(April 13, 1945 - 1990) Belgium - France
Joseph Doucé was born at St Truiden, Belgium, but settled in France and later became a French citizen. He had his first homosexual experience with a teenaged orphan while working as monitor at an orphanage in Limoges, France. He converted to the Baptist faith in 1968, because (he said) it offered freedom of choice: "This means that every man has infinite value and the highest dignity before God".
He studied for ministry in Zurich and became pastor in Lens in northern France in 1971. He was an openly gay Baptist Pastor. He was one of the founders of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and performed his pastoral work in Paris among sexual minorities - gay, lesbians, pedophiles, sado-masochists, transvestites, transsexuals, and AIDS patients, organizing support groups and monthly meetings. Attention was also given to short-term and long-term prisoners.
Doucé worked in the context of the Centre du Christ Libérateur, founded in 1976 to provide assistance to sexual minorities. The Centre published its own small magazine; ILIA, meaning Il Libère, Il Aime (He Liberates, He Loves). Doucé also published a well-regarded series of books on these topics.
For his activism, Doucé became a target of investigation by the Renseignements Genereaux (General Information - RG), a branch of the French national police that gathers intelligence on political subjects. The RG had a reputation for shady dealings. During the summer of 1990, Doucé's center was subjected to break-ins and surveillance.
The work was difficult in an exceedingly repressive France, but Doucé never gave up. He was a fighter and put himself in the service of persecuted fellow humans. He visited Holland from time to time and sometimes he was accompanied by his younger lover Guy Bondar. Doucé was very interested in the research that was being done in Holland at that time. He did several visits at Utrecht or Amsterdam, where he also had church contacts. He was restless, always busy, active, alert. He knew countless people from all walks of life.
He had opened a specialized bookshop by the name of Autres Cultures (Different Cultures) in the heart of Paris. The shop offered a lot of interesting sexological literature in various languages that could not be obtained elsewhere. One day a large stone had been flung through the windowpane in the door... it was a warning. Doucé had been threatened several times before. The government also ordered him to remove Costa Brava, nouvelle pédophile "Costa Brava, the new pedophlie)from the stand of Lumière et Justice during the annual Salon de l'Erotisme in Paris. At first he refused to comply but things were to become more dramatic.
Joseph Doucé and his lover Guy Bondar were attacked in the press and were left undefended by the police and the justice department. Church office-bearers avoided them and their friends went underground. According to former inspector Jean-Marc Dufourg, the French Security Service was involved. Doucé was accused of pedophile practices. The French police appeared to be fearful that Paris would become a center for homosexual people. Doucé aroused in the French government, in the Roman Catholic Church, and among the Reformed people in France, a strong resistance because of his zeal for homosexuals.
According to his lover, on the evening of July 19, 1990, two men in plainclothes knocked on his door, said they were police, and showed a badge, and requested that the pastor come along with them for questioning. He never returned. Except by his killers, Doucé was never seen alive again. A long silence ensued and many rumors began to spread.
Three months later, on the 18th of October 1990, his mortal remains, portions of his body which had been partially eaten by animals, were discovered in the Rambouillet woods, southwest of Paris. He has been dead since about July 20.
Oddly, the police did not release the corpse for a year and a half. It was needed, they claimed, for the criminal inquiry. Skeptics wondered whether the cops were trying to cover up evidence of torture.
French police referred to the murder of Pastor Dr. Joseph Doucé in the July 1990's in Paris as performed by some inspectors of the RG, who cannot have acted but under the orders of the government... a matter into which there has yet to be a satisfactory investigation.
How did he die? The mystery has never been solved entirely. Had Doucé involved himself in too much risky business? Had he been too progressive? A number of books on the Doucé case appeared in France. Many people think of his demise as a huge loss. The majority of the French people did not mourn for him: they just considered him a pain in the ass.
An investigation showed that the Paris police kept a thick file on Doucé, and had conducted extensive illegal wire-taps. The French interior minister disbanded the RG partly as a result of the ensuing controversy. But the murder has never been solved. The entire event is surrounded by a smoke screen. This shows that the civil rights of homosexuals in France, but also in other countries, is exceedingly weak. The majority will not tolerate it.
The Centre's future became uncertain. The bookshop, which was run by his lover Guy Bondar, had to be closed. Guy now lives in Holland. What remained were the books published by Lumière et Justice (Light and Justice) during the eighties. These are mostly readers edited by Doucé, such as Couples homosexuels et lesbiens: juridique et quotidien (Homosexual and Lesbian Couples - Law and Everyday Reality); Le sadomasochisme en question (The Question of S-M); La question transsexuelle (The Transsexual Question), and the important La pédophilie en question (The Question of Pedophilia, 1987), with a preface by none other than Dr. W. Waynberg, chairman of the Institut de Sexologie. This book contains much interesting information; France, however, seems not to be ready yet for this message.
On July 6, 2004 we received the following e-mail. For what we knew pastor Doucé we were really astounded and unbelieving, we don't know if this message tells the truth ot not... But we felt we had to publish it.
I just found your Web site. You have a lot of good things in there. One page gave me a lot of pain though...
More than 20 years ago I contacted Pastor Joseph Doucé for help. My family had just learned I was gay, and was giving me a lot of grief about it. I felt miserable. I needed support and advice, I needed someone to tell me I was going to be OK, Pastor Doucé invited me to come and see him. I didn't get help, I didn't get support, and the only advice he gave me was to go back to my family and never contact him again. Of course, this advice was generously offered only after he convinced me to have sex with him.
I was 15.
I have never felt as dirty and shameful in my whole life as after metting this man. I don't care what you think, I don't care what others have told you to convince you he was a saint, to me this was a man who took advantage of my confusion and pain to rape me. And I can guarantee you that if all of his victims were interviewed separately without even meeting each other, one very particular detail about his sexual habits would come up over and over again as a proof that we are not making it up.
The "allegations" of pedophilia are NOT allegations, they are simple facts. This man was a pedophile and a child molester. God knows how many troubled kids he has victimized! I have been living in the US for 15 years now; my family still doesn't want me around. If Pastor Doucé would have helped me instead of abusing me, maybe things could have turned up differently. I can never forget that...
I am sorry to read about his horrible murder. Murder is murder, no matter what. I don't approve of murder. But this man was no saint. He may have helped many, but he has also hurt at least one child that I know of. Your tribute page to him maybe a comfort for many; it is also a painful reminder for me.
See also our Pastor Joseph Doucé Memorial page, in our Memorial Hall.