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Leaving Neverland, Pedophilia, and Traits of the Psychopath (Psychology Today)… textbook fucking grooming from Whacko Jacko!… when the paedophile grooms the parents

“Whoa! Pfffffft… okay, I assume no radio channels are going to be playing Michael Jackson records from this moment forth… he’s just not as easy to wipe from entertainment history as say… Gary Glitter though is he! 😀
(Americans are like… “Who the hell is Gary Glitter?” “Don’t ask”)

The thing with Jackson is… it’s textbook grooming. Not only does he groom the child, he grooms the parents as well. I was talking about this a few months ago, unable to find the article. Because he was Michael Jackson, he managed to groom the parents in a matter of days, where most traditional paedophiles would possibly spend years.

Old Whacko Jacko was right about one thing  though… most people are completely IGNOREant and stupid, and really don’t understand.


Besides we now live in the age of the internet… so most children are now being groomed online, whilst their parents sit downstairs with absolutely no fucking idea.”

Are we okay to play young Michael? :/ Jackson Five?… Anyone? Is that okay?
… I think we should set a rule now, establish a boundary so to speak… we can only play black Michael Jackson songs!
“Dude! Just stop now”

Leaving Neverland, Pedophilia, and Traits of the Psychopath

The controversy surrounding MJ asks a deeper question about personality.

The new Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland recently premiered on television on the HBO network. Much of the controversy surrounding Michael Jackson’s personal life has historically focused on the question of whether Jackson was a pedophile. The documentary ultimately asks deeper questions about the psychological makeup of an adult who engages in abusive and illegal sexual behavior with children. Because I have never conducted a mental health assessment with the late entertainer, I don’t have sufficient information to determine any psychiatric diagnosis from which he may have suffered. It is valuable, however, to take some considerations from the documentary and apply them to the broader question about whether a link exists between predatory pedophilic behavior and psychopathic personality.
In exploring this issue, it is crucial to understand that not all pedophiles are created equally. In other words, not all pedophiles act out on their sexual urges with children. Though some pedophiles do feel active sexual attraction toward children, they do not and will not act on that interest for various reasons (e.g., legal issues, personal feelings of guilt). On the other hand, other pedophiles act on their urges. Among this subset of pedophiles, some of them feel guilty or remorseful for their behavior, knowing it’s wrong and hurtful; others justify their behavior and, in turn, do not feel bad or remorseful.
As a psychologist who writes extensively about psychopathy and psychopathic traits, I must once again reiterate crucial information about the psychopathic personality type. While the term “sociopath” and “sociopathic” are often used interchangeably with the terms “psychopath” and “psychopathic” by everyday individuals and clinicians alike, “sociopath” and “sociopathic” are not clinical terms. (I, too, had to learn that lesson after many hours of training on psychopathy.) The correct terms to use are “psychopath” or “psychopathic.” Clinicians addressing the presence of psychopathy should report the degree to which psychopathic traits are present as opposed to labeling someone a full-blown psychopath.
Psychopathy, according to best practices, is diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional using the Psychopathy Checklist – Revised (Hare, 1991). The test includes 20 items which the clinician assesses.
Researchers have found that most of the items on the PCL-R correlate with particular categories or facets of impairment (Perez, Herrero, Velasco, & Rodriguez-Diaz, 2015). The items that correlate with the interpersonal facet of psychopathy include: glibness/superficial charm; grandiose sense of self-worth; pathological lying; and cunning/manipulative. Several items are correlated with the affective facet of psychopathy: lack of remorse or guilt; emotionally shallow; callous/lack of empathy; and failure to accept responsibility for their actions. The items that correlate with the psychopathic lifestyle facet include: needed stimulation/proneness to boredom; parasitic lifestyle; lack of realistic, long-term goals; impulsivity; and irresponsibility. The items that correlate with the antisocial facet of psychopathy include: poor behavioral control; early behavioral problem; juvenile delinquency; revocation of conditional release; and criminal versatility. Finally, two additional items were not correlated significantly with any of the foregoing psychopathic facets: promiscuous sexual behavior and many short-term marital relationships.
When considering the possible overlap between pedophilic behavior and psychopathic behavior, some crucial similarities can be seen. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), pedophiles often feel some level of distress as a result of their sexual urges and attraction to children. However, not all pedophiles feel upset about the effects of their behavior or wish they could change their sexual attraction. Where significant overlap may exist between pedophilia and psychopathy is with practicing pedophiles who engage in highly calculated grooming of children for sexual interactions.
Another significant overlap between practicing pedophiles and psychopathic individuals may exist when considering empathy and remorse, and concern for the feelings and overall psychological effects of the abusive sexual behavior among the child victims. It is important to note that many pedophiles rationalize, justify, minimize, and normalize their sexual exploitative and illegal behavior. Because such pedophiles justify their behavior, they do not feel remorse. (Again, they actually feel justified in engaging in such behavior.) Similarly, someone with significant psychopathic traits justifies their own illegal and often exploitative behavior so they, too, do not feel remorse for their actions.
Ultimately, pedophiles who do not feel distress as a result of their sexual urges and abusive behavior with children share a personality facet with psychopathic individuals. Are these two disorders truly separate, distinct disorders, or is it possible that it makes more sense clinically to create a subtype of the pedophile diagnosis with a psychopathic personality specifier or subtype? Considering the clinical overlap between these two disorders can help the public and clinicians, too, to reflect more on the root of each particular disorder. Once we, as a community, are better able to identify and understand what the root of a particular disorder is, we can respond to those disorders in individuals in a more insightful, realistic, and safety-preserving way.
References
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Hare, R. D. (1991). The Hare Psychopathy Checklist—Revised. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.
Pérez, B.; Herrero, J.; Velasco, J. & Rodriguez-Díaz, F.J. (2015). A contrastive analysis of the factorial structure of the PCL-R: Which model fits best the data? The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context, 7, 1, (23), (2015).

Spotting ‘parental grooming’ and protecting your kids from predators

Some predators win over parents to gain one-on-one time with their children, experts say.

TAMPA, Fla. — Allegations of sexual abuse against big stars like Michael Jackson and R. Kelly are prompting some parents to think about how they can protect their own children.

Dr. Stacey Scheckner is a licensed psychologist with a specialization in children, adolescents, and families. She explains how “parental grooming” sometimes helps predators win over the parent’s trust and gain access to their children.

Scheckner said there’s really no reason an adult needs to be completely alone with your child.
“If an adult wants to be your friend, you need to talk to mommy and daddy about that first, because adults need to be with other adults and children need to be with children.”
Scheckner gave a couple of key points parents should keep in mind when it comes to adults in their child’s life.
Ask yourself why this adult is in your child’s life. How did you meet them? It shouldn’t be random.
Talk to your child about boundaries, both physical and conversational, so your child can spot when someone is getting too close or too personal.
Trust your instinct and if you think something is off, look into it even if it offends someone.
“A lot of people don’t want to ruin the coach’s reputation, they don’t want to slander an adult or teacher, a lot of the kids I worked with were feeling bad, this us someone we know, this is someone who babysits for us, someone who we go on field trips with, they felt really bad.”
Dr. Veronique Valliere, a psychologist who was interviewed on the CBS This Morning show put it like this:
“Pay attention if someone’s paying too much attention to your child.”
How to explain the graphic news coverage to your children
Scheckner also offered advice for parents trying to explain some of the sensitive and graphic news coverage surrounding R. Kelly and Michael Jackson.
Scheckner says to ask your kids three questions:
How did you hear about it?
How does it make you feel?
What do you think about it?
This gives you the chance to do more listening than talking. If your child presses beyond that you can explain why a person might commit a sex crime.

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Spotting ‘parental grooming’ and protecting your kids from predators
Some predators win over parents to gain one-on-one time with their children, experts say.

Author: Liz Crawford
Published: 5:27 PM EST March 6, 2019
Updated: 5:46 PM EST March 6, 2019
TAMPA, Fla. — Allegations of sexual abuse against big stars like Michael Jackson and R. Kelly are prompting some parents to think about how they can protect their own children.
READ HERE: ‘I’ve been assassinated.’ R. Kelly tearfully denies abuse in explosive interview
Dr. Stacey Scheckner is a licensed psychologist with a specialization in children, adolescents, and families. She explains how “parental grooming” sometimes helps predators win over the parent’s trust and gain access to their children.

Scheckner said there’s really no reason an adult needs to be completely alone with your child.
“If an adult wants to be your friend, you need to talk to mommy and daddy about that first, because adults need to be with other adults and children need to be with children.”
Scheckner gave a couple of key points parents should keep in mind when it comes to adults in their child’s life.
Ask yourself why this adult is in your child’s life. How did you meet them? It shouldn’t be random.
Talk to your child about boundaries, both physical and conversational, so your child can spot when someone is getting too close or too personal.
Trust your instinct and if you think something is off, look into it even if it offends someone.
“A lot of people don’t want to ruin the coach’s reputation, they don’t want to slander an adult or teacher, a lot of the kids I worked with were feeling bad, this us someone we know, this is someone who babysits for us, someone who we go on field trips with, they felt really bad.”
Dr. Veronique Valliere, a psychologist who was interviewed on the CBS This Morning show put it like this:
“Pay attention if someone’s paying too much attention to your child.”
How to explain the graphic news coverage to your children
Scheckner also offered advice for parents trying to explain some of the sensitive and graphic news coverage surrounding R. Kelly and Michael Jackson.
Scheckner says to ask your kids three questions:
How did you hear about it?
How does it make you feel?
What do you think about it?
This gives you the chance to do more listening than talking. If your child presses beyond that you can explain why a person might commit a sex crime.

“Explain it like some people are sick in their head just like you get sick physically,” suggested Scheckner.

What is grooming? How to spot a paedophile before it’s too late

It can start with making a child in their care feel “privileged”. Then might come the purchase of a toy.
What may seem like an innocent gesture may be the beginning of a plot to prepare a child for sex, according to the child abuse royal commission.

Painful and difficult stories in their thousands emerge from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
But how do you know? Schools, youth groups, and other organisations caring for children are being asked to be alert to grooming, but how can they step in before it’s too late?
The question is even more pertinent in Victoria, with new laws making grooming a criminal offence and the Victorian Government releasing new guidelines teaching children to watch out for grooming.
A paper released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday has tried to define it.
But the document includes a key caveat: despite emerging research into the issue, grooming remains “difficult to identify and define”.
What is grooming?
The commission defines grooming as: “The use of a variety of manipulative and controlling techniques with a vulnerable subject … in order to establish trust or normalise sexually harmful behaviour.”

Grooming can happen in a range of settings – schools, churches or the homes of family friends.
Vulnerable children are often targeted, but adults can also be groomed by perpetrators trying to access a child’s life.
Grooming can appear non-sexual and it can occur while the perpetrator is engaging in an “otherwise normal relationship with a child” at the same time.
A “key difficulty” in identifying grooming, the commission states, is that the process is incremental and it consists of “many discrete acts”, which, on their own, may not be criminal or abusive.
The grooming behaviour does not have to be sexual in nature. And the abuse, or the assault, does not have to have taken place.

The act can be distinguished only by the perpetrator’s motivation to prepare a child for sex.
How do you recognise a person’s ‘motivation’?
You watch out for warning signs.
A potential paedophile might start by making the child feel “special” or “privileged”.
This can involve targeting children using games or toys, so if an adult takes an interest in playing with toys in a manner that appears to “exceed his or her caregiving role”, alarm bells should be ringing.

Other warning signs include an adult explicitly asking a child to keep a relationship secret.
Testing personal boundaries such as encouraging inappropriate physical contact, is another indicator.
Often, grooming follows three stages: gaining access to the victim, initiating and maintaining abuse, and then concealing the abuse.
The incremental acts of grooming usually increase in intensity.
When the grooming is most overt, a perpetrator would be exposing a child to alcohol, drugs or pornography.

However, in some cases, the commission states grooming is “only discernible after the abuse has been identified … because the perpetrator’s intent or motivation is not immediately visible.”
How do perpetrators operate?
Perpetrators are diverse in their motivations and behaviours, but can broadly fit into three types of people who groom. However, it is possible that they may shift from one type to another over time.
Predatory perpetrators are more likely to have a diagnosis of paedophilia so, the commission says, they are “persistently and exclusively sexually attracted to children.” They manipulate environments to abuse children, perpetrate the abuse over time and in multiple settings. They are more likely to be give children special treatment, including gifts and enticements. After they are caught, these perpetrators may claim that the child initiated contact with them made up false stories.
Opportunistic perpetrators engage in criminal behaviour outside of abusing children and are less likely to by fixated on sexually abusing children. They do not prefer children to adults, but use children for their own sexual interests. “If grooming does occur, it is likely to be prompted by the vulnerability of a child, lack of supervision,” the commission finds.
Situational perpetrators do not have a preference for children, but may abuse a child due to a sense of inadequacy, poor coping skills, or the absence of an adult relationship. They are generally law-abiding. “A perpetrator may see a child’s playfulness, openness, timidness, physicality, nakedness or delinquency as a prompt or opportunity to abuse”
How is grooming overlooked?

Grooming can be overlooked if the perpetrator is popular.
Confirmation bias means that colleagues may ignore warning signs if a perpetrator has made a positive impression.
This is a deliberate effort on the part of the perpetrator.
“By building an initially trusting relationship with colleagues, the perpetrator was able to behave in a way that appeared outwardly appropriate,” the commission finds.
Perpetrators can also groom institutions. They pursue professions that enable them to target and sexually abuse children.

These perpetrators manipulate systems to gain a position of trust, which positions them as an “insider”.
It is easier for perpetrators to do this when the environment is secretive or closed, or if allegations of abuse are discouraged due to the risk of criticism of management or the institution’s reputation.

The commission finds that an organisation’s culture can stamp out grooming by introducing robust supervision policies, screening techniques and an accessible avenue for people to report breaches.

Child Grooming Signs To Watch Out For | A Parents Guide

It’s every parent’s worst fear: An online predator befriending their child, feigning similar interests and eventually establishing trust.
This is a process known as child grooming, and it is used by paedophiles in preparing children for sexual abuse, and it can occur both online and offline. [7]
The Internet has redefined child grooming by removing physical boundaries and providing predators with a disguise of anonymity; making the concept of stranger danger infinitely more complex.
“The online world creates a real opportunity for offenders because it allows offenders to have that one-to-one relationship.” Dr Zoe Hilton, Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
Yet, despite all of its complexities, child grooming can be a deceptively simple and sophisticated process, and it is made all the more pervasive through the prevalence of Internet-capable devices. In fact, the growing use of smartphones has been identified by Australian Federal Police as a key factor in a recent increase in instances of children as young as 4-years-of-age posting explicit images of themselves online [12].
So how can parents protect their children from the world’s most dangerous and depraved Internet-users?
Firstly, by being informed. It’s important for a parent’s actions to be governed by knowledge, not by fear. Through being properly educated about child grooming signs and statistics, parents can feel empowered to proactively protect their children.
Key Statistics On Child Grooming
Victims of online grooming are most frequently aged between 13 and 17 [2]
Online grooming usually takes place while the victim is at home using a computer or mobile device [3]
While there’s some conflicting research about who is most at risk, young girls are more frequent victims of online grooming [5]
The following minority groups are especially vulnerable to grooming: Young males who are gay or questioning their sexual orientation, children with a history of sexual or physical abuse, and young people with poor relationships with their parents [2]
The majority of online predators are male [3]
A survey revealed that the majority of online grooming victims met the offender face-to-face; and 93% of those encounters resulted in illegal sexual contact [2]
Teenagers will often engage with predators willingly; they find it exciting and special to have an older ‘friend’ that makes them feel desirable and validated during a time of maturation [5]
Child Grooming Signs To Watch Out For
“I just thought she was being a typical teenager.” – Mother of online grooming victim.
Online child grooming can be hard for parents to recognise because grooming can happen gradually, over a long period of time, and while children are at home. Groomers will also often warn children not to tell anyone about the relationship.
One of the best ways to keep your child safe online is to take an active interest in their online activities. You can do this by eliciting information from them and regularly monitoring their device. There are also a number of child grooming signs that parents should watch out for. Some of these signs can constitute ‘normal’ adolescent behaviour, but parents should pay special attention to their specific child and look out for increased instances of the following behaviours:
They’re unusually protective of their phone, computer, or mobile devices
They’re using sexual language that you wouldn’t expect them to know
They’re using electronic devices that you didn’t buy for them
They’ve become notably more withdrawn and secretive
They’re receiving mail, toys, or gifts from unknown people
There’s pornography on their device
They’re emotionally volatile or withdrawn
They seem nervous and on-edge when they receive a notification or phone call
They lie to you about where they’ve been or who they’ve been talking to
They start using someone else’s online profile
Remember, a child who has been targeted by an online groomer may not necessarily show signs of being distressed or upset by the contact. Groomers are adept at making their victims trust them, and a child may come to regard the offender as the ‘only person who truly understands them’.
Alicia Kozakiewicz was only 13-years-old when she was groomed, kidnapped, raped, and abused by an online predator. Alicia has since dedicated her life to raising awareness about child sexual exploitation, and warns parents that “online grooming is very effective” [9].
“They make your parents look like they are terrible, and your friends look like they are not your friends – because he’s always the one making you feel good about yourself.” [10]
Predatory Signs To Watch Out For
The sexual exploitation of children is widely considered to be the most monstrous crime imaginable. The offence is so vile that it’s all-too-easy to assume that the offenders will appear visibly repulsive. Yet, unfortunately, this is not always true. It’s critical that we break this stereotype because sexual predators can be – and often are – people that we know; they can even be people who we’ve invited into our homes.
“Parents are so naive – they’re worried about strangers and should be worried about their brother-in-law. They just don’t realize how devious we can be. I used to abuse children in the same room with their parents and they couldn’t see it or didn’t seem to know it was happening.”
– Convicted child sex offender [1]
It’s important that parents never assume someone is trustworthy simply because they work with children and ‘seem nice’. In fact, sexual predators often go to great lengths to place themselves in situations where they will be around children; they may work directly with children, volunteer at child friendly spaces, or coach a sports team. A former FBI agent warns parents that “paedophiles span the full spectrum from saints to monsters. In spite of this fact, over and over again paedophiles are not recognized, investigated, charged, convicted, or sent to prison simply because they are “nice guys”.” [1]
Just as there’s no ‘typical victim’, there’s no ‘typical predator’. However, there are certain behaviours that parents should watch out for. Of course, not all of these behaviours are inherently inappropriate, but when combined they can raise a few red-flags:
They pay special attention to a child
They involve a child in fun activities that may entail them being alone together
They position themselves as sympathetic listeners
They touch your child (in an appropriate manner) in your presence; creating the impression that you’re aware of and comfortable with them touching your child
They tell risqué jokes to children in an attempt to trigger the child’s innate sexual curiosity
They buy treats or toys for young children
These behaviours can apply in offline environments as well as online. Child sex offenders who target children offline tend to personally know the victim, and they may therefore attempt to groom the victim’s parents as well.
“I was disabled and spent months grooming the parents, so they would tell their children to take me out and help me. No one thought that disabled people could be abusers.”
– Convicted child sex offender [1]
In some instances, a predator may begin their interactions offline and then take the interaction online in an attempt to establish a one-to-one relationship with a child outside of the view of other adults. Some predators, however, will act exclusively through the Internet, frequenting chat rooms, social networks, or online games. Here is a list of common tactics used by online predators:
Giving compliments
Offering gifts
Eliciting information and establishing mutual interests
Adding a child’s friends to their social network
Engaging in increasingly personal or sexualised conversation
Seeking offline contact
Expressing an interest in meeting face-to-face
How To Prevent Child Grooming
It may seem extreme or perhaps even counter-intuitive to talk to young children about things such as online grooming, but it could actually be one of the most effective ways to prevent them from being targeted.
“Parents shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about things like this—it’s harder to abuse or trick a child who knows what you’re up to.” – Convicted child sex offender [1]
In fact, in response to the growing threat of online grooming, Australian Federal Police will be conducting cyber safety training for children as young as 4-year-old [11]. While this training is already available to children in grades 3 and upwards under the ThinkUKnow program, the AFP plan to start teaching online safety to kindergarteners after it has “emerged (that) kids as young as four have posted explicit images of themselves and been groomed by sex predators on the web” [12].
The training is intended to make children, parents, and teachers better equipped to avoid cyber threats such as: online grooming, cyberbullying, sexting, and identity theft.
If you have reason to suspect that your child has been targeted by an online groomer, here’s what you should do next:
Gather evidence (screenshots of usernames, messages, photos, etc)
Talk to your child, but try to avoid being accusatory
Report the user on the applicable website, app, game, or network and then block them
Contact the police – even if the grooming never escalated or your child never engaged the groomer
Seek support for your child through the following channels:

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