A massive sex scandal has just hit the BBC with the publication of a new book accusing two former Doctor Who producers of using their power to take advantage of underage fans throughout the 1980s. The Daily Mail reports:
The next year, on the promise of Doctor Who photographs, [the book’s author] Marson visited the studio again. He says he was then assaulted by Mr Downie, who died in 2006.
The encounter took place in a BBC lift, he says, and ended with him fleeing and trying to hide beneath a desk.
In another incident, Mr Marson says a wealthy fan supplied Mr Nathan-Turner with male escorts in exchange for visits to the studio and souvenirs.
He adds both men were on the look-out for teenage fans who would have sex with them because of Doctor Who – dubbing the fans ‘doable barkers’.
This is bad enough on its own, but the scandals aren’t limited to Doctor Who. As the Daily Mail notes, this story is emerging shortly after accusations that longtime BBC television host Jimmy Savile molested as many as 450 people in his lifetime, making him one of the UK’s “most prolific sex offenders,” according to the NSPCC charity group.
The more we hear about what was going on in the era of sexual liberation, the more the Catholic scandals look like a symptom of the times rather than a special pathology of the Church. The BBC was apparently a hotbed of abuse for underage female and male fans, and revelations about abuse in schools, the Boy Scouts, Jewish organizations and other institutions in which adults regularly interact with youth keep coming to light.
It’s almost enough to make a person think that when a society casts sexual restraint and self control to the winds, the young and the weak become victims of a culture of exploitation and gratification. It’s almost enough to make someone wonder if unbridled and socially glorified libertinism rather than celibacy is the leading cause of the sexual exploitation of minors.
But no… Thoughts like that are much too depressing. That train of thought leads to the dismal conclusion that some sort of, well, original sin has twisted human nature so that terrible things happen in all our institutions, however modern and freethinking they are. Let’s stop that kind of thinking as quickly as possible; it’s much more comfortable to think that good resolutions, lots of police, and a healthy attitude toward recreational sex will make everything right. Eventually.