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For many, charitable status is a legitimizing factor taken into consideration when choosing what organization or foundation to donate to. Government recognition that an entity’s work is valid enough to exempt them from taxes is often a good indicator of the work’s importance.
However, there are always exceptions.
This author found that three organizations had been granted full IRS tax-exempt status while encouraging, advocating for the rights of, or working to dismantle important safeguards against pedophiles and their access to children.
The California-based organization Prostasia was given IRS tax exemption in 2018. While marketing itself as a children’s rights organization, Prostasia is a veritable grab-bag of causes surrounding sex and sexuality, but many believe it represents something far more sinister.
In Prostasia’s blog entries, “child protection” routinely ends up in the same sentences as “free speech,” “kink,” or “sex positivity.” The topics of ageplay, furries, hentai, and prostitution are spoken about no differently as, and often with no barrier between, child sexuality and child sexual abuse.
Disturbingly, Prostasia takes a bizarre approach to pedophilia as though it were a bogeyman dreamed up by the alt-right. In one blog post, raging against the social stigma associated with being an individual “sexually attracted to minors,” while claiming that those who are pedophiles are less likely to sexually abuse children than the general population.
In another, it claims there is evidence to support that pedophilia is “comparable to a sexual orientation,” citing Toronto psychiatrist Dr. James Cantor, who is infamous for his Tweets demanding the inclusion of pedophiles in the LGBT spectrum. Cantor is a member of the Prostasia team.
One of Prostasia’s current counter-crusades is stopping the attempts to include “artistic” depictions of child sex exploitation as child pornography. Another, towards ending the sweeping global movements to ban child-representative sex dolls.
“The laws are unconstitutional, misguided, and immoral.” Their website reads, encouraging users to write into their congressmen with pre-fabricated letters calling the dolls a “victimless outlet” for pedophiles to express their sexual desires for children. While Prostasia’s site asserts their claims are research-based, studies have consistently found that these dolls provide no therapeutic benefit, and in fact, may serve to desensitize pedophiles due to the lack of negative feedback.
In July of 2019, PayPal ceased its relationship with Prostasia on the basis that doing so violated its policy on “transactions involving […] encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.”
More than one child sex offender has leant their voice to Prostasia. Guy Hamilton-Smith has written on “keeping children safe” and “ensuring safety from sexual harms and exploitative material” despite having a conviction for the possession of child pornography. To be clear, Hamilton-Smith is not writing about his experiences as a reformed or remorseful pedophile, but contributing pieces centred around taking down existing internet safeguards which serve the function of protecting children from individuals such as himself.
Jeff White had been a Research and Policy Associate. At one time, he had been budgeted for over $3,000 per month in that capacity. When Sarah Phillimore, a family lawyer in Bristol, called into question White’s allegedly dubious history in June of this year, she received threatening emails from Jeremy Malcom, founder and director of the Prostasia Foundation.
“[Malcom] suggested that if I left his organization alone, he would leave me alone.” She says, “I then published screenshots of what he had sent to indicate that I would not be intimidated by that nonsense.”
Curiously, while Hamilton-Smith’s profile and articles remain active on Prostasia’s website, White’s information and contributions were removed following Phillimore’s tweets.
Another tax-exempt organization, B4U-Act, was co-founded by convicted sex-offender and NAMBLA activist Michael Melsheimer. Melsheimer committed suicide in 2010, leaving it in the hands of registered Maryland counsellor Russell A. Dick, who gained IRS tax-exempt status for the foundation that same year. On B4U-Act’s memorial for Melsheimer, his past abuse of children is not mentioned.
In 2009, the anti-pedophilia blog Absolute Zero (now defunct) reported that Melsheimer was active on the forum BoyChat after he would have founded B4U-Act, and was dismissing concerns from fellow “boy lovers” about the mission statement of the organization. Melsheimer was rallying fellow pedophiles around the notion that NAMBLA had failed in its mission to normalize pedophilia, and a new approach focused around the appearance of “prevention” would be more publicly acceptable.
B4U-Act regularly employs and invites convicted and “non-offending” pedophiles to speak at symposiums and workshops described as “heart opening, powerful, and courageous.” Their Know the Facts page begins by suggesting that “most” adults have an attraction to children or prepubescent adolescents. Both the including Stories of Hope and of Being a MAP sections are populated by a man named Richard Kramer, who is a registered sex offender in the State of Wisconsin.
B4U-Act, like Prostasia, classifies pedophilia as a sexuality or sexual orientation, and does not seek to change or discourage a pedophile’s sexual feelings towards children. It is listed on Prostasia’s site as one helpful resource for pedophiles.
The organization also has campaigned to change and ultimately eliminate the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual entry on pedophilia. At one point, a newsletter was issued which was excitedly uploaded to BoyChat discussing changes in the DSM-5 which moved pedophilia slightly closer to homosexuality, and “acknowledged that the sexual attraction to children did not constitute a disorder.” As B4U-Act currently seeks primarily to inform therapists, this is particularly dangerous. In its Guide for Therapists, B4U-Act encourages those counselling pedophiles to take an “LGBT affirmative psychotherapy approach,” and treat “minor-attracted person’s sexuality” as “innate, unchangeable, and subject to personal acceptance.”
Perhaps the most shocking and most blatant organization found during the course of this investigation was the Pedophile Associates of America Ltd, which was granted full IRS tax-exempt status in 2018.
The organization’s address was listed to a quaint home in Bumpass, Virginia, which realty searches revealed just recently sold for over $400,000. The home belonged to an elderly woman, her grandson, Ian Andrew Zearley, was using the address as a registration point for the IRS filings. In 2010, Zearley had been convicted of two counts of child pornography possession, landing him 6 years in prison.
The FBI reported that Zearley’s hard drive contained over 600 child sex exploitation pictures and videos, including one over 19-minutes long of two men tying up and raping a 10-year-old boy. As of early 2019, Zearley has been returned to a federal penitentiary for unknown crimes, with an indefinite release date.
The Post Millennial reached out to the IRS to clarify their policies on tax exemption for organizations participating in the advancement or advocacy of the rights of pedophiles and provided information about the organizations profiled in this article, but the IRS claimed it could not comment on specific taxpayers or cases.
B4U-Act and Prostasia were unavailable for comment prior to publication.