Monday 7 October 2013

The 1960s sexual revolution and the corruption of once-exemplary institutions - the example of the BBC


It has been apparent for several years that the Roman Catholic Church was corrupted by sexual abuses from around the mid-1960s onward and especially among the liberalizers of the Church who approved of and implemented the Second Vatican Council. Furthermore, and even more significantly, these abuses were known about but kept secret by many thousands of people including those at a very high level.

Following the Jimmy Saville affair and a series of prominent prosecutions - plus a number of admissions and statements, it is apparent that something similar (although much more severe) happened at the once exemplary British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in London - apparently over a similar timescale; and involving people not just the strange and sinister Saville, but also other BBC personalities who were more generally popular and seemed apparently decent chaps.

Again thousands of insiders knew all about this, including many high up bosses but in this case also 'everybody' in the mass media in general was 'in the know'; again this was kept secret from the general public.

The irony is that the BBC has been purposively and stridently moralistic, selective, exaggerating and dishonest in its coverage of the Roman Catholic scandals - for example in blaming Pope Benedict XVI (who was one of the major forces against corruption), and in concealing the dominant sexual preferences of abusers.  


I had a personal insight from a trusted source that when the father of a child actor was accompanying his son to the BBC London to record a popular drama in the late 60s/ early 70s - he was taken aside by someone with inside knowledge of the BBC London studios, and warned not to let his son out of his sight for a moment, and it was stressed again and very seriously not for one moment; because there were some very nasty people in that place.

My impression is that the BBC in London has been a cesspool of sexual aggression, exploitation and abuse of many types for over forty years, and that this is therefore - presumably - an accepted fact and likely to be a major motivational factor in those who work there.

I assume exactly the same applies to other major media institutions, who tolerate or approve this; since otherwise the whistle would have been blown long ago.

I am also struck by the fact that - although I always regarded Saville as a nasty piece of work, since that was just so obvious - I was completely unable to judge that something similar (albeit not so horrifically bad) applied to many other entertainers whom I liked.


The lessons I have learned are that:

1. I, indeed we, are utterly unable to judge the moral worth of people in public life from what we see on our screens. We think we can, but we cannot. Our instincts tell us we can, but we cannot. This applies even, or perhaps especially, to those put forward as moral exemplars. We must therefore resist reassurances that things are alright, simply because we have not been allowed to learn how bad they are. We now know things may be quite disgustingly bad, and we the public know nothing about it. 

2. The moral worth of people in public life is much, much lower than we had supposed. We must therefore assume the worst of many or most people in public life.

3. The evils consequent upon the sexual revolution have been systematically hidden, excused, indulged, even applauded. There must be a lot of the same kind of things we do not know about in many other institutions, especially those most subject to the changes in ethos dictated by the enforcement of the sexual revolution; and it is reasonable - indeed prudent - to assume the worst.


In sum - I am not trying to persuade anybody of anything - those who do not want to learn will not learn. But I think we really need to think hard about the wisdom of exposing ourselves to these presumptively but covertly depraved media people so frequently, so pervasively and for such long periods of our lives.



Anonymous said...

The Catholic church cover up came from John Paul II I'm pretty sure. Almost all bishops had the same policy. The Vatican has its own representative who monitors the US, apart from the formal hierarchy. The only way the situation makes sense is if it was controlled from the top.

dearieme said...

" I, indeed we, are utterly unable to judge the moral worth of people in public life from what we see on our screens." Matthew Parris says that TV always lies.

Titus Didius Tacitus said...

I think all of that is true.

We should also be aware that even quite recent generations didn't live much of their life in this movie / tv / entertainment fantasy world made by people with depraved biases.

Even though they were demonstrably unwise, they didn't have their eyes and ears systematically mis-educated by moral monsters the way we do.

That should make us doubt whether our "moral reflexes" and intuitions are sound. When it's obvious to us that past generations were "prejudiced" we should remember that they were accustomed to looking at reality whereas we are accustomed to looking at images that in many cases are intended to make us prejudge reality in bad ways.

Not so long ago, people could pick German faces from English ones, and this though the English are Germanic. With Hollywood casting, people can't pick Jewish from Irish any more. "Reality" is what people have seen on screen all their lives, and the screen images were confusing.

How much more must that confusion of perception - controlled by very bad people - be affecting us on moral matters?

On a crude level: compare Hollywood gays and television pro-gay images with any gay pride parade.

More subtly: what do things feel like? What are some warnings that people are "wrong" and shouldn't be trusted? What feelings go with going against ones own people for the benefit of others, as opposed to adhering to them?

Our eyes and years have been mis-educated to mislead us. (Especially: to make us laugh at things we shouldn't laugh at, and to have other immediate emotional reactions we shouldn't have.)

Not long ago, people had different attitudes to these things, which they expressed in language that is on average more complex than what we have gotten used to, so that it now seems stilted and unconvincing. But smarter people looking at reality probably had better blink-speed discernment on immediate, personal moral matters than dumber, slower people looking at the world through a filter of depravity that they are unaware of.

Bruce Charlton said...

@d - "Matthew Paris says that TV always lies"

But, since Matthew Paris is a media person who himself appears on TV - that leads to the Cretan liar paradox.

Bruce Charlton said...

@TDT - Your comment emphasizes the depth of the modern problem; and the distinctive nature of sin in modernity.

The mass media plays upon a well known flaw in human memory (which is taught in first year psychology) - that we remember information but not its provenance, not where it came from.

This comes from studies where people are taught lists of false facts, while being told that the facts ARE false; but then if they are tested later on a mixture of true and false statements it can be seen that some of the false statements have been remembered and 'recognized' as true.

It seems that people interpret the sense of familiarity with a false fact, as evidence that it is true.

This is consciously exploited by the media. For example, the media FIRST report on a terror atrocity contains speculations that it was done by Right wingers, perhaps Christians - because people will remember this association even if later denied - the initial shock of th hearing about the terror is stored alongside the invented blame. Thus many people will, viscerally and subconsciously and resistantly to correction, blame the Boston marathon bombing on white supremacists - because that is what they heard when then horrific news first sank in.

And this is why the BBC refuse to report terrorism under its proper name - to avoid the association. I listened to the first BBC report of the Nairobi shopping mall slaughter - and there was no naming of it as a terrorist act, and no speculation of who was doing it - although both of these were known for facts (not just speculations).

So our minds, our memories, have calculatedly been filled with false associations, with falsehoods we feel as facts, with deliberately cultivated good impressions and manufactured disgust.

And - for secular culture - all that can be blamed is 'the mass media' which is too large and too nebulous and too shifting to be the kind of thing that can realistically be blamed, because we cannot comprehend anything which could organize on such a scale.

The real organizer is 'the father of lies' and his team - coordinating this by multiple individual supernatural bargains and threats.

The mass media are therefore An Army of Fausts.

Anonymous said...

I think it's always been wise to be sceptical about the "images" of so-called "stars" that, in the worlds of entertainment and sport, are projected as "role models".

I also think the army of Fausts has become more dangerous because it now appears, and dissembles with impunity, in (almost) every living-room in the world. By means of its invasion of domesticity, the television is a far more potent agent of evil than Hollywood could ever hope to be.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Alex Yes, the culture of celebrity just grows and grows...

But I used to believe that I could discern the more benign characters from the malignant - but I now know for sure that I cannot; and am therefore much more wary and skeptical of the media and its 'personalities' than ever I was in the past.

dearieme said...

But, since Matthew Paris is a media person who himself appears on TV - that leads to the Cretan liar paradox.

No, he said it in his newspaper column, not on TV. His illustrations did include one of his own broadcasts.