Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News Extra [these Stories Appear Only On The Web]

Nine UK doctors are suspended after accusations of viewing child pornography

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 19 April 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:840

Rapid Response:

Operation Ore

I have been very sad to see good doctors lose their careers to the
fanfare of a witch hunt. It is actually a lot more than a witch hunt
behind Operation Ore as the true story is not the one that has been
released to the press.

People who are active in abuse of children may well like to look at
imagery of this kind. One cannot extrapolate from that fact, indeed turn
the argument on its head, and conclude that those who view such imagery
are a danger. Most of the male population of the world enjoy violent
films, does this mean we are in danger? Of course not and despite the
false claims there is acedemic research in this field. Additionally,
Operation Ore is a considerable resource of empirical data. Scotland has
concluded the investigation of 700 names. People were charged in relation
to imagery of this kind, but not one single case of child abuse was found
in relation to these names. To state the obvious, the Internet is the
ultimate library, of medicine and of life, if material of any kind is
there, people will look at it, that is the nature of mankind. Attempting
to interpret what people look at as defining the contents of their mind,
flies in the face of all reason.

If these people are not dangerous, then why should the public be
deprived of their medical skills?

As it happens, Operation Ore was based on a false story. 7,272
suspects provided to the National Criminal Intelligence Service as being
members of the Landslide paedophile ring makes very good headlines, but I
am appalled the GMC has not made a scientific examination of the issues
involved. Landslide was a quite normal payment centre for access to adult
websites, believed to be some 5,700 sites at the time of closure. At the
trial of Thomas Reedy, it was confirmed that 13 of those sites were
illegal under US law and 18 under UK law.

Very few people had accessed the illegal sites, but even so, a taboo
is not a reason to surrender science.

USPIS and the FBI alleged 36% of people with this material were
contact offenders, John Carr as the UK expert advised that it was one in

As you will realise from the Scottish results, the truth is not what
one reads in the headlines. Many independant researchers have
scientifically examined the facts, often because they were caught up in
these investigations and the disparity between the truth and the public
story is alarming. One website that illuminates some of these issues is

Scientific research in this field or supporting evidence would be
provided to sincere interested parties, and please, lets have our good
doctors back.

Competing interests:
I was arrested under operation ore. This could be perceived to be a competing or vested interest. I was not guilty and was not charged with an offence but went on to research the story of Ore.

Competing interests: No competing interests

18 May 2005
David J Stanley
computer consultant
CF31 2ED