Through the Eyes of a Pedophile
New York’s elite Horace Mann Prep School has recently been thrust into the international spotlight as it reels from accusations regarding a long and hidden history of sexual relationships between teachers and students.
All of the teachers accused so far of child molestation are already dead, except for one exception: Tek Young Lin, an 88-year-old former English teacher so beloved and revered that following his retirement Horace Mann named its English Department Chairmanship after him.
The statute of limitations on Lin’s crimes has passed, so Lin spoke freely with the New York Times about his sexual relationships with at least three of his teenage students over the years.
Lin recalls: “In those days, it was very spontaneous and casual, and it did not seem really wrong…The only thing I can assure you of was that everything I did was in warmth and affection…I’m surprised they remember, it was all so casual and warm.”
According to the New York Times article:
“One of the three students expressed mixed feelings about Mr. Lin’s admission. He said Mr. Lin was right to acknowledge the relationships — but to not know it was wrong? “Delusional might not be the right word,” said the man, grappling with feelings of disappointment and anger. “But to not have the awareness that there’s a built-in power dynamic with a teacher and student?”
The weird thing about reading this article was that I initially found Lin convincing. Maybe this wasn’t really sexual molestation? Maybe the attraction was mutual?
But then I stopped myself. This was a 50-year-old man having sexual relations with a 14-year-old! This is repulsive! This man is a pedophile!
A psychologist I know who has treated pedophiles told me that pedophiles’ sincere denials of wrongdoing, like Lin’s, are the exact reason why working with pedophiles can be so disorienting and intensely disturbing.
We are talking about people who have molested children, but even in cases of rape of young children, pedophiles often continue to indignantly insist that they adore children, that they would never ever hurt a child, etc. etc. Because, as strange as this sounds, pedophiles often feel that their sexual abuse of children is simply an expression of their intense love for children.
Weird but true.
I’m sharing this disturbing fact because it just shows us how careful we moms need to be.
When a pedophile is discovered in a community, inevitably parents will respond, “But I’ve known this person for YEARS! He is a WONDERFUL human being! He’s a HUGE baal chesed! He LOVES children, he would never ever hurt a child…”
But, in most cases, the accused pedophile would hurt a child. He would hurt a child as badly as a child can be hurt.
Whether he realizes it or not.