nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, as well as the Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline and carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help survivors, and to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice through victim services, public education, public policy, and consulting services.
Find help and the resources you need. Call 800.656.4673

Support Lines for Children

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline – U.S. and Canada
Dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who—through interpreters—provide assistance in over 170 languages. The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are confidential. (1-800) 4-A-CHILD or (1-800) 422-4453

The UK’s leading children’s charity, preventing abuse and helping those affected to recover.
Help for adults concerned about a child: 0808 800 5000
Help for children and young people: 0800 1111

Image courtesy: Ubi Desperare Nescio


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8 replies
  1. Ethan Edwards
    Ethan Edwards says:

    In his introduction, Whittaker explains why he didn’t seek out someone from Virtuous Pedophiles but chose Tom O’Carroll instead. In the process, he questions the credibility of the entire Virtuous Pedophiles organization.

    This is completely unfair, and I explain why in this blog post:

    For highlights, Whittaker lambasts VP member Todd Nickerson as a devious opportunist, and generalizes about the entirety of Virtuous Pedophiles based on this. In fact, Todd has been open and honest throughout. Todd always acknowledged a pro-contact phase. Whittaker takes his highly speculative post about sex with an eager girl (if it was legal and accepted) to dismiss him as lacking in virtue. And yet Whittaker himself recognizes after interviewing O’Carroll that the data isn’t so clear that adult-child sex is harmful. He congratulates himself on open-mindedness in considering this himself, but when Nickerson toys with this in the depths of despair he is given nothing but condemnation.

    No one can prove he doesn’t molest children — not even Whittaker himself. But singling out Virtuous Pedophiles for suspicion is totally unwarranted.

    If the goal is truly to help prevent child sex abuse, interviewing someone who shares society’s basic assumption that adult-child sex is wrong would be much more productive than interviewing an extremist who vigorously rejects that view.

    • Danny Whittaker
      Danny Whittaker says:

      Hi Ethan,

      Thanks for commenting. However, I can already tell from the quality of this comment alone that my intuition to steer clear of VirPed was probably correct.

      “Whittaker lambasts VP member Todd Nickerson as a devious opportunist”…

      Ignoring the rather mellow-dramatic use of the word “lambast”, I never said Todd was a “devious opportunist”, those are your words. My point was that two contradictory accounts exist as to what Todd’s views may be, and the potential for misrepresentation inherent in this has the potential to undermine my desire for an honest conversation.

      “Todd always acknowledged a pro-contact phase.”

      The acknowledgement of his pro-contact phase in the Salon article is glossed over like an empty aside, with the implication being that he was at one time merely engaged in shallow ideological pandering to peer pressure. The posts themselves certainly don’t read that way. And note the plurality. I cited one of Todd’s posts in my intro, but came to my conclusion based on reading many.

      “Whittaker takes his highly speculative post about sex with an eager girl (if it was legal and accepted) to dismiss him as lacking in virtue.”

      Again. Potentially lacking in virtue. I’m an interviewer, Ethan, not a detective. It’s not my job to conduct a thorough investigation into the ideological evolution of people you allow to represent your organization and then follow this up with a forensic analysis as to how and to what extent their thinking may have shifted. Sure, that could be a conversation worth having in isolation, but it’s not the conversation I wanted to have here.

      Since I’m assuming VirPed is partly a concerted effort to rectify what you consider blanket misrepresentation of pedophiles in the media, I would have thought it obvious, especially considering the severity of criticism that pedophiles are subject to, that the best way to meet that goal would be to only allow yourself to be represented by people with impeccable reputations.

      There are two ways one could go about this. One is to be represented by somebody who’s reputation is impeccable in the sense that they possess an immaculate past which adhere’s precisely to the standards that VirPed claims to represent, with no potentially damaging material waiting to be unearthed about them.

      Another is to have a representative whose reputation is impeccable to the extent that they take full ownership of their past and speak about it in an open and honest manner without resorting to euphemism or obfuscation. In my opinion, whether or not Todd Nickerson is indeed “virtuous”, his reputation falls short of both these standards, whereas Tom falls squarely in the latter. In other words, why wouldn’t I choose to interview Tom over a member of VirPed, if only for the sake of cautious self-preservation?

      Sorry Ethan, but if this post you’ve published on your blog is some sort of long-winded Talmudic parsing of my introduction with this same poor level of analysis applied throughout, I have neither the time nor the interest in engaging with it.

      Furthermore, the fact that you’ve decided to criticise what you consider a misrepresentation of VirPed on my part by misrepresenting what I actually said does nothing but make me feel even more secure in my decision to avoid engaging with your organization. When the founder himself resorts to such tactics, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that maybe the problem is indeed systemic.

      • Nick Devin
        Nick Devin says:

        Danny, I am co-founder of Virtuous Pedophiles along with Ethan. I thought Ethan’s blog post made a number of good points that I think are worthy of your consideration (as well as the consideration of your followers). I am sorry that Ethan’s summary of the blog didn’t pique your curiosity but I think that you do yourself (and us) a disservice by failing to consider it. I post it here for your convenience.

        [Text Omitted by Admin]

        • Danny Whittaker
          Danny Whittaker says:

          Hi Nick, people are welcome to visit the link to the article in Ethan’s original comment. However, I don’t think it justifies cluttering up the comment section with the full article here. ~ Danny

    • Danny Whittaker
      Danny Whittaker says:

      I didn’t, Nick. Nor do I intend to, for reasons already cited. Ethan’s summary has alerted me to the quality of analysis being offered. Between researching and prepping for future interviews, I simply don’t have the cognitive capacity to waste subjecting myself to an extended misrepresentation of my views. I’m sure if there is anything of substance in there, this will remain the case regardless of my participation. If there is anything actually worth considering, I’m sure my listeners will alert me to it. ~ Danny

      • Nick Devin
        Nick Devin says:

        Too bad. I will admit that I find it perplexing that you have three hours to provide a forum to a man who wants to legalize adult-child sex but don’t have five minutes to spare to read a critique from a group that at least claims that it is attempting to reduce the incidence of adult-child sex. If you had a few minutes to spare, you would go to our web site and see that our supporters include many leading experts on pedophilia as well as many organizations that are dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse.

        • Danny Whittaker
          Danny Whittaker says:

          No Nick, you’re asking me to read a misguided representation of my views, motives and conclusions. Ethan’s little summary above has made this quite clear. I chose not to reach out to you guys for the reasons already stated. I couldn’t care less whether or not other media outlets want to speak to you. I neither recommend nor discourage any journalist to write about/with/for you. Just me. I opted not to. End of.

          But it gone way beyond critiquing my personal decision to interview Tom. Ethan, has since gone on to accuse me of covertly engaging with him in the comments section of his blog under a pro-pedophile alter-ego with the pseudonym “Agapeta” (which was later demonstrated to be false, and was in fact one of Tom O’Carroll’s long-time contributors)… And then made the pathetic accusation that my choice to interview Tom was motivated by money because I have the audacity to OFFER my listeners the OPTION to VOLUNTARY donate to the podcast. I mean, God forbid I try to offset the costs of providing free educational content which cost me hundreds of pounds (and hours) a year to produce. And of course we all know what a lucrative money-spinner interviewing pedophiles is.

          The only thing perplexing about this situation is that you can’t seem to see why, after all this nonsense, I’m reluctant to take anything Ethan has to say about me seriously.


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