The Truth Shall Make You
PIE MEMBERSHIP LIST: HOW THE HOME OFFICE AND POLICE FAILED CHILDREN
Few documents have excited as much speculation as the membership list of the Paedophile Information Exchange. Claims about the number of members and their occupations have been made for more than 30 years, but the actual list itself has never been published.
Almost two years ago I learned the whereabouts of a copy of the list. I spent several months tracking down and then interviewing the person who held it. I was able to ascertain how this person came to own it and where it had been kept: a full chain of custody, in other words.
I also confirmed that last summer the list was handed to the Metropolitan Police and – subsequently – to the Goddard Independent Enquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. This ensured that if or when I obtained the document, there could be no suggestion that I had contaminated, amended or in any way interfered with its contents.
Last week, the document itself arrived at my office.
I have spent the past nine days analyzing the list. That process – of which more shortly – indicates that the police and the Home Office failed to assign sufficient importance to membership of PIE, and that children were subsequently sexually abused as a result.
First: the basic details.
The list is dated 1983 – 1984 (though there are handwritten annotations made, evidently by police officers, in 1985). These dates are important: they coincide with the period in which Leon Brittan, the Home Secretary, was under pressure to ban PIE. It is a matter of record that he did not do so.
There are 307 individuals listed as members. Four of the members were women.
Most – though not all – of the 307 have a membership number beside their name.
(It should be noted that this is only one version of what was, originally, a much lengthier record of approximately 1,000 members of PIE. The original full register was, in those pre-computer days, cut up and parceled to several police forces. This remaining list – the only one, to my knowledge, still in existence – is the result of that process.)
The document shows that some effort was made to establish the accuracy of the PIE membership records. 254 of the names were listed as UK residents: of these, addresses were shown and/or confirmed for 213 of them.
Of the remaining 41, just one was found to be an assumed name; 11 addresses were “unknown” and 4 others were shown as no longer in existence. 16 individuals were found to be unknown at the address given for them, with a final 9 showing no street address at all.
Of the 53 foreign members, there was one each in Sweden, Norway, Luxemburg, Canada and Iran; 2 each in the Republic of Ireland and West Germany (as it was then); 5 in Australia, 13 in France and 24 in the United States.
There are no recognizable politicians’ names on the list. And whilst Sir Peter Hayman, the foreign office official-cum spy outed as a PIE member in 1981 is included (his name, without any address, handwritten in pen), there is no mention of convicted spy and rumoured PIE member Geoffrey Prime.
There are two clergymen listed: one was a senior army chaplain. This man appears later to have resigned his commission and also have had a history of involvement with the Christian youth organization, the Boys’ Brigade. There is one other member shown as having a military rank – Major – but his address was a mail holding “BM Box Number” .
There are three University academics, two in the UK: one, Ken Plummer of Essex University, said last year that he had only joined PIE to facilitate his research. The address of the other was shown as an Engineering faculty, which presumably ruled out academic reasons for joining the organization.
Of the UK residents listed, 3 (all men) were recorded as having criminal records: CRO numbers have been written, in pen, beside their names – but with no details of what offences were committed. Additionally, one other member was listed as being in prison – again with no offence details shown.
These men with criminal records were rank and file members. The criminal convictions of PIE’s Executive Committee are not shown.
I do not have access to the Criminal Records Office database (maintained since 2006 by the Association of Chief Police Officers) or the former Criminal Records Bureau (now part of the Home Office Disclosure and Barring Service) . Nor do I have access to the Police National Computer which also maintains a database of criminal records. It is therefore impossible to know how many of the 254 UK-resident PIE members on the 1983-84 list might subsequently have been convicted of child sex offences.
But publicly available records, together with a separate list of British men who obtained child pornography from US dealers, show that several PIE members were subsequently convicted of offences against children- and that both the police and the Home Office failed to grasp the likelihood of this when dealing with either of the lists.
The US list first. In 1987 I was the researcher for a Cook Report documentary investigating child pornography. During the research I worked closely with two American law enforcement departments: US Customs and US Postals. Both maintained dedicated teams which were then the most effective international effort against the trade in child pornography. Both agencies supplied me with lists of British customers of proven American child pornography dealers.
Those lists contained 58 names and addresses: 53 were provided by US Customs, 5 by US Postals. Seven of those names appear on the PIE membership list: among them were three of PIE’s executive committee: Peter Bremner, Charles Napier and Leo Adamson.
Both US Customs and US Postals insisted that their lists had already been provided to the British government. Both were surprised that no action appeared to have been taken to investigate or charge the British men. The specialist agents in charge of both organisations said that their evidence should have been enough to secure convictions: this view was backed up (in a filmed interview) by the Assistant US Attorney who successfully prosecuted some of the American dealers in federal court.
I took the lists to the Metropolitan Police’s Obscene Publications Squad, with whom I was also working closely for the film. TO13 (as it was known) was then the only full-time police unit investigating child pornography. Its senior officer, Superintendent Iain Donaldson, was adamant that he had never been given the lists: he was angry about this and believed that what was plainly vital intelligence had been withheld from him, either by his superiors in the Met or by the Home Office which, under existing procedures, would have received them from the American government.
Donaldson was then fighting a bitter battle with the Met’s bureaucracy to increase the number of officers investigating child pornography and organized paedophilia. Of TO13’s 12 officers, just two were then tasked with tackling material involving children. We agreed that Roger Cook would interview Donaldson and hand the US lists to him on film: the Superintendent hoped that the embarrassment (to the Met) of appearing ignorant on national television would boost his chances of having more officers assigned to child pornography investigations. A clip of that (subsequently broadcast) encounter can be viewed below.
Donaldson and his successors did eventually get more officers. But nothing appears to have been done with the names on the US lists – even though TO13 also held the PIE membership list on which seven of them were identified.
It would be another seven years before the first of those names – Peter Bremner (who had previous convictions in the 1970s) – was charged with contact offences against children: his victims were between five and eight years old. Bremner was jailed for six months.
Charles Napier was not prosecuted until the following year (1995). He was given a nine-month sentence on two counts of sexually assaulting an underage boy.
Leo Adamson was not brought to justice until May 2011 – 24 years after the Met was given the US lists showing him to be a purchaser of child pornography (and 27 years after his name appeared on the PIE list). At his trial, the court heard evidence that he and two other men had amassed 14,500 photographs, films and drawings depicting the rape and sexual abuse of young boys.
All three men were on the PIE membership list. All three men were also on the US Customs list. Had the Home Office or the Metropolitan Police acted on either, the men’s victims could have been spared.
Nor are these three former PIE officials isolated instances: the list I obtained last week shows that Membership Number 419 belonged to one T.J. Waters. It also showed that in 1983-84 his address was that of a private school in Surrey.
“T.J. Waters” is Terence James Waters: in the 1970s and early 1980s he was an art and carpentry teacher. He was also – according to the US Customs list – a proven customer of US child pornography dealers. Like Bremner and Napier he would not be prosecuted until the mid 1990s: in 1994 he was sentenced to 10 years for possessing indecent images of children – and for sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy.
But it would be a further 17 years before the facts about his systematic abuse of young boys at the Surrey school emerged. In 2011 he was charged with (and admitted) seven counts of indecent assault and five of indecency with a child. The court heard evidence that Waters had built a “secret room” in the school loft above his art room: during the 1970s and 1980s he took boys there to abuse them.
These men – Bremner, Napier, Adamson and Waters – are only those for which I have (thus far) been able to locate public records of criminal convictions. (The relatively small percentage of the overall PIE roster should not be taken as a reliable indication of the likely offending rate amongst its members, simply as an indication that without access to the criminal records database it is very difficult to locate convictions.)
There are others on the PIE list (as well as the US Customs/Postals lists) who should be – and should have been – investigated. PIE member No. 132, for example, was a teacher at an independent prep school for boys. He quit teaching unexpectedly early, but continued – according to his obituary – to help young pupils by taking them to sports fixtures in his car and buying them equipment.
The Goddard Enquiry needs to ask searching questions about what (if any) real effort was made by the Metropolitan Police to investigate the men who were identified on the PIE list. It must also seek an explanation for the failure to act on the US Customs and Postals lists. But above all it needs to demand answers from the Home Office. Why did Home Secretary Leon Brittan decide that PIE was not to be banned ? What instructions did he (or any of his successors) give to the Metropolitan Police that PIE members were to be thoroughly investigated and monitored ? At that time, the Met was the only police force to fall under the Home Secretary’s jurisdiction.
Goddard has the PIE list. It also, to my certain knowledge, has the US Customs and Postals lists from my Cook Report film. It needs to act on them.