Helmut Kentler, a man in charge of vulnerable young ones being sent into the care of pedophiles for decades, wouldn’t have got away with it for such a long time had that he not been admired by those in power, researchers and activists told RT.
Germany remains reeling from the massive son or daughter abuse scandal as it was unveiled that a man long regarded as one of the “founders of modern sexology” in fact acted as a “matchmaker” for pedophiles by sending neglected young ones into their care under the passive eye of Berlin authorities.
Such a powerful blow to the psychologist’s reputation would scarcely hurt him anyway, though, since the man died straight back in 2008 at the venerable age of 80. Till ab muscles end, Kentler was considered a progressive thinker and a respectable person in the scientific community.
At the full time of his death Germany’s Tageszeitung daily called him a “meritorious fighter for a permissive sexual morality” in an obituary, while various human rights advocacy groups and also some protestant church authorities were vying with each other while praising his life achievements.
It seems a lot more bizarre since Kentler himself admitted in the 1990s to sending children to reside with pedophiles as element of an “experiment.” The exact scale of his crackpot scheme which ruined numerous lives within the previous decades was apparently not known during those times though as he only revealed the cases which definitely wouldn’t land him and his pedophile acquaintances in jail due to the expired limitations period.
The man never made a secret of his views on this issue either as he again and again argued in his works that social stigma is virtually the sole traumatizing element of a sexual relationship between an adult and a child.
Yet, these shocking facts apparently didn’t spark any type of uproar in Germany at that time – plus some of Kentler’s victims continue steadily to fight for justice around today. The German authorities and boffins, meanwhile, seem to be in no rush to discard the controversial sexologist – all while condemning his misdeeds.
That could not have now been possible without participation of the state
Kentler’s project, which some German media are now describing as nothing short of a robust pedophile “network” in disguise, could not need lasted such a long time without tacit support of the authorities, a group of researchers that recently issued a study on this issue, believe.
“In Germany, foster care is the responsibility of youth welfare offices and state youth welfare offices. Accordingly, the foster homes that we examined were not possible without the participation of the Berlin Senate and the youth welfare offices,” Dr. Meike Baader, Dr. Carolin Oppermann as well as professors Julia Schroeder and Wolfgang Schroeder from the Hildesheim University told RT in an emailed response.
A representative of the Berlin government known as the Senate said, however, that the city authorities have never even commissioned research into Kentler’s activities – until recently – so high, apparently, was the degree of “trust” to the psychologist, who happened to possess quite a number of high-ranking backers, including then school and education senator Carl-Heinz Evers, youth and sport senator Kurt Neubauer, and labor and social affairs senator Kurt Exner, and Willy Brandt, a then mayor of Berlin and future West Germany’s chancellor and an icon of German politics.
The fact that his project was allowed to carry on for such a long time can only be explained if “you keep in mind who Helmut Kentler was connected with and what his significance was,” Angelika Oetken, a victim of sexual abuse in a family group environment and a volunteer at the Sexual Abuse Fund, believes.
Cost of ‘progressiveness’?
Yet, there is apparently more to the story than simply a perversion advocate that happened to locate patrons one of the higher-ups. After all, there is absolutely no indication that any of these officials were involved in his scheme in any way.
The most puzzling fact about Kentler is he has been considered – and is seemingly still considered – an authority in his field despite all the unnerving revelations about his views and the type of his work. After all, neither the Hildesheim University team, nor the Berlin authorities openly criticized the man in their responses to RT.
The researchers said that his motives and personality “were not part of the study” while a Berlin Senate representative limited herself to stating that standards for foster families have notably changed since Kentler’s times and “when it comes to protecting children and young people, we have to take a close look and continuously develop structures and processes.”
Yet, the researchers at Hildesheim and Angelika Oetken admit that Kentler’s scientific works and the reasoning behind his theories seem to be flawed. “I find, that his publications on the clinical sense of pedophilia, i.e. his attitude to sexuality was permeated with mental and emotional distortions,” the activist said, as the scientists admitted that their research showed “he used scientific reasoning with unclear evidence to justify his positions.”
However, these apparent flaws didn’t seem confusing to the German scientific community and officials for the duration of all these years. Oetken blames it on the usual culprits – the Nazis – who supposedly exterminated the true German science and allowed people like Kentler to flourish on its ashes – despite the fact that he worked between the 1960s and 1990s, decades following the fall of the Third Reich.
Yet, it may well be that his “unorthodox” some ideas just fitted perfectly to the emancipatory conventional of the sexual revolution of the 1960s that called for a split from “authoritarian moral values” of old.
The notion of a truly “free” society has driven many into accepting what was previously unthinkable – all in the name of social progress. Against this kind of background, Kentler earned his place one of the respected “sexology experts” and became a popular commentator on radio and TELEVISION.
Could it be that German officials just tacitly decided to close their eyes to 1 taboo so as never to break still another and not to confront a “progressive visionary” out of concern with being seen as backward reactionaries?
As Oetken put it, “Kentler is considered one of the founders of modern sexology and was even used as an expert in litigation for sexual abuse.”
“Not only does the Berlin Senate have something to work on here, but all people and institutions, some of whom still call this man a role model to this day … must reflect on this.”
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