If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of. – N.R.F. Maier
In 1960 N.R.F Maier, writing about the neurotic behavior of experimental psychologists like himself, proposed Maier’s Law, which forms my epigram above; he explained that for one who has become convinced of his own correctness…
…the theory supersedes the fact. It is the fact that must conform; and it is the theory that we must strive to nurture, develop, and abstract…The method of how psychologists as scientists dispose of facts is of special interest. One of the most common is to give the facts a new name. In this way they are given a special compartment and therefore cease to infringe on the privacy of the theory…Giving disturbing facts a name is almost as good as explaining them because a name supplies a useful answer to inquisitive people. Other ways of disposing of facts are omitting them in reference books, and the most efficient method…that of failing to report them…
Of course, psychologists aren’t the only ones whose misguided minds adhere to Maier’s Law; politicians also practice it, and cops follow it obsessively. And nowhere is this more evident than in the interactions of modern police with prostitutes. Only a few years ago, prostitution was regarded as a “crime” and prostitutes as “criminals”, and police defended that theory by ignoring well-adjusted hookers and concentrating on the maladjusted minority, even creating criminal conspiracies in their minds and claiming without the faintest shred of evidence that discreet indoor prostitution magically “attracts crime”. But now police departments are switching to “trafficking” rhetoric, which teaches that all whores (especially those even one day under the Age of Shazam) are “victims” in need of “rescue”, and that they are always and without exception “forced into prostitution” by evil men. The fact that an official study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice found that only 8% of teenage prostitutes in New York City were forced into prostitution by a “pimp,” and only 10% currently worked with one, is immaterial; the “trafficking” theory says that 100% of them have pimps so that inconvenient 90% who don’t has to be explained away somehow. How they do it is explained in this October 19th article from Metro, called to my attention via Laura Agustín’s column the next day:
New York City police say they are trying to rescue teens forced into prostitution, only to find that the girls often don’t want their help. A state law enacted last year considers prostitutes under the age of 18 victims, not criminals, and police are encouraged not to charge them with a crime. But according to Inspector James Capaldo, head of the NYPD’s new anti-sex trafficking division, their efforts to help girls forced into prostitution are often spurned, he told the City Council at a hearing on sex trafficking yesterday. The teens are often terrified of being punished by their pimp, or they’re brainwashed into thinking he is a boyfriend, said Capaldo. They also often lie and say they are 19. “Sometimes they refuse to talk,” he said. “If it takes a man six weeks to put this woman in a situation, how do we undo that in 46 hours?” The teen prostitutes often advertise their illegal services on Backpage.com, according to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. Earlier this year, in Brooklyn, a tip led police to “Jennifer,” 18, who refused to testify against her pimp. Instead, prosecutors found him through a prostitution website. He was charged with sex trafficking.
That’s right, it’s the social engineer’s best friend, “brainwashing” again. When people act like free-willed individuals instead of victims and behave in a way contrary to what the control freaks consider “right thinking”, that person must somehow be deranged. And if someone the “authorities” label a victim insists she isn’t victimized, obviously it must be brainwashing (or as they sometimes prefer to call it, “Stockholm Syndrome”). As Maier pointed out, the most common way to ignore facts is to give them a new name, to redefine them. When a woman says she doesn’t want to be “rescued”, her statement is called “lying” and her desire is said to be the result of “programming”. When the 90% say they are not victims, they’re suffering from “false consciousness” or else they’re “terrified of their pimps”. And when a legally-adult woman refuses to “testify against” a pimp she doesn’t have, she is treated as a child and the police railroad somebody she had some contact with through a hooker board (a client or moderator, perhaps?) to play the role of the nonexistent “pimp” in their sick psychodrama.
This is, as many of you may remember, exactly what I predicted would happen once such laws became popular; if all prostitutes are victims it follows that each of them was victimized by someone, and if there is no such person it becomes necessary to manufacture him out of an innocent bystander so the “theory” is not revealed as arrant nonsense. The fact that most prostitutes, including teenage prostitutes, are acting under their own volition doesn’t fit the trafficking/coercion/“no woman would prostitute herself voluntarily” theory, so it must be disposed of.
One Year Ago Today
“November Book Reviews” discusses A Renegade History of the United States, Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do, The Internet Escort’s Handbook and Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry.