David McConaghie Update — 11 March 2015

Creationist voyeurism

Creationist voyeurism

We have some news about David McConaghie, the creationist preacher and Northern Ireland political operative who was arrested in connection with the discovery of a hidden camera found in the loo of Democratic Unionist Party member David Simpson’s constituency office. The trial has been delayed twice before.

Our last post about this sordid situation was a couple of months ago: Reminder of the David McConaghie Trial. At that time, the trial was continued to 11 March — that’s today!

We don’t know whether McConaghie will be found guilty of the perverted conduct of which he’s been accused, but we’ve been eagerly following this case because we think it provides a unique insight into the minds of creationists, illustrating the connection between moral depravity and the intellectual aberration of creationism.

In the Irish Times of Dublin, Ireland’s capital and largest city, we read Ex-church minister and adviser to DUP MP denies voyeurism . We don’t see a comments section in the newspaper. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

A former church minister and DUP MP adviser on Wednesday denied a charge of voyeurism. Appearing at Craigavon Magistrates Court, 50-year-old David McConaghie pleaded not guilty to committing voyeurism on dates between August 22nd and September 13th, 2012, in that he allegedly “for the purpose of sexual gratification, recorded another person doing a private act knowing that the other person did not consent to being recorded”.

We had been guessing that he might plead guilty to some lesser charge, in order to minimize the potential penalty, but it looks like we were wrong. Then we’re told:

Last month, a prosecuting lawyer told the court the PPS intended to prosecute Mr McConaghie in the Crown Court but departed from that stance on Wednesday, informing District Judge Mervyn Bates the offence would now be dealt with on a summons basis.

We’re not sure what that means, but this website, In Brief, informs us:

The main use of a summons by the Magistrates is to find someone who has previously been granted bail for an offence and has consequently failed to appear in court. This is most commonly used in situations involving breach of bail conditions.

We don’t know if that’s applicable here, but you may recall this from one of our earlier posts:

As part of his bail conditions McConaghie is barred from contacting any staff member at the DUP advice office in Portadown and from owning or possessing any mobile phone or other device “capable of making video recordings”.

Did McConaghie violate the conditions of his bail? Let’s read on in the Irish Times:

Judge Bates listed the case in two weeks’ time, releasing Mr McConaghie on bail in the meantime.

He’s pleading not guilty, he’s still out on bail, and the trial won’t be held for another two weeks. The story doesn’t have any other news, so we don’t know what’s going on.

All we can do is repeat our usual advice: Avoid using the bathrooms in any creationist location — that includes creationist politicians, creationist “think tanks,” creation museums and theme parks, and the church buildings of creationist denominations.

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5 responses to “David McConaghie Update — 11 March 2015

  1. Dave Luckett

    What is there to say? It gets really weird out there in fundy land, but one of the entangled strands is probably authority. One way of expressing authority is to achieve sexual gratification without having to obtain a partner’s free consent – to gain it by one’s own will alone, without concern for another’s gratification. I think something like that is happening here.

    Authoritarianism does not exactly jibe with b-and-d or voyeur-exhibitiionism. Both of those are actually consensual. They’re role-play fantasy by all parties and the participants are actually gratified. It’s doesn’t precisely predict a use of pornography or prostitutes, either, although fantasy might again intervene. Authoritarianism is actually about control. Those transactions are actually in the control of the provider, who does it for reward. The user must pay, in some way. That’s a loss of real control. You’d expect authoritarians to refuse to pay. They do. And they beat up prostitutes.

    Putting a camera in a toilet and masturbating to the images is also more in line with authoritarianism. Part of the gratification, for an authoritarian, consists of knowing that the subject gets nothing, but is serving anyway, even if it’s unknowingly.

    But that’s only one strand of it, and it gets worse after that. Actual rape isn’t much further along. Obviously.

  2. I think what the change in the courts means is that instead of the higher crown court the case will go to a lower magistrates court. The ‘summons basis’ simply means that it’s being treated like a minor offence at the magistrates court (you get a summons to that court for offences such as speeding), rather than an arrest warrant for a crown court.
    It strikes me as if some deal may have been done, as magistrates courts can only impose lower penalties than crown courts. They can also deal with preliminary hearings of cases that will eventually go to higher courts, but it’s not clear if that’s what’s happening here….

  3. I don’t know the ins and outs of the British legal system and so can’t really comment on the McConaghie case in that regard.

    I will note, however, that although the personal, ahem, shall we say, indiscretions of a big-name creationists may be worth a chortle or two, they don’t really bear on the worth, or worthlessness if you prefer (and I do), of creationism, any more than similar failings on the part of supporters of Darwinian evolution would bear on the value of that theory.

    No, I haven’t gone soft on creationists. I simply think that opponents of these crackpots need to keep their eyes on the ball, not, so to speak, the balls. That is, keep fighting efforts to have the religious doctrine of creation accepted as actual science, which we all agree it isn’t, rather than hope for the personal disgrace of advocates of creationism.

  4. Diogenes Lamp

    If ye hope for the personal disgrace of creationists, ye shall not go wanting.

  5. I agree that the personal failings of individual creationists are not relevant to the failures of creationism.
    It is not important how many creationists are competent scientists, for example, as it is that they have not been able to produce an alternative account of the variety of life (let alone evidence).