Draft of an Etiology
When we talk about pedophilia, we talk about entrapment, a situation where the person, when they were a child, was being entrapped by a parent, an educator or another close person, and when this situation lasted over a considerable span of time. In the case of males, the entrapment figure is typically the mother.
Contrary to many psychiatrists who see in those cases an incestuous constellation, where there was at least a minimum of sexual play between mother and son, I found that this is complete nonsense. In the typical pathological codependence between mother and child, where the child does not actually enter the Oedipal Conflict but is trapped from relating healthily to the parent of the opposite sex because that parent is either absent or too negative to be identified with, there is an avoidance pattern that is really marking the relationship.
The incest is purely on the level of the unconscious. The daily life is one of puritanical avoidance, manifesting typically in the mother avoiding to touch the little boy when bathing him, or even, as it was with my own mother, letting me take baths alone, so to speak ‘because modern child psychology wants it so,’ and even closing the bathroom door once I was in the bathtub.
It’s a pattern where there is only a minimum of physical closeness, and thus fear of closeness that the mother experiences and is suffering from, often unconsciously, but thereby transmitting this fear of closeness to her son.
Thus the etiology of pedophilia is tactile and emotional, and not sexual in the first place. It is a result of emotional manipulation, a behavior from the side of the adult that gives the child very little room for ‘emotional autonomy’ — and thus for manifesting their emotional needs and wants.
By emotional I mean also mental, psychic. I call it emotional abuse.
The boy typically cannot change a frustrated mother who is unable to realize and maintain a satisfying partner relation and therefore clings to her only son. (It goes without saying that this constellation is of course aggravated when the son is the only child).
There is no way out for males brought up in such kind of entrapment situation than later self-transformation and extended work on the consciousness level, and this over many years. This is why I have created Life Authoring as a technique that may help in this transformation process.
Once they have done that inner work, they will see that moving out from the nest, the fusional mother-son relation, the codependence pattern, which I also call abuse pattern, will be easy. But without doing that work, moving out would only create further hassle, and like when stretching an elastic too far, it would pull you back toward your mother with an amazing and kind of irresistible force, like a magnet.
Often males with this kind of hangup experience a defeating pattern at their workplace as well. They are constantly overlooked, they are not valued for what they are, and for what they perform; they do not receive the work gratification they deserve for their input, for their commitment, and their honesty. Which means that they pent up negative and self-defeating feelings, resulting in frequent and most of the time also long-lasting depressions.
People may consider it pretentious that somebody wants to help another who has had the same or worse problems. But that is what all coaching and all therapy is about. It’s not saying ‘I’m knowing better,’ it’s saying ‘Let’s share some experience, perhaps I have found a way of dealing with a problem I see you have as well.’ It’s not more, but also not less than that. I have surely gone through more corruption in my life than any of my schoolmates. This is simply a fact. I have walked through the abyss, all through my childhood.
Another pattern frequently experienced by such men, myself included, are problems with credits that are never paid back, or books lent out that are never returned. I was taken advantage of many times in my life, and this abuse pattern I can indeed trace it back into my earliest childhood. I was heavily abused, physically, all through my childhood, in the homes where I was put by an obviously problem-ridden mother. And I was manipulated emotionally. I have grown out of all that but the corruption pattern was still present in my life just a few years ago, and led to huge financial losses.
But there was and is a benefit in all of this, namely after 2 years of therapy as a starting point 20 years ago and continual follow-up through self-coaching and using Dr. Joseph Murphy’s scientific prayer technique — it is that through overcoming the inner entanglement, the outer entanglement situation, that is, wrong relationships with others, being taken advantage of, etc. will change, and so completely that it’s pretty much like starting a new life.
We could not transform, as children, our narcissistic and lifeless mothers, but we can transform ourselves today as adults by transforming the unconscious image of our mother we bear within. By doing that, implicitly we also trigger the unconscious self-transformation of our mothers’ own codependence pattern, with their mother or father, to get them eventually free from entanglement. This is even true when they have passed away, for we are still entangled with their spirit on the invisible psychic plane. Thus, by solving our codependence problem, we also help them to heal theirs!
You may explain this with the outdated concept of the ether or with Rupert Sheldrake’s model of morphic resonance, or else with nonlocal effects in quantum physics, it’s a fact that most psychiatrists are familiar with. I wish to remind here especially of the late psychoanalyst and child therapist Françoise Dolto (1908–1988) with whom I have discussed these problems back in 1986 in Paris, and with whom I had an extended letter exchange after our meeting. Also to remind here, with gratitude, Alice Miller’s magnificent work on what she called ‘The Drama of the Gifted Child.’
In her book ‘Pictures of a Childhood,’ Alice Miller published her creative and artistic work to overcome the entanglement with her own narcissistic mother and all the suffering she went through in her childhood and youth.
Narcissistic mothers typically perpetuate the entrapment pattern through accumulating frustration, and through repeating to attract the wrong partners, without in most cases being conscious of the pattern — except, as in the case of Miller, that they go through therapy, or become themselves psychotherapists.
What is also typical is that the sons those mothers get are not the obnoxious ones, not those who are vulgar and brutal, egotistic and sly, but they get for the most part rather intelligent, obedient and handsome sons whom they can emotionally manipulate with relative ease, and incarcerate in their daily web of worries, obligations and emotionally charged thoughts. It’s a web of misguided emotions because it entangles these men in a complex of problems that are not their own, but that of their problem-ridden mothers.
This matter is very complex, which is one of the reasons that many who feel they suffer from their pedophilic attraction are unable to cope with it, unable to understand the whole of the pattern, and unable to find a way out of their inner entrapment situation. But I have written this article precisely with the intention to tell them that the situation is not fatalistic to a point that there is no remedy. There are remedies, methods and techniques to overcome the early entanglement and avoid projecting on children over and over again in life. Not only formal therapy can help, but also self-coaching, as I demonstrate it several of my books, as for example in my book ‘The Better Life: Transforming Yourself from Inside-Out (2014).’
There is a natural growth process built in the psychosexual development of every child, a natural code in all growth processes in nature.
When you see a flower, can you see it grow? What does that tell you? It tells you that the meaning of time is different for a plant compared to a human. We digest time differently. That’s all. But we mistake it when looking at the plant, saying ‘But this thing is not growing. I looked at it for two hours and it did not move a bit.’
Major trees take several hundred years to fully mature. The human matures in an incredibly short time compared to that. At 12 a human is mature for all, even at the age of 6, to follow Sigmund Freud. Our society does not agree — obviously, and for mostly economic reasons.
So let’s see. There is a young man of 25 who clings to his mom, and he’s grown mature about thirteen years earlier. He has doubled the natural growth process and still thinks that this was ‘normal,’ only because almost everybody tells him so, in Western cultures.
So we are alienated from nature, for our society sets a mental projection over nature that they call culture and that is a beast cage, a Frankenstein machine.
To get free from the entanglement of the thousands of misconceptions in this matter is really a heroic task, for the Oedipal trap is the worst psychological complex that ever affected humanity. It’s the worst virus, the worst plague, the worst epidemic that mankind ever fell victim to, which is why I have dedicated a whole publication to it (in German language): Oedipus Suite.
The way out, namely, is to give autonomy to children, not entrapment in a triangular incestuous triangle called the modern urban family. It’s autonomy that is thwarted, killed, manipulated, annihilated by the cultural construct of the Oedipus Complex, and by the setup of Oedipal Culture as a whole.
— See also my site ‘Parenting toward Autonomy:’
Autonomy is built into all natural growth processes; when autonomy is thwarted we get all the problems we face in this present worldwide consumer society: our violence, our schizoid morality, our obsession with conspiracies, our widespread parent-child codependence, our addiction problems, our sexual manias, our hate problems, our lacking safety of children, including abduction and missing children — all results from our ‘child-protective’ educational paradigm which is the grave of the natural (autonomous) child and the breeding lot of the (codependent) consumer child.