I've just been reading two articles originally published in the Guardian in 2000.
Having read both articles from beginning to end I'm in a state of shock.
The words that keep churning through my head are "I didn't know. I simply didn't know".
I (naively) thought that I knew quite a bit about child abuse but something in the two articles by Nick Davies has shown me how little I have appreciated the horror of what was happening in the sordid trading of young boys around Europe.
I guess it's a mixture of the scale of what has been happening and the succession of intimate cruelties perpetrated by the powerful on the powerless.
A light has gone on for me, and it's shining on a scene of premeditated cruelty ... on a truly horrifying scale.
The two articles are a must read, in my opinion.
But be warned ... you'll need a strong stomach to make it all the way through them both from beginning to end.
Only one of the two articles is still on the Guardian web site, so far as I can establish.
In seeming logical order here are the two articles that have had such an effect on me:
1. A terraced street in suburbia that shrouded a guilty secret
2. Paedophilia is easy, 2: how a paedophile murder inquiry fell apart
That's not the order I read the articles in but it seems to me to be the logical order to read them in.
As I say I am left stunned ... shocked ... by what I've read.
I'm torn between warning you about reading them and insisting that the horror of them demands that you read them.
That choice is up to you.
I didn't know. I simply didn't know.
But now I do I am even more determined that the proposed Child Abuse Inquiry must be worthy of its "once in a generation" label.
It has to be fit for purpose.