I had the pleasure to meet Pastor Joseph some fifteen years ago, when he celebrated the gay rite of Sacred Union for my Italian friend Franco and his German lover Andreas, in Switzerland.
He was there with his lover Guy, and I was charmed seeing the beautiful couple they formed, their open and sincere smile, heart felt kindness, and mutual love.
I succeeded in stealing some time from Joseh, and we talked for a while, and I was deeply touched by this man, a real man of God! I felt at once a deep liking for him and also for his lover Guy.
Then life was so that our roads didn't cross again, but the impression I got that day accompanied me all long my days, and just thinking of them made my face brighten in a warm smile.
When I heard about the horrible and cruel fate that met with Joseph, I cried... "It is unfair! Why him?" I was repeating and repeating inside my mind, inside my heart.
Therefore I dedicate this page to his memory, hoping that also you who didn't know him can love him as I do.
In May of 1973, the Parisian monthly ARCADIE, Revue littéraire et scientifique, published by André Baudry, featured my article Nouvelle enquête aux Pays-Bas (New Research in the Netherlands), which provides a synopsis of research into the consequences of sexually flavored acts between adults and young people. No such report had ever appeared in France before.
Three years later, the AHOY complex in Rotterdam was the scene of the first big sex fair: Sexualiteit en menselijke relaties 76 (Sexuality and Human Relations), which was followed by a second fair in 1978. At the first fair I met the legendary reverend Joseph Doucé, who was still very young at the time and manned a stand with literature concerning his pastoral activities in Paris. He had come over to Holland, which was much more liberal back then, specifically to promote his ideas. I was not to meet him again until several years later.
Joseph Doucé, born on 13 April 1945 in Sint Truiden (Belgium), settled in France and later became a French citizen. He was a Baptist and performed his pastoral work in the context of the Centre du Christ Libérateur, 3bis, rue Clairaut, Paris. The Centre's chairman was Jan van Kilsdonk S.J. from Amsterdam. It was founded in 1976 and provided assistance to sexual minorities. The Centre published its own small magazine; ILIA, meaning Il Libère, Il Aime (He Liberates, He Loves). There were small-scale monthly meetings for transsexuals, transvestites, gays, lesbians and pedophiles. Attention was also given to short-term and long-term prisoners.
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. It was a pleasure to debate and philosophize with him. He visited Holland from time to time, and when he did he stopped in Rotterdam to see me. We usually had lunch in the sunroom of restaurant 'Engels', opposite central station. Sometimes he was accompanied by his younger friend Guy. We used to discuss all facets of sexuality at length. ARCADIE was also broached: Doucé was very interested in the research that was being done in Holland at that time. After his always too short visits he left for Utrecht or Amsterdam, where he had church contacts. He also visited the Pauluskerk in Rotterdam now and then. He was restless, always busy, active, alert. He knew countless people from all walks of life.
We had become friends. I last visited him in Paris in March of 1988. He had opened a specialized bookshop by the name of Autres Cultures (Different Cultures) in the heart of the city, 46 rue Sauffroy. The shop offered a lot of interesting sexological literature in various languages that could not be obtained elsewhere. I clearly remember the time when a large stone had been flung through the windowpane in the door... it was a warning.
I held a lecture in the Centre and later signed one of my French books at the Théâtre de l'art. This was Costa Brava, nouvelle pédophile, published by Lumière et Justice, a publishing house founded by Doucé. The gathering at the Théâtre de l'art was unsuccessful: almost nobody showed up. Fear ran rampant. On 8 March a large raid had been held throughout France and overseas territories which had long-lasting effects. I did have the fortune of meeting Eric Jourdan, author of Les mauvais anges (Bad Angels, a novel about the love/hate relationship between two teenagers), among other books. That evening, Jourdan was to present his play Drapeau noir (Black Flag) in the Théâtre de l'art. All in all it was a memorable event.
Doucé had been threatened several times before. The government also ordered him to remove Costa Brava, nouvelle pédophile from the stand of Lumière et Justice during the annual Salon de l'Erotisme in Paris. At first he refused to comply.
Things were to become more dramatic. On 19 July 1990, Doucé was taken for questioning by two people who identified themselves as police officers. A long silence ensued and many rumors began to spread. On 18 October 1990 his mortal remains were discovered in the Rambouillet woods. 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.
The Centre's future became uncertain. The bookshop, which was run by his friend, had to be closed. Doucé's friend now lives in Holland. What remained were the books published by Lumière et Justice during the eighties. These are mostly readers edited by Doucé, such as Couples homosexuels et lesbiens: juridique et quotidien; Le sadomasochisme en question; La question transsexuelle with a preface by Prof. Dr. G.F. Bouman and an introduction by Prof. Dr. Louis Gooren, both from the Vrije Universiteit (Free University) of Amsterdam; and the important La pédophilie en question (The Question of Pedophilia), with a preface by none other than Dr. W. Waynberg, chairman of the Institut de Sexologie. This book contains much interesting information, also about the Netherlands. France, however, was not ready yet for its message. And the matter is still unfinished business.
Pastor Joseph Doucé was murdered ten years ago. The Pauluskerk in Rotterdam rightly commemorated him in October of 2000. We must not forget him. Until his death Doucé had remained above all a pastor. I remember him as one of the most remarkable personalities I was privileged to meet him in my lifetime."
Joseph Doucé - A Personal Approach - By Dr. Frits Bernard
I worked quite closely with a Belgian Baptist pastor, Dr. Joseph Doucé, who was murdered by the French secret police. In the circumstances one ought to ask some questions and show a little reserve.
My colleague Joseph Doucé was engaged in pastorate for pedophiles in France in the eighties. In the end it led to his death. He was killed and there are strong clues that that was related to his pastoral care for pedophiles, which was completely misunderstood.
Joseph Doucé remains for me a good example of a pastor, a shepherd. The good shepherd risks his life for his sheep. In the same way Doucé gave his life in the pastorate for these people.
I still hope that that was not in vain.
Reverend Hans Visser, Minister of St. Paul's Church, Rotterdam, Holland
Some years ago I was professionally friendly with a man called Pastor Joseph Doucé who worked as a psychotherapist in Paris. The French secret police became concerned that there might be sensitive political figures among his clients. He was visited by the French secret police who removed him in the middle of the night.
Six months later his naked body was found dumped in a wood outside Paris. There is no question that he was murdered by the police because it disapproved of the nature of his clientele and felt there was a politically sensitive aspect to it.
There has never been a proper inquiry into the case because it has always been covered up by security precautions and so on. In that instance, a serious crime was committed by those charged with the responsibility for protecting citizens against crime.
Dr. W. Waynberg, chairman of the Institut de Sexologie
I knew very well, as a doctor sexologist, Pator Joseph Doucé, who was the working with us at the Société Française de Sexologie, Clinique de Docteur Tordjmann.
He was a relly upright man, and we knew he had files and information about a large number of government officials and important statesmen using underage girls or boys to satisfy their drives and their phantasms. Therefore, in our opinion, Pastor Doucé was personally conducting an important fight against pedophilia.
"In those days already, some of our doctor colleagues started to demonize homosexuality, and the sectarian behaviour of some people of Pastor Doucé's circle, to discredit his battle.
Dr Dietrich, sexologist at the Société Française de Sexologie.
See the page about Pastor Doucé in our "Famous GLTB People"