The late, and broadly heterodox British psychologist, Chris Brand (1 June 1943 – 28 May 2017) supported the Rind Report and other literature that might be seen as having subverted popular absolutes of child sexuality.
In October 1996 Brand came to the defence of Nobel laureate Carleton Gajdusek who had been charged with unlawful sex with a minor. Brand argued that sex with a consenting partner over the age of 12 was not harmful so long as both partners had an above-average IQ. The proceedings were initiated in 1996 after the Dean of social sciences complained. Edinburgh University's Chaplain, a supporter of the Anti-Nazi League, had taken Brand's e-mailed reflections on pederasty to the Scottish press. Edinburgh's Student newspaper's frontpage banner headline was "FIRST IT WAS BLACKS, THEN IT WAS WOMEN, NOW IT'S KIDS".
Brand was fired a year later after hearings from his 27-year position at Edinburgh University in 1997. The University said this was for conduct that "brought the university into disrepute". Brand appealed and sued the University for unfair dismissal, and received £12,000 (in those days the maximum obtainable from an employment tribunal) in an out-of-court settlement. His case became a cause célèbre among advocates of academic freedom. Marek Kohn cited the Brand incident in a defence of intellectual freedom on the Internet. Others, however, including a former Brand student, considered academic freedom a privilege that carried with it an expectation of "social responsibility".
Eric Barendt (University College London), in the chapter "The Chris Brand Case" in his 2010 book Academic Freedom, said Brand should have tried harder to get on with his colleagues – who Brand replied were "Jew-leftie-commie[s]".
In his own words
OK, I am a race-realist and a sex-realist. But am I also a gay- and paedophilia-realist? (Now that gay 'rights' have been widely ackowledged in the West, paedophilia has manifestly become the next 'frontier.') Whether to accept some forms of paedophilia is now a particularly acute question because of the opening (on October 8) of the trial in Maryland of a 73-year-old Nobel Prizewinner, Daniel Gajdusek. In the course of DG's many researches in New Guinea--cracking 'kuru', a strange 'slow virus' form of central nervous system infection--DG's diaries show he plainly loved for a time at least twelve Melanesian and Micronesian boys and brought them to the USA as his adoptive sons. (I do not know whether an adoptive mother was also provided.) Whatever complaints may be arising today, the boys seem to have had a great time in general. For example eight of them turned up and posed cheerily with their sleeping bags for photographers at the Nobel award ceremony in Stockholm (in 1976, when DG was 53).
I offer the following reflections on whether DG should be prosecuted.
It seems incredible that a court should be concerning itself with events of some twenty or thirty years ago that apparently yielded no complaint at the time. From cases of paedophilia I have known, I would incline to guess that the trial has come about primarily because of the jealousy of one of the young partners. What often happens is that the paedophile wants (among other things) to 'liberate' a partner after a few years so the youngster can go off and have girlfriends and develop normally; but then this rejected partner shops the paedophile when he takes up with a younger partner.
Academic studies and my own experience suggest that non-violent paedophilia with a consenting partner over age 12 does no harm so long as the paedophiles and their partners are of above-average IQ and educational level. As lead choirboy (Decani) and soloist, I met lots of paedophiles who would press florins and half-crowns (now worth 4 pounds) into my horrid little palm at age 13. For better or worse, I never 'fancied' any of them nor did anything but allow a little fondling: on my part it was not a sexual experience. But I was never feminazistically inclined to condemn them: these men were well above average in intelligence, well educated (two were writers), amused me far more than the average geography teachers, gave me useful tips (where to find the G spot etc....) and never frightened me in the least. Indeed the only problem with them was that they they were so awfully old and sweaty and heavy-breathing and desperate-for-whatever-it-was-they-did [I tried not to look] that I much preferred their jokes to their visual aids.
I find it totally disgraceful that a 73-year-old man of such distinction should be hounded by the courts and the press. I could certainly never do such work myself. (Though no special admirer of Britain's current Royals, I similarly deplored Princess Anne being arrested and summonsed for speeding in the 1970's.)
It is true that I am not an unequivocal democrat. -- Democracy needs circumscribing with respect for intelligence, otherwise it will not last long. On that 'democratic elitist' basis, I offer Daniel Gajdusek my support in his struggles. (I hope US supporters might kindly keep me in touch with this case.)
- 'Racist' Brand loses dismissal appeal, Olga Wojtas, Times Higher Education, 27 March 1998
- Key factors in the fall of a 'scientific racist', Olga Wotjas, Times Higher Education, 10 April 1998.
- Ward, Lucy (9 August 1997). Lecturer sacked for saying child sex "harmless." The Independent
- Hinde, Julia (15 August 1997). Branded an outcast. Times Higher Education
- Rudbeck, Clare (30 May 2002). Free to speak out? The Independent
- Kohn, Marek (19 May 1996). Technofile. The Independent
- Swain, Harriet (3 January 2008). Dealing with controversial colleagues. Times Higher Education
- Eric Barendt, Academic Freedom and the Law: A Comparative Study, Hart Publishing, 2010.
- LEFTISTS LOVE THEIR CHAINS
- Example of Brand's website archived before his death
- Archive of statements by Chris Brand