Analysis re Kirkegaard

The sources cited by Oliver Smith on his Kirkegaard attack blog.

In the introduction, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/14/how-toby-young-got-where-he-isnt-today-universities-regulator-resignation (archive) Sun 14 Jan 2018 05.00 EST attack vituperation (see below) and then:

(the number at the beginning of each link is a link to an anchor for details below. Archive copies are also linked in the details.)

Opinion piece in Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/14/how-toby-young-got-where-he-isnt-today-universities-regulator-resignation (archive)

(I was astonished that the Guardian would put up a piece like this, even as “Opinion.” This is not listed as an official Guardian editorial. The author, Stewart Lee, is a “standup comedian, writer and director.His latest “opinion piece” (really sarcastic satire like this), and, my opinion, funny … as long as one does not take it literally. There are truths behind sarcasm, but it is not “the truth.” These pieces are selected by the Guardian from submissions, see “pitch guidelines.” I have found no disclaimer, however, to warn the reader that pieces are the opinion of the author, not the Guardian. Nor that a piece by a “standup comedian” might be a satirical roast.)

The following is only what relates to Kirkegaard, but the general theme regarding the London Conference on Intelligence is that there would be “nazism … being handed round .”

secret conference on “intelligence”, featuring notorious speakers including in previous years white supremacists and a weird far-right paedophilia apologist called Emil.  

Private Eye

Toby Young Breeds Contempt. Private Eye, 10 Jan. 2018. The link was incorrect, returning an internal link to the deleted blog. With some effort, I found a screenshot of the paper’s article. (archive) Quoting from it, re Kirkegaard, and about the London Conference on Intelligence:

The conference serves as a rendezvous for academic racists and their sympathizers. One speaker, Emil Kirkegaard, whom Young follows on Twitter, presented papers at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 conferences. Writing about pedophilia on his website, he argued in 2012 that a “compromise is having sex with a sleeping child without them knowing it (so, using sleeping medicine). If they dont (sic) notice, it is difficult to see how they cud [sic] be harmed. He added in April 2017 that he advocated a “frank discussion of pedophilia-related issues”.

The author generally is searching for what is wrong, Private Eye is a scandal sheet. Kirkegaard, in his 2017 comment, did not realize the problem: public reaction to mention of pedophilia can be highly reactive, and high reactivity does not allow clear insight, and “frank discussion” is unsafe, outside of a safe context. Even then it can be dangerous! It is easy to say things that are clearly true, and be attacked for “advocating pedophilia.” — and saying that is not advocating pedophilia and does not imply that pedophilic activity — that’s the legal issue, not pedophilia per se, is or should be acceptable, it is quite the contrary. However, to actually protect children, we need to step back and generate deeper understanding than the simple horror that is common — and understandable.

Kirkegaard is a hereditarian, i.e., tends to look for genetic causes of behavior. So he was thinking about pedophilia as genetic. If it is genetic, a conclusion can come to mind that pedophiles “can’t help themselves.” So he was thinking about what one could do if one was unfortunate enough to be a pedophile. He is quite correct that if we want to control damage, we must consider this. However, where one goes from there is not obvious. Someone with an innate disposition to uncontrollable violence — which may have genetic roots — is not therefore to be excused and tolerated!

Kirkegaard’s language “it is hard to see,” would easily be taken as a claim that there is no harm. And so his statement, quoted out of context, seems to be “approving” of child rape. However, he did not claim that, and his post actually goes on to discuss the actual and potential harm. That part was not quoted, and the selective quotation implies that it was missing.

He meant by this that it might be hard for the pedophile. It obviously was not hard for him, as he complete his thinking about the problem. He was not, and probably is not, aware of what real pedophiles, or people who seem (to themselves!) like pedophiles, can actually do to avoid harm to themselves and others.

The author clearly did read the original post, not merely the RationalWiki quotation, but searching for confirmation of the shocking revelation she had seen there, serving the purpose of her article (to smear Toby Young by association), reading the post in the context of a claim that Kirkegaard is a pedophile or pedophile apologist, she missed the contradiction.

As well, it is a common public reaction to believe that pedophiles and pedophile apologists want public discussion of pedophilia. No, they don’t. That is the opposite of reality, in my experience. Genuine pedophiles don’t want the topic brought up at all! (I ended up counselling pedophiles in several instances, there are three examples that I came across. Only one of them would want a “frank conversation.” He had been convicted and had thoroughly accepted the serious wrongness of what he had done. (He was also involved in counselling pedophiles. And he had actually managed to get the sex offender registry lifted, having demonstrated to the satisfaction of the courts that re-offense was very unlikely, and largely because everyone in his life — his family, etc., — knew what he had done. Pedophiles, far more commonly, want it never mentioned. Pedophilic activity thrives in secrecy.

There are organizations that advocate for “boy love” or the like. They create walled gardens for their members, not public conversation. The “frank public conversation” is actually from academics, professionals and the like, actually studying the issue with scientific research and academic publication. Kirkegaard has not apparently been part of the academic conversation.

Hence the author here cites the “frank conversation” comment as if it is advocacy, and that attitude (that conversation must be advocacy) does little or nothing to actually protect children, and may actually cause harm. The archive image on imgur was archived from a photo of the page, for a post on reddit. The title given to the scan, the next day, was “Private Eye: Toby Young attended secret eugenics conference with white supremacists, paedophiles”

The Evolve Politics page (see coverage here) has a complete scan of the Private Eye article 

The Telegraph

UCL launches ‘eugenics’ probe after it emerges academic held controversial conferenceThe Telegraph. 10 Jan. 2018. 10 JANUARY 2018 • 6:49PM  Still up, original link.

Since 2015, Dr James Thompson has overseen the London Conference on Intelligence, which has seen a researcher who has previously advocated child rape online speak on campus on three occasions.

. . .

Speakers who have attended include researcher Emil Kirkegaard, who previously wrote that a “compromise” for child pornography would be for paedophiles to have “sex with a sleeping child without them knowing”.
In a blog published on his personal website in 2012, Mr Kirkegaard wrote: “One can have sex with some rather young ones (say, any consenting child in puberty) without any moral problems, especially when one is young oneself.”
“If they don’t notice it is difficult to see how they cud [sic] be harmed, even if it is rape.”

The second quotation is simple truth, actually, and describes behavior that is often legal. What was confusing here was the use of “child” to refer to someone sexually mature. Whether this is legal or not depends on unstated details. “Rather young” doesn’t mean “children” in this context. The juxtaposition of this sentence with the one about rape is confusing as well. The second sentence actually came first, and there was an intermediate sentence in the original post that made it clear that these were about two different situations.

London Student

London’s eugenics conference and its neo-Nazi links. London Student. 10 Jan. 2018.

Among the speakers and attendees over the last four years are a self-taught geneticist who argues in favour of child rape, multiple white supremacists, and ex-board member of the Office for Students Toby Young.

. . .

Another major organiser of the LCI is Emil Kirkegaard, who has attended all four conferences and even designed the website. Although he refers to himself as a “polymath” and Thompson describes him as a “very bright young guy”, Kirkegaard is not an academic. His highest qualification is a Bachelor’s in linguistics.
Having dropped out of his Masters degree, instead preferring to be “self-taught in various subjects”, Kirkegaard now runs OpenPsych, a platform for non-peer reviewed psychology papers, along with Davide Piffer of Mankind Quarterly. Piffer is a fellow LCI-speaker, and was praised by Richard Lynn as having done “brilliant work identifying the genes responsible for race differences in intelligence.”
. . .
Kirkegaard’s own personal blog is home to topics such as ‘Is miscegenation bad for your kids?’ and how one could empirically verify a Jewish conspiracy. His Facebook features alt-right ‘promotional videos’and once featured a friend’s Nazi salute with the caption ‘There will be an heir to the Führer.’
A post on Facebook featuring a Nazi salute behind Kirkegaard alongside his ‘Führer’ comment
By far the most disturbing of part of Kirkegaard’s internet presence, however, is a blog-post in which he justifies child rape. He states that a ‘compromise’ with paedophiles could be:

“having sex with a sleeping child without them knowing it (so, using sleeping medicine. If they dont notice it is difficult to see how they cud be harmed, even if it is rape. One must distinguish between rape becus the other was disconsenting (wanting to not have sex), and rape becus the other is not consenting, but not disconsenting either.”
He qualifies this with a note that “bodily harm” would undermine this justification, and especially “with small children since their bodily openings are not large enuf [sic] for a regular sized male penis. To avoid this one shud [sic] not penetrate.”
Kirkegaard’s reputation as a scientific advocate for neo-Nazism was increased last April when he appeared on Tara McCarthy’s ‘Reality Calls’ to discuss “the future of eugenics.” McCarthy was banned from YouTube for alleging a Jewish conspiracy to commit “white genocide”, supports deporting naturalized citizens and “killing them if they resist”, and said that she hopes “zero” migrants crossing the Mediterranean “make it alive”.

Unfortunately, the author did not complete the quotation, for Kirkegaard ultimately rejects the whole idea.  The author is again using guilt by association, a common theme. 

University probes eugenics conference with links to white supremacistsThe Jewish Chronicle. 10. Jan. 2018.

The article does not mention Kirkegaard except very indirectly.

University probes eugenics conference with links to white supremacists
The London Conference on Intelligence has connections to a number of controversial racial theorists

There are connections to “racial theorists,” and they are “controversial. This article is not a problem at all. The only quibble I’d have is that the Conference is not actually a “eugenics conference,” but eugenics is a topic that comes up. That is, the practical usage of information about genetics. Eugenics has a bad name because of Nazi eugenics, which was racist, but eugenics, in itself is not racist, and genetic testing is commonly used for selective abortion, as one example. This is about genetics, not race.

Evolve Politics

Toby Young spoke alongside Nazi who argues raping unconscious children is fine. Evolve Politics. 11 Jan. 2018. (original post includes scan of Private Eye article. I have saved a copy if needed.)

This is straightforward defamation.

It is fast becoming clear that Toby Young’s controversialist career is far darker than first appeared, with Private Eye drawing attention to his attendance of a secret eugenics conference alongside white supremacists and advocates of paedophilia.

. . .

Several of the speakers were controversial beyond their presentations. One speaker, Emil Kirkegaard, who presented papers three times at the conference, defended paedophilia suggesting that drugging the child before sex might be a “compromise” as they were unlikely to know it had happened and therefore wouldn’t be harmed. He has also advocated a “frank discussion of paedophilia related issues.”

. . .

It goes without saying that Young follows the openly fascist Kirkegaard on Twitter.

. . .

The obvious question that emerges from this is whether Young is fit for his role as director of the state funded New Schools Network who advise on the education of our children. It is the firm opinion of Evolve Politics that anyone palling around with literal paedophile advocates and white supremacists should have absolutely no place whatsoever in education.

I notice the “quotation creep,” going further than cherry-picking, where what was actually written is twisted to exaggerate impressions. In that context, then, “frank discussion” can imply advocacy of the alleged “no harm” position, which was not Kirkegaards expressed view.

Top London university launches probe into conference that included speakers with controversial views on race and genderDaily Mail. 11 Jan 2018. (original URL still up).

Presents controversy, seems to be responsible journalism, even if incomplete. (i.e., what is the other side of the “controversy”?  

Metro

University investigates ‘racist’ eugenics conferenceMetro. 11 Jan. 2018. (Original URL is still up.)

Defamation.

The London Conference on Intelligence included talks by controversial speakers including white supremacists, child rape advocates, and those with extreme views on race and gender.

. . .

Another speaker was blogger Emil Kirkegaard, who has argued that men should be allowed to have ‘sex with a sleeping child’.

I find it fascinating how collective interpretation can invent what was not in the blog post. There was no “should be allowed” in that post, none at all. The fact of active pedophiles is that one might make an argument like that to him or herself. Kirkegaard actually rejects the argument. Fed an interpretation before reading it, and not reading carefully, though, can create an impression that one has verified it. In this case, it is not necessarily likely that the author actually read the blog post itself.

The Independent

University College London launches ‘eugenics’ probe after controversial conference secretly held on campusThe Independent. 11 Jan. 2018. (original URL is up.)

Other speakers at the conference have included Emil Kirkegaard, a researcher who justified child sexual abuse on his personal blog. In a 2012 post, he wrote: “Perhaps a compromise is having sex with a sleeping child without them knowing it (so, using sleeping medicine). If they dont [sic] notice it is difficult to see how they cud [sic] be harmed, even if it is rape.”

He later added a note to the post in which he said he did not support the legalisation of paedophilia but advocated “frank discussion of paedophilia-related issues”.
Mr Kirkegaard presented research – which was not published by peer-reviewed journals – on differences in cognitive ability between ethnic groups at the International Society for Intelligence Research (ISID) conference in Montreal last July, at which Mr Young also lectured.
Kirkegaard has published research in peer-reviewed journals, and conference papers are commonly current work, presented before publication. Technically, the research is not on “differences in cognitive ability” but on “differences in performance on tests,” and the whole field is a difficult one. The theme being followed is like the RationalWiki article, and as well the extreme assessment of Richard Lynn from the SPLC, which is hardly a neutral organization. (But a good one, by the way, my view, simply very political, and the topic is one which is highly politicized.)
This author did present the later clarification (the only one so far to note it), but the original post did not “support legalization of pedophilia” at all. Again, the “frank discussion” comment can appear to be supporting pedophilia, or at least a conversation over legalization.
The text simply ignores the “not support” comment added and reports that Kirkegaard “justified” child abuse. That reading only appears when one ignores the context and conclusions of the original post.

The Guardian

UCL to investigate eugenics conference secretly held on campusThe Guardian. 11 Jan. 2018. (Original URL is still up.)

Defamation.

Previous attendees included Richard Lynn, whom the US-based research group Southern Poverty Law Center labelled an “unapologetic eugenicist”, and the blogger Emil Kirkegaard, who has written supportively about pedophiles being allowed to have “sex with a sleeping child”.

. . .

Kirkegaard did not respond to requests for comment. But Thompson told the Daily Telegraph that the conference’s main subject was how IQ was inherited between different groups and races. “Eugenics is one topic, but many topics are discussed,” he said.

At least they tried, but it looks like Kirkegaard had very little time to respond. To make the statement they made, and as professional journalists, they would be presumed to have carefully checked that the statement made was true from the evidence they had, and the blog was available, particularly before going ahead with publication. Did it support “allowing pedophiles to have sex with a sleeping child”?

No, it did not. It did not talk about legality at all. Indeed, in the thought-experiment, which is what it was, imagining the thinking of a pedophile, it would be essential to the idea of no-harm that nobody found out about it (as well as other problems, such as physical injury or … pregnancy can happen with a child who has not yet menstruated, it’s rare, but it is known to have happened, and precocious puberty is a thing, meaning first menses before 8. The earliest known pregnancy was a famous case at something like five.) And, again, with many illegal actions, a potential offender may think “if nobody finds out, what’s the harm?” Kirkegaard, however, came up with the conclusion that potential harm cannot be avoided, that the whole line of thinking was ultimately defective, and that perhaps castration was the solution.

It is unfortunate that Kirkegaard did not respond. When major media contact one for comment, they are wanting to publish ASAP, it’s their business. Kirkegaard is young and wanted to consult an attorney, I’ve been told. My suspicion: he was afraid of being misinterpreted, and fear leads us to make poor decisions. Nevertheless, Kirkegaard is not hiding, he is facing this situation, head-on.

The real story here was how a long-term troll managed to manipulate major media, and many others, on RationalWiki (and in the full story, Wikipedia and the WMF wikis) with a story that he largely invented out of thin and misleading evidence.

As well, racism and racialism and hereditarianism vs. environmentalism re intelligence are complex issues that deserve “frank conversations,” because the polarization of hate groups does not allow society to heal and move on, it does not allow us to make sane decisions based on evidence — and based on what we freely choose for society.  

RT

Shamed Toby Young ‘attended secret eugenics conference with neo-nazis and pedophiles’. RT. 11. Jan. 2018. (Original URL is still up)

Defamation.

Shamed Toby Young ‘attended secret eugenics conference with neo-nazis and pedophiles’

Also at the lecture series was Emil Kirkegaard, who was invited despite previously claiming a“compromise” for child pornography would be for pedophiles to have “sex with a sleeping child without them knowing.”
Mr Kirkegaard wrote: “One can have sex with some rather young ones (say, any consenting child in puberty) without any moral problems, especially when one is young oneself. If they don’t notice it is difficult to see how they cud [sic] be harmed, even if it is rape.”
The quote is inaccurate, mashing together separate statements.  (The original, again.) The headline follows classic trolling practice: first, allegations are stated as truth without qualification: (“Shamed, secret, eugenics, neo-nazis, and pedophiles) and then what may be a single fact — if true — becomes many. How many “pedophiles”? RationalWiki is full of that. This is the stuff of “genuine fake news.”

The Times

University College London under fire over its conferences on ‘eugenics’The Times. 11 Jan. 2018. (Original URL is up — but requires registration for full text (free for two articles a week). I have my own copy password protected.)

Not defamation. Some of it was conclusory: that the conference was secret, that rules had been violated, and the conference was characterized by speakers allegedly making certain claims that — I suspect and have some basis — are not presented fairly. Commentors on the article noticed! However, this was, by far, the most balanced coverage. There are 9 comments,quite good, considering. Deeper coverage would explore the real controversy, not the social-media yelling at each other version.

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