photo: Marthijn Uittenbogaard
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My visits to criminologist Herman Bianchi

© 14 December 2018 Marthijn Uittenbogaard

30 December 2015, almost three years ago, Herman Bianchi (14-12-1924 - 30-12-2015) [1] passed away. Bianchi was a Dutch criminologist who was in favor of restorative justice laws in stead of punishing laws. He believed that only a very small percentage of the people locked up in prison should be locked up. Only a few hundred or even less, should be in prison in The Netherlands. Only the psychopaths, as he once told me, people who are very dangerous without having a moral consciousness. Until yesterday I did no know Bianchi had died. Most of the news I read online with the exception of a few opinion magazines. I missed the necrologies I'm sure some newspapers wrote about him.

It was in 1999 or 2000 that I had one of my first television appearances. This one was relatively safe for me because it was for a local television company, not viewable in my home city. I was invited by AT5, a television company broadcasting in Amsterdam [2]. The topic was, what else could it be, pedophilia. Herman Bianchi lived in Amsterdam and he saw this interview and he fought what I did very courageous. He contacted, by phone I believe, the Martijn Association; if he could have a talk with me. He wanted to contribute to the cause of our organization in some way, he said.

I went to his house somewhere in the center of Amsterdam. He lived alone, in a very chic house. Expensive furniture, many books in large bookcases reaching to the ceiling. While I was there, he talked a lot about his life. And about boys. I asked if he wanted to write an article for our Association's magazine called OK Magazine. But I got the impression he only wanted to talk with a boylover. A second meeting followed. This time C.C., also from the Martijn Association, went with me. I was still in my twenties, C.C. was approximately eighteen years old at that time. Again, not much came out of this conversation except an article [3] written by C.C. for our magazine, published with Bianchi's permission.

During this two conservations, Herman Bianchi told us that he liked boys. He saw the pictures in the OK Magazines which we gave him and he said he found these boys very attractive. "But I'm not a pedophile," he immediately told us after that. He told us about a boy in Ireland (or Scotland, not 100% sure) that he liked very much. He was a friend of the boy's family, so he visited them occasionally. This boy, around twelve years old, liked sitting on his lap all the time. Bianchi was very fond of him, but it was not sexual. "I'm not a pedophile."

Bianchi was writing a book. "My book concerns a boy's dream about the mighty, noble friend, who would carry me off to vast distances; the man I never really found." [3] He did not write about criminology anymore. He left that behind him, he said. He was a bit frustrated about the climate too. Not the weather climate, but the climate about being tough on crime, about harsh punishments. His views about restorative justice, which he advocated for since the seventies, are nowadays making a bit of a comeback though. Hopefully this comeback will set through. While I am also very disturbed about locking so many people up in prison, and for decades (in the US) and here also in so called therapy institutions, I still thought Bianchi was too optimistic about his ideas. He said that if even a murderer said he (or she) felt sorry for what he did, he should not have to go to prison. "How do you know he is not lying about feeling sorry just to avoid a long time in prison?," I asked him. Bianchi answered that psychologists can figure out if he speaks the truth. My faith in this, psychologists accurately finding out if someone is honest or not, is not so high as Bianchi's faith in this matter. I think Bianchi also knew this; more wishful thinking than a possible reality.

Herman Bianchi was a friend of Edward Brongersma. Brongerma is the godfather of the pedophile movement. Edward used to bring pornography magazines with him when he visited Herman, and he left them behind. Bianchi did not talk about this with Brongerma. But he did not complain about it either. It was just not talked about. But he liked looking at those under-aged boys. "But I'm not a pedophile." He complained that Brongersma always acted so childish. Brongersma giggled in a childish way while rubbing his hands. This always annoyed Bianchi. "Act like a grown up man," he then said to Brongersma, "you are not a child anymore."

Today, I ordered a book about Bianchi's life. A book written by Kees Sluys [4]. I read online that Bianchi did not come out as a homosexual during his life. Only half and that he sort of went back into the closet again. Knowing how dangerous it can be when times change again. But I think it has also to do with his kind of homosexuality: that is liking boys instead of men. Many gay people are into (young) boys, but coming out today is still very dangerous.

Today, 14 December, would have been Thomas Bianchi's birthday. May he rest in peace.

notes
[1] Herman Thomas Bianchi on Wikipedia - nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Thomas_Bianchi
[2] The name of the show was, if I remember correctly, Vraag en Antwoord, meaning: question and answer. Half an hour, live, and at some point viewers could call in and I had to answer their questions. I remember that the people who called in had things to say for themselves, in stead of asking any questions. I still have this show somewhere on a video at my home. But I don't know where exactly. If I find it someday I will place it online.
[3] Conversations with Herman Bianchi - by Marthijn Uittenbogaard & C.C. - Translated from Dutch - www.brongersma.info/Conversations_with_Herman_Bianchi - OK Magazine, no. 77 - May 2001
[4] Herman Bianchi en zijn levenslange strijd voor gerechtigheid - by Kees Sluys - www.bol.com/nl/p/herman-bianchi-zijn-levenslange-strijd-voor-gerechtigheid/9200000045904444/ - November 2015

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"Wees eerlijk en laat zien wie je bent."
"Kinderen moeten veel meer zeggenschap krijgen."
"Alle zedenwetten moeten weg."
"Pedohaat heeft niets met seks te maken."
"We gaan verkeerd met seksualiteit om."
"Hoe zinniger wat je zegt, hoe bozer men wordt."
"Zonder pedofilie zou de wereld veel armer zijn."