Perverted Justice

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Perverted Justice (PJ, PeeJ, Pee Jay) is a controversial and heavily-prosecuted online anti-pedophile vigilante organization. Its main method is to pose in on-line chat rooms as under-age boys or girls and attract adult men. These men are then exposed either on the organization's website or through the "To Catch a Predator" segment on NBC's Dateline show, and subsequently arrested by law enforcement officers. An infamous section of PJ's website in which their victims were photographed masturbating has been removed in an effort to give the organisation mainstream credibility.

The organization was founded by Xavier Von Erck, who continues to run it. Members of the organization are geographically distributed throughout the United States.

PJ's ideology goes well beyond the slogan printed on their merchandise
The organization has been criticized for its shadowy methods, its vigilante ideology, and its desire to destroy lives rather than serve justice (ABC News, 10 January 2005; 10 Zen Monkeys, 2 October 2006). The U.S. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has also criticized the organization. Tina Schwartz, NCMEC director of communication, has said: "It's really not the safest, most effective way to combat this problem ... From what I've seen ... they embarrass the people, but I don't know that complete justice is ever served". (Roanoke Times, 22 January 2005)

Harassment of innocent people

According to Corrupted Justice a watchdog group composed of ex - PJ members and other activists, PJ has "harassed and terrorised" well over 4,500 innocent people since January, 2003.

Attempts to harass and censor alternative voices have been central to Perverted Justice's approach since its conception. In one recent case, an ex-member was charged for launching denial of service attacks against Rolling Stone and Radar - two media sources who criticised himself and Perverted Justice.[1]

Wikisposure Project and Absolute Zero

Perverted Justice has recently diverted at least some of its efforts into a "name and shame" hit list of Sex-Offender reform activists and people who they deem to be pedophiles. Simple techniques (public profile scanning, search engines) are used to compile profiles of groups and individuals that are logged to a Wiki site interface.

An officially independent group known as Absolute Zero has made considerable efforts to enhance these exposes with their own articles. Absolute Zero editorials are typically followed by a series of reader comments calling for the killing or raping of subjects by state authorities or prison inmates.

To Catch A Predator

Officially supported by PJ vigilantism, To Catch a Predator is a recurring segment on NBC's Dateline news show whose mission is to lure adult men into sexual chats with people posing as children, invite them to a house to meet the imaginary children, and then expose them on national television. The segment, presented by Chris Hansen is wildly popular; episodes featuring "Predator" segments are ranked 16 among NBC's 41 regularly broadcast shows in the 2005-2006 season, and has been implicated in grossly unethical practise and suicide.

Commentary

Child-safety advocate Julie Posey describes Perverted-Justice's tactics as "a gross invasion of privacy." Posey indicates that she doesn't feel their methods are completely effective, "What it does is embarrass them for the moment... but then they'll go and get a different screen name and know to check things out a little more thoroughly next time" (ABC news, 10 January 2005). Since this comment was made, Perverted Justice have made a partially-successful attempt to convert their vigilante entrapment efforts into actual convictions. Posey and Perverted Justice founder Xavier Von Erck appeared on Fox News shortly thereafter. Regarding the Perverted Justice website, Posey remarked, "It’s more of an entertainment site, actually. You go there, you click on a link of a picture that takes you to that person’s chat-log and that person has a scale—a sliminess scale as he calls it—and you can rate the pervert from, I think it’s one to five. To me, that kind of gives a sense of entertainment. Anybody that finds entertainment value in exploiting children, I have a problem with it." (Fox News, January 2005)

Sources and references

  1. http://newgon.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=8284#p8284

External links