Inside Russias Anti-Gay Vigilante Army Occupy Pedophilia
Hunted | Planning an Attack | Channel 4
Опубликовано 04 Фев
Wednesday | 10pm | Channel 4
In Russia where it's thought only 1% of gay people dare to live completely openly, Dispatches investigates the homophobic attacks on the gay community, as the country hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi
Опубликовано 06 Фев
Last night, the U.K.'s Channel 4 aired Hunted, a wide-ranging documentary about homophobia in Russia. Its biggest coup was achieving access to the inner workings of Occupy Pedophilia, the largest vigilante group responsible for the hunting down of, physical abuse against, and public humiliation of gay people (predominantly gay men). Though such footage has been making the rounds, this is the first time I've seen the planning and luring process of the group. Via the third-party cameras, we also get a sense of how long such an ordeal lasts (an hour). Though mild in violence, the footage above is as hard to watch as the rest of this stuff, so proceed with caution. As you could guess from the group's name, Occupy Pedophilia members rationalize their violence against gays as pro-children activism. Tanya Cooper, a researcher for Human Rights Watch who appeared in the video detailing anti-gay Russian violence that the group released this week, says that OP will often use the terms "gay" and "pedophile" interchangeably. Notice in the video above how members of the group explain that their objective has nothing to do with gays, it just so happens that the pedophiles they nab are gay. Notice that their victim is not asked about pedophilia but is grilled mercilessly about his homosexuality.
It is no coincidence that this violence is mounting in the wake of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law, which bans the "promotion" of "non-traditional sexual relations" toward children. The idea that children need to be protected is classic fraudulent rationale for the disenfranchisement of gays: It was the rhetoric of Anita Bryant, Jesse Helms, and Jerry Fallwell. It was the reason for Uganda's "Kill the Gays Bill," as stated by its author, David Bahati.
Just in case you need reminding, this is a fallacy. This is the stuff of ignorant minds or devious people preying on minds more ignorant than theirs. You probably know this. I knew this. And yet, I still found this study from U.C. Davis to be comforting. Here's its conclusion:
The empirical research does not show that gay or bisexual men are any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children. This is not to argue that homosexual and bisexual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterosexual men to do so. And, as explained above, many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult sexual orientation at all; they are fixated on children.
(Here's a more concise Daily Kos piece on the matter with more contemporary examples.)
In Hunted, a pro-gay activist (who's actually heterosexual), offered an additional theory for the rise in homophobic violence. Said Katya Bogatch:
Right now it suits the state and the regime to organize this witch hunt because our economic situation, our pensions, our salaries, our healthcare, and our education are all getting worse. Understandably people need someone to blame. To stop people from focusing their anger at the authorities, the regime is igniting and maintaining this conflict and hatred. They are making people fight amongst themselves.
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