This article and editorial is reprinted from TROPIC, the Miami Herald Newpaper's Magazine, October 9, 1983, and was written by John Dorschner. Eric Cross was heavily involved with many pedophiles in the nudist/naturist movement in the late 1970's to mid 1980's.
ERIC CROSS: THE CHILD SEDUCER Part IV
"Wherever such a picture came from, wherever it goes, it carries forever on its inanimate face the image of a real moment, when a child was pathetically captive in an adult's crooked dream."
We tend to think of it mainly as some slimy nether world far from our daily lives, just some dirty little corner that we can generally ignore, but the sexual use of children is a thriving trade and it's creepily close to home.
There apparently are plenty of them out there, emotionally stunted men whose central dream in life is to have sex with children and to photograph it. Among each other they trade the pictures, like the bubblegum baseball cards we collected as kids, passing them from hand to hand through informal networks that can stretch around the world.
Wherever such a picture came from, wherever it goes, it carries forever on its inanimate face the image of a real moment, when a child was pathetically captive in an adult's crooked dream. The picture is the molester's proof of achievement, and it makes him a hero to the others. And it confirms, for all of them, that success is really possible.
In fact, it's fairly easy.
The molester counts on it: The deftly seduced child probably will hide what happens, out of shyness and guilt. The mother probably will never know, and won't be eager to tell if she finds out.
It may be the most unreported crime in the country.
And it may be among-the most cunning.
The seducers are not dirty old men in trenchcoats lurking with bags of candy down at the schoolyard. They are harder to spot than that.
They are, as is the subject of today's cover story, often highly intelligent, slick and polished men, extremely subtle and gentle and patient in their methods, outwardly normal, not strangers, but friends of the family, willing to wait as long as it takes to gain a parent's trust.
If you have young children, as I do, the story of Eric Cross, master deceiver, a genuine international child-porn hero, who was able to exploit little girls and fool their parents even from his Florida jail cell, cannot fail to worry you. If it was so easy for him, even from jail... ?
As I was reading the story I began to lose my sense of balance. I caught myself scanning my own horizons for signs of child- seducers. You know who I thought of first? People I had liked most.
I started to wonder - about coaches and teachers and just plain friends who had shown me special kindnesses when I was young, and about friends of mine today who have shown some affection for my children.
I began to wonder about these men I've known and I felt myself turning just a little bit colder toward them. Were they, truly, the good people I had thought them to be?
A man like Eric Cross can do that to us.
He can scare us into deadbolting our hearts against some of the best people around you know, that special teacher who did so much for you back when you were in school, that fellow in town who volunteers to coach the little leaguers even though he has no son on the team, that neighbor who finds your imperfect kids perfectly wonderful.
He had me on the run for just a minute there, had me thinking bad thoughts about good friends, until I realized there were two things to be afraid of in all this
Sure, we parents should fear the child molester. But, even more than that, we should fear the fear.
We can put it in its place.
But first we need to know how guys like Eric Cross operate.
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