It has been bought to our attention that the Paedophile Information Exchange (‘PIE’) used Release at our previous address in Elgin Avenue as a ‘care of address’, for a brief period in the 1970s. Neither the Co-founder of Release, Caroline Coon, or any of its current staff, were involved with the organisation at that time and all are shocked and deeply upset that there was, or could have been, any connection between our work and the repugnant activities and despicable views promoted by PIE.
Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director of the charity, stated: ‘I wish to apologise, in particular to anyone who may have been directly affected by the activities of PIE, that this abhorrent organisation was in any way linked to Release’.
Caroline Coon, co-founder of Release, has stated ‘that as co-founder of Release and Director from 1967 to 1972 I am very distressed to hear that in the late 1970’s Release had even the most tenuous connection to PI.E. Christian Wolmar has given an exemplary account of what happened. “When I started [at Release] in 1976” he explained in The Independent (Thursday 27 February),“PIE was using its address, the respectable sounding 1 Elgin Avenue, London W 9. There were plenty of offices available, but by allying itself with the Home Office-funded Release and an auspicious address gave PIE respectability. When I asked other members of the collective about it, they were very vague, and so we invited a speaker from PIE to a meeting. He gave us the benefit of his views, which were not only that there should be no age of consent, but that by banning underage sex adults were actually being cruel to children by denying them their sexuality and excluding them from an enjoyable experience. The poste restante arrangement was ended forthwith.”
Niamh Eastwood started work at Release in 2002 and she became Executive Director in 2012 I stand by Niamh and her categorical, forthright apology for what happened in the past. Release was founded on principles that completely reject arguments put forward by PIE. Under the direction of Niamh, and a remarkable group of Trustees, Release thrives and continues to do work that I support and admire. For a full account of my run-in with the N.C.C.L and Patricia Hewitt in 1982, and how she tried to sue me for condemning her position on ‘incest’ in 1996, please read the post on my website at http://www.carolinecoon.com/news.htm’