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The Dutch legal culture of pedophila apologetics in the 1980s – lawyer Maarten Salden on Foucault et al. in the legal journal “Recht & Kritiek” in 1984

De Nederlandse juridische cultuur van pedofilieapologie – mr. Maarten Salden over Foucault et al. in juristenblad Recht en Kritiek 10, 1984

This article concerns an article I read in a Dutch left-wing legal studies journal from 1984 titled “Recht en Kritiek” (“Law and Criticism”). A pedophilia-apologist by the name of Maarten Salden (who according to Google is still a practicing lawyer in Amsterdam to this day)  had an article on page 105 of Recht & Kritiek issue 1, edition 10 regarding a discussion between French pedophilia-apologists Foucault, Hocquenghem and Danet. Of these three pedophilia-apologists,  Foucault was the only one who correctly predicted that society will never accept pedophilia and will continue to prosecute pedophiles. These three men were fully aware of how socially unacceptable and reprehensible their views were, yet all three still advocated the lifting of the age of consent. We can only hope that mr. Maarten Salden has changed his own reprehensible views on pedophilia since 1984. In his 1984 article, which expresses an almost zealous distrust of the psychological profession, Maarten Salden regals the reader with the usual pedophilia apologetics:

“Bovendien is het volgens hem [Danet] in Frankrijk heel moeilijk advokaten te vinden die pedofielen willen verdedigen. Net als bij de terroristen-processen zijn de verdedigers bang beschuldigd te woden van sympathie met hun clienten. Iemand die eigenhandig tien oude vrouwtjes vermoordde vindt makkelijker een pleitbezorger dan degene die even teder het geslachtsdeel van een kind streelde.” (p. 106)

Translation: “According to [Danet] it’s extremely difficult to find attorneys willing to represent pedophiles. Similarly to the trials of terrorists, are legal defenders worried of being accused of sympathizing with their clients. Someone who has murdered 10 old ladies with his bare hands will have an easier time finding a defender than someone who tenderly stroked the genitals of a child.”

This claim about poor child rapists who can’t find a lawyer is utterly absurd in the light of what actually happened during the trial of serial child rapist Robert M. in the Netherlands, who had not just one but FOUR CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYERS at his disposal! The fact is that Dutch legal defense lawyer will rush in to defend a pedophile because they have been groomed for years by the likes of mr. Maarten Salden and the “Recht & Kritiek” publication to think of pedophilia as something innocuous. You can watch Robert M.’s expert team of lawyers preparing his defense in the following documentary about the trial (English subs):


Reading mr. Maarten Salden’s article in Recht & Kritiek while watching the above documentary, one will notice that Robert M.’s attorneys were almost literally pulling a page out of Maarten Salden’s pedophilia apologetics. At one point towards the end of the document, one of Robert M’s attorneys becomes exgasperated and opines that the children raped by Robert M. “look happy” and “are smiling” during depositions. The lawyer ridiculously deducts from this that the children aren’t really suffering and weren’t really harmed by Robert M. This “real victims don’t smile” bullshit is classic rape apologetics.

One must keep in mind that Maarten Salden’s views were considered mainstream and de rigeur both amongst Dutch left-wing lawyers in the 1980s and the society at large. One could argue that it was because of these pedophilia-apologetic lawyers that the Netherlands eventually became such a pedophile haven. Maarten Salden praises the Dutch media in the 1980s for taking what he terms a “nuanced” approach to their reporting on pedophilia:

“Er is in Nederland vergeleken met twintig jaar geleden zeker sprake van een liberalisering die echt niet alleen illusie is. Op het terrein van de gezondheidszorg en het maatschappelijk werk pleit een groot aantal deskundigen en organisaties voor het laten vervallen van de leeftijdsgrenzen in de zedelijkheidswetgeving. De berichtgeving in de media is veel genuanceerder dan in de tijd toen Willem Duys uitriep dat hij de dader door zou slaan, wanneer het om zijn dochter ging. Ook het optreden van politie en justitie is soepeler geworden, wat moge blijken uit het toegenomen aantal seponeringen en uit de herhaalde beweringen dat politieambtenaren zich nu meer openstellen voor de opvattingen van de betrokken jongeren en dat zij alleen in ernstige gevallen ingrijpen.” (p. 108)

Translation: “Compared to 20 years ago there is certainly a liberalization of sexual mores in the Netherlands that isn’t merely an illusion. In the field of health care and social work many expects and organizations are arguing for the lifting of the age of consent in sexual offender laws. Messages in the media are more nuanced compare to the old days when Willem Duys [the late Dutch TV and radio presenter] cried that he would beat the perpetrator to death, if it were about his own daughter. Police and the judiciary have also become more flexible, which becomes apparent from the increased amount of dismissals and the repeated claims that police officers are now more open to the views of the youngsters involved, and the fact that they will only intervene in extreme cases.”

This passage from the article plainly shows that there was a legal, judicial and carceral culture of pedophilia apologetics in the Netherlands in the 1980s, a laissez-faire approach to sexual child abuse that was perpetrated by the Dutch mainstream media, an attitude that affected both the police force and the Dutch public prosecution service, who according to this excerpt were routinely dismissing sexual child abuse cases in favour of what the author terms a more “flexible” approach. This “flexibility” obviously became a vicious circle overtime: the more  child rape cases were dismissed, the less rape victims and their custodians saw the point of contacting the police to report a case of sexual child abuse.

If a lawyer said it was OK to sexually abuse children, insisting that no harm was done and that all the psychologists (who unlike the lawyer actually had to treat the raped and abused children) were in the wrong about pedophilia inherently traumatizing children, well, who was to argue with a lawyer in a society that blindly worships lawyers and the law like the Netherlands? If a lawyer said it was OK, it had to be OK. It wasn’t until this century that judges began listening to the Dutch public instead of lawyers, and adjusted their verdicts accordingly, having now borrowed the American legal concept of “community standards”. When the highest Dutch civil court banned pedophilia advocacy in 2014, the judges specifically referred to community standards as a reason to do so. This invocation of “community standards” of course was a legal cop-out, so that the Dutch judges wouldn’t have to acknowledge the body of scientific literature showing pedophilia and child pornography to be inherently damaging and traumatizing to children. Why were the Dutch judges truying to bypass scientific evidence in favour of “community standards”. Because this literature already existed in the 1980s, as Maarten Salden himself admits in his article when he obligingly paraphrases Dutch child psychologist dr. W. Wolters claiming that there is absolutely no scientific evidence that children enjoy having sex with adults.

The mere fact that mr. Maarten Salden was allowed to publish his pedophilia apologetics in a respected left-wing legal journal like “Recht & Kritiek”, this indicates that the supposed upholders of law and order in the Netherlands themselves made sure that serial child rapists like Robert “Monster of Riga” M. were eventually welcome and sheltered in the Netherlands. Let’s recall here that the only reason the Dutch public prosecution service began investigating Robert M. is because the United States requested that they do so after they discovered he was live-streaming his child rapes to pedophiles in the United States. If it weren’t for this American intervention, Robert M. would have continued raping children in the Netherlands and using Tor to stream his rapes over the internet to fellow pedophiles all over the world.

It wasn’t until 2014 that the Dutch courts put an end to this culture of pedophilia apologetics, now that they could no longer ignore how this supposedly Dutch permissiveness had endangered and victimized massive amounts of children. But did Maarten Salden change his mind? Did Maarten Salden feel a bit responsible when Robert M. was caught raping 64 children? Does Maarten Salden concede that he contributed to a culture of pedophilia apologetics that allowed the likes of Robert M. to vester under the surface of vapid Dutch sexual liberalism?

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