On March 9, WFLA, an NBC affiliate in Florida, reported on a pink souvenir toy truck purchased at a Monster Jam event that was decorated with one of what is thought to be many pedophile symbols currently in use. The symbol was described as a “disgusting calling card for creeps” used to signal that the parent or guardian of a child displaying it is interested in trading them for sex.
A document hosted with Wikileaks, and purported to have been produced by the FBI, includes an example of a symbol that is very similar to what is being reported in Florida, as well as many variations. While the symbols associated with girls include hearts and the color pink, symbols associated with boys are blue and are formed from a triangle made up of a zig-zagging line. Snopes reports that law enforcement agencies have been made aware of the symbols via the FBI document in January 2007.
“I’m absolutely sick. I bought this for my 2-year-old little girl,” Nicole O’Kelly, the mother of the child for whom the toy was purchased. “This toy was made for little girls. I wanted answers. This is pink. This is for little girls, especially at a predominately male event.”
Feld Entertainment is responsible for Monster shows. Stephen Payne, a Feld spokesperson, disavowed any knowledge that the symbols appearing on their products had any relation to pedophiles. Feld has reportedly pulled all affected products from their inventory.
“We’re shocked. We had no idea. We reacted immediately. We wanted to do the right thing as quickly as possible. Clearly we’re in the business with providing high quality family entertainment. This was really obscure. Until yesterday, I had no idea there was an underlying meaning of these symbols and the deplorable behavior. We just don’t know if a crime was committed here. We have not been contacted by LEOs. We just want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
In addition to being found on children’s toys, the pedophile symbols are thought to appear on jewelry, coins, and even websites. Snopes reports on a group of “pedophile activists” who advocate for a normalization of sexual relations between children and adults. This group is described as holding a belief that children are able to provide consent for sexual relations. Jewelry and other items found displaying the symbols might well be treated with suspicion.
It has been noted that it has yet to be determined if the toy featured in the WFLA report was intentionally decorated with pedophile symbols, or if there was some type of error. It has also been noted that the pedophile symbol associated with girls bears a resemblance to logos used by clothing company Roxy. The Roxy logo is formed by aligning two Quicksilver logos on their sides.
A situation where an artist somehow saw the female pedophile symbol without realizing what it was, found it aesthetically pleasing, and then decided to use it as a basis for a design is quite easy to imagine. One might still rightly question where the artist of the design found their inspiration. Any connection between the pedophile symbol and the Roxy logo would seem coincidental.
While parents’ concerns seem well-founded and it also seems that they would want to learn the source of any objects bearing pedophile symbols found in their children’s possession, it has been noted that simply wearing a piece of clothing or jewelry for a short amount of time does not pose any risks. Once symbols are discovered, though, parents are tasked with discovering the intent of whomever introduced the potentially symbolic objects to their children.
[Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images]