Late last year I picked up a book that collects Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, poetry and a biography of the author Lewis Carroll written by his nephew. I vaguely remember my mother reading the original Alice story and maybe once seeing the original Disney version but this was never a favourite of mine growing up. I did however want to read these books as an adult as references to them are so ubiquitous in literature as well as other mediums and I wanted a better appreciation of the source material. After finishing both recently, I can’t say I really enjoyed them but they both had their moments. I was amused by playful language and the general silliness but I don’t have a high opinion of them and I’m now somewhat baffled by their continued popularity.
What is more of point here (as the title should indicate), is Lewis Carroll himself. I browsed his Wikipedia entry in the course of reading these two stories and also read the entire biography by his nephew. The accusations of paedophilia were immediately concerning but they sounded inconclusive. These allegations seem to have come a long time after when looking at his interest in children (invariably young girls) with a more critical eye — including photographs and paintings he produced. The fact that he never married or had children is of relevance too. He was the son of a Church of England clergymen and studied to become one though he never went beyond deacon and people on his career path usually became priests and got married.
On the other hand, while lifetime bachelorhood seems especially unusual today, it was hardly unheard of in the past. It also didn’t necessarily mean the person was a sex pervert as these people would be just as likely to enter a marriage of convenience to shield themselves from such accusations. I have to remember C.S. Lewis also had an eccentric youth and didn’t marry until near the end of his life and his short marriage produced no children. Prior to marrying he lived for a long time with the mother of a friend who died during the Great War; having made a mutual pact to care for each other’s families if one didn’t survive. There is question of whether or not this relationship with his late friend’s mother was physically intimate (at least prior to his conversion to Christianity), but one can’t be sure. Assuming this was the case, he would have been in a sinful relationship with a woman much older than he was and he did later marry Joy Davidson who while much younger, was still in her forties at the time of their marriage. Lewis had no other questionable eccentricities to speak of. At worst he is guilty of fornication which is a mortal sin but one that is more easily forgiven and healed than crimes against the innocent can ever be. I should add that I have also been guilty of fornication and I take care to judge others with my own past sins firmly in mind.
It is not unreasonable to be critical of those who would take a modern lens to view people of the past. I am generally critical of such analyses. However, what is increasingly being revealed in our time are the previously well hidden evils of the world and dark lives many prominent people in history. Many historical events have been revealed as lies and the heroes behind them as frauds. Authors are not immune to this. The French author André Gide for example was open and shameless about his paedophilia and even wrote in defence of it. Oscar Wilde his literary contemporary apparently introduced him to this with some poor boys they raped while (presumably) in Morocco. Wilde then too is hardly just a “victim” he is now portrayed but engaged in acts even more evil than sodomy. Wilde at least did have a deathbed conversion that would suggest he’d be aghast at his posthumous status as a champion of the vile sin that destroyed his earthly life. A more recent example would be Arthur C. Clarke where there exists enough disturbing information to be certain he was a paedophile. There is also the case of Walter Breen and Marion Zimmer Bradley where there is absolutely no doubt they were truly twisted sexual predators. Even Charles Dickens (a contemporary of Carroll), had his affair with Ellen Ternan hidden by his family until well after his death and it was not generally known until late into the twentieth century.
In all of the cases above, the author’s reputations were (and in some cases are still are), protected. The only reason the damning information is known is because it was so flagrant as in Gide’s case or that there was sufficient documentation left after their death. Walter Breen and Marion Zimmer Bradley are condemned by their own daughter but there is more to corroborate her claims than this. Lewis Carroll died in a time when it was far easier for documents to be lost and while Carroll kept a diary most of his life, many volumes are “lost”. Before continuing, I do want to add as an aside that it can be reasonable to destroy someone’s correspondence if it may hurt them or others still living and I don’t want to make the claim that there is never a reason to do this. Regardless, nothing will be hidden from the great judge when we die no matter what we do to cover ourselves here. It is not unreasonable to surmise though that there may be some rather unpleasant things found in the pages of the volumes that were either lost or destroyed. I also want to add that I am conscious that Carroll is no longer alive to defend himself but I believe with what follows that there is at the very least enough evidence to ask questions.
His nephew Stuart Dodgson Collingwood mentions his diaries early in the biography mentioned above:
His Diary is full of such modest depreciations of himself and his work, interspersed with earnest prayers (too sacred and private to be reproduced here) that God would forgive him the past, and help him to perform His holy will in the future. And all the time that he was thus speaking of himself as a sinner, and a man who was utterly falling short of his aim, he was living a life full of good deeds and innumerable charities, a life of incessant labour and unremitting fulfilment of duty. So, I suppose, it is always with those who have a really high ideal; the harder they try to approach it the more it seems to recede from them, or rather, perhaps, it is impossible to be both “the subject and spectator” of goodness. As Coventry Patmore wrote:—
I have bolded these parts above. This biography draws heavily and often quotes letters and diary entries from Carroll at length. It is sometimes more a commentary on Carroll’s own writings than a genuine biography and is unsurprisingly wholly positive about its subject. However, despite the positivity I found Carroll’s focus on little girls disturbing though it is portrayed as innocent affection throughout. Carroll refers to them as “child-friends” and if you search the linked digital text above you will get thirty hits. I will quote some below and the first is from his biographer but the second is a direct quote of Carroll.
In several instances, where friends in needy circumstances have written to him for loans of money, he has answered them, “I will not lend, but I will give you the £100 you ask for.” To help child-friends who wanted to go on the stage, or to take up music as a profession, he has introduced them to leading actors and actresses, paid for them having lessons in singing from the best masters, sent round circulars to his numerous acquaintances begging them to patronise the first concert or recital.
We now know well from Hollywood that helping child actors get a start there is certainly not “helping” them but exposing them directly to exploitation and abuse. Carroll had a great interest in the theatre which while undoubtedly less depraved than Hollywood, still had a bad reputation before even Shakespeare’s.
I always feel specially grateful to friends who, like you, have given me a child-friendship and a woman—friendship. About nine out of ten, I think, of my child-friendships get ship-wrecked at the critical point, “where the stream and river meet,” and the child-friends, once so affectionate, become uninteresting acquaintances, whom I have no wish to set eyes on again.
These friendships usually began all very much in the same way. A chance meeting on the sea-shore, in the street, at some friend’s house, led to conversation; then followed a call on the parents, and after that all sorts of kindnesses on Lewis Carroll’s part, presents of books, invitations to stay with him at Oxford, or at Eastbourne, visits with him to the theatre. For the amusement of his little guests he kept a large assortment of musical-boxes, and an organette which had to be fed with paper tunes. On one occasion he ordered about twelve dozen of these tunes “on approval,” and asked one of the other dons, who was considered a judge of music, to come in and hear them played over. In addition to these attractions there were clock-work bears, mice, and frogs, and games and puzzles in infinite variety.
We now know today well that when adults take an interest like this in young children (male or female), any parent should be very weary. This may well have been entirely innocent but it doesn’t seem that way and long experience (especially in recent times), has taught us that these interests seldom are. Adults don’t make friends with children. They might play with them, speak with them, be good to them but they shouldn’t be friends. Personal relationships where they exist should be based around family and existing friendships with other families. Were these just Carroll’s nieces and nephews, there would be little to wonder but that he actively sought out new “child-friends” with strangers his entire life should give even the most sympathetic pause.
There are a few mentions of his visiting the seaside and in one we are told that…
… he never went down to the beach without providing himself with a supply of safety-pins. Then if he saw any little girl who wanted to wade in the sea, but was afraid of spoiling her frock, he would gravely go up to her and present her with a safety-pin, so that she might fasten up her skirts out of harm’s way.
Yes, I am looking at this through a modern lens but I can’t understand how this would have been seen as normal behaviour even in Carroll’s time.
Today, I am very skeptical of people who want to photograph or paint children especially naked, in compromising positions or in weird poses. I frankly don’t believe the claims of “artists” to have a purely aesthetic interest in young children. I am generally just as skeptical of those who paint or photograph naked men or women as well. Carroll was an avid photographer and the biography (including the surviving diary records it draws from), are full of anecdotes about photographing and painting specifically young girls and not children in general. While many of Carroll’s photographs are innocent enough, I have seen two I find disturbing and I’m informed there are much worse than the ones I did see and I don’t want to confirm this by looking. Searching the text above for “photography” will get a lot of hits and two examples follow:
“Mr. Dodgson presents his compliments to her Majesty, and regrets to say that his rule is never to give his photograph except to young ladies.” I am told she was annoyed about it, and said, “I’m not so old as all that comes to!” and one doesn’t like to annoy Queens; but really I couldn’t help it, you know.
The above is Carroll being playful in a letter to a young girl and he didn’t actually write this to Queen Victoria.
Another of Lewis Carroll’s early favourites was Miss Alexandra (Xie) Kitchin, daughter of the Dean of Durham. Her father was for fifteen years the Censor of the unattached members of the University of Oxford, so that Mr. Dodgson had plenty of opportunities of photographing his little friend, and it is only fair to him to say that he did not neglect them.
It would be futile to attempt even a bare list of the children whom he loved, and who loved him; during forty years of his life he was constantly adding to their number. Some remained friends for life, but in a large proportion of cases the friendship ended with the end of childhood.
This is his biographer and there are plenty of other similar examples to be found. I am using this because this is written by a family member who knew him and could be assumed to be portraying him in the best light but it still strikes me as disturbing. Again, there is nothing conclusive here but these patterns are more often than not a case of “where there is smoke, there is fire.”
Now to move on to his famous fiction, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel are used heavily in drug culture and even in Monarch programming and I don’t believe this is a coincidence:
Just Like Fire is the lead single off the soundtrack of Alice Through the Looking Glass – a Disney movie which will certainly contain its fair share of MK symbolism. As stated in my article on Monarch Mind Control, the ultimate goal is to cause the slave to dissociate after being subjected to intense, unbearable trauma. Handlers encourage this behavior by subjecting slaves to a “programming script”, a story that will guide the young slave through programming. A common script used is Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, a story that can perfectly be applied to the trials of an MK slave.
The same way Alice follows a white rabbit through the looking glass to enter the strange world of wonder, slaves follow their handlers through programming to reach complete dissociation. In the fairy tale, Alice enters a fantasy world where everything is magical, inverted and unstable, a place similar to the slave’s internal world, where everything can be modified by the handler. Therefore, in MK symbolism, “Wonderland” represents the state of mind of a dissociated, mind-controlled slave, the place where they “escape” the pain of trauma. In short, the Alice in Wonderland story – and others that are similar – is used in actual mind control scenarios.
This partially explains why I am somewhat disturbed by these stories. There is the innocent explanation that they are just as dreams which often are — weird. Yet, there is no ultimate point to any of Alice’s adventures. The world is mixed with the familiar and unfamiliar though nothing is what it appears. Both stories end with Alice waking up as if everything that happened was meaningless. I can’t think of any children’s stories off the top of my head where there is no moral lesson or at least some sort of point to the narrative. And it’s appeal to so many with disturbed minds strongly suggests the author was similarly disturbed.
The same article also includes this quote after:
Over the years the Wizard of Oz, Alice In Wonderland, and Mother Goose seem to have been overall favorites (of mind control handlers). The child will most often be in a trance state when these story lines are told. The children will have the stories repeated and they are expected to memorize these scripts. Because the programmers will build upon the child’s awareness of these stories, the stories are modified to better fit the future programming.
– Fritz Springmeier, The Illuminati Formula to Create a Mind Control Slave
So what of Lewis Carroll? I think I have been fair in giving possible explanations for his preoccupations with young girls based on the society he lived in. They are still disturbing by these standards. That same society was also notorious for covering and not exposing many evils This was especially so if someone had a a good name and the influence and wealth to defend it as with the comparatively minor sins of Charles Dickens. This was true until very recently and crimes against children have (and undoubtedly still are), being hidden until they can’t be anymore. The example of Jimmy Savile who was protected for half a century and only exposed on his death should be evidence enough.
As for his literary works, I think there is still merit in them though I don’t personally enjoy them. He was a clever poet and has undoubtedly influenced the fantasy genre. To throw his works out would perhaps be a bridge to far as we both do and do not know of the depravity of many writers and great works of the world throughout history. We know nothing of Homer’s personal life and very little of many who followed after him in antiquity but I would certainly think differently about Homer if I did.
The wider point here is not to condemn necessarily but to be reminded that many of the assumptions about people and events (especially in recent history), have darker elements. That we should use the knowledge we now have and be more conscious of it. If Lewis Carroll could be shown entirely innocent, I’d gladly retract everything above but I think it would be more likely my suspicions are eventually confirmed.