Through the Eyes of a Pedophile

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.


  1. Thank you for writing this. It is so important to know that this is what pedophiles think about their behavior.

  2. This makes sense. Their minds work differently, with different rules. Their biology is messed up.

  3. Do you also think that the widespread practice of mature men marrying young teen girls is pedophilia? This was also commonly done among Jews of Arab countries. Just because we don’t share the same culture, values and understanding of what a marriage is about, doesn’t make other people’s ways of doing things repulsive. Halacha views a 12 year old girl and a 13 year old boy as adults. 14 and 15 year old Jewish boys and girls married in Eastern Europe and that was not considered outlandish.

    Would you have the same reaction if it was a male teacher and a female student? A female teacher and a male student? I don’t find it repulsive for a teacher and student to be attracted to one another. Sounds normal to me. Even with a big age difference.

    In the 60-70’s people acted in many outlandish ways that were “spontaneous and didn’t seem wrong” at the time. Mentor-student homosexual relationships were commonplace in Ancient Greece. I don’t think it was a society of sicko criminals. It was a society of morally debased people who were educated and cultured. It is repulsive not because of the ages of the people but because the Torah forbids homosexual sex.

    • right, I’m not sure relations with teenagers can be considered “pedophilia”. They are physically adults. I would say in the case of a teacher-student relationship, it would be classified “sexual harassment”, because of the imbalance of power in the relationship. The teacher has an obligation not to abuse that power, but doing so is no more of an illness than being a womanizer…

      • M. Gordon

        I don’t think that we should in any way lessen the culpability of the person who takes advantage of an adolescent. Although at bar/bas mitzva one is responsible for mitzvos, the Torah considers under-20’s as not completely mature in their responsibility. Society (B’nei Noach as well as Jews)has the responsibility to protect the more vulnerable members , and also to assure a high moral standard simply because Hashem Yitborach abhors immorality. Because of the first reason, relationship outside of marriage is prohibited because marriage delineates and upholds the rights of both parties. Because of the second reason, even if nobody feels they’ve been wronged, they may not profane the sanctity of intimate relationship. Early marriage in Arabic countries, and in shtetl Europe, served to protect young people, not exploit them, and preserved the sanctity of marriage.
        Thank you Chana for standing up like Pinchus to preserve the sanctity of our nation.

  4. Chana Jenny you have done a tremendously good job, in educating the world about pedophilia. You do it in such a rational and tsnuah way. May you and your family be blessed every second of every day, for this work that you do, which is not easy. I pray that the eyes of the world and the law courts will be opened. That the powers that be will realize that as cruel and barbaric as it seems, hanging by the neck until dead, is the only way to deal with pedophiles. The victims and those who have not yet been victimized come first.

  5. Not weird but true – SICK but true. Yes, this is their mind. The most sick thing is that often, they teach the children that their sick, abusive behavior IS love. Perhaps the worst aspect of such child abuse is that the child forever struggles with redefining love from a display of power and abuse to a mutual love that gives and respects.
    Such sickness cannot and has not ever been cured by all that psychotherapy can throw at such a monster. They can fake it, but this exact sense of sick love will never change because it their lust is too deeply ingrained. There can never be probation nor rehabilitation – just life in jail, or death penalty. It is simply the only way to assure that another person will never suffer the pain of having their soul destroyed.
    Until society is willing to face this reality, sadly, sexual abuse will continue to run rampant.

  6. Creepy.

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